F1 Hot News
By Andrew Maitland
July 6, 2002
Friday Driver Analysis: Silverstone
1- Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari): 'We based our program on the
test here a month ago, so we did a good job in the changing
2- Michael Schumacher (Ferrari): 'Considering I missed the
first hour, its reasonable. I made a mistake and spun, and
then the engine stalled.'
3- Giancarlo Fisichella (Jordan): 'The car usually goes well
in the wet, and if it stays wet tomorrow, we could be on the
third or fourth row.'
4- Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams): 'We had an engine failure
this morning, but we were able to work on the wet tires and
setup. I'm pretty happy.'
5- Takuma Sato (Jordan): 'It was a very good day, the
Bridgestone wets are very good. I didn't have to learn the
track, so I went flat out.'
6- Jacques Villeneuve (BAR): 'The car feels very drivable in
the rain which is great, and I can be very aggressive. If the
rain stays its looking good.'
7- Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren): 'It was very wet and tricky, but
I'd prefer it to be dry as we have more data available.'
8- Felipe Massa (Sauber): 'I had understeer this morning and
went off into the gravel, but the car was a lot better this
9- Jenson Button (Renault): 'It tailed off a little during the
afternoon. It's a shame to be ninth, and also hard to evaluate
the new aero package in the rain.'
10- Nick Heidfeld (Sauber): 'It was difficult to really push.
The balance was okay but it could have been better even with
the track being so slippery.'
11- Ralf Schumacher (Williams): 'It was really slippery and I
spun a few times, but we still need to chose tires and have a
lot of work to do.'
12- David Coulthard (McLaren): 'Tire evaluation was not easy
today. We don't really know where we are in the wet compared
13- Pedro de la Rosa (Jaguar): 'We are not in a position to
make conclusions about the new aero package. There are
certainly some improvements.'
14- Olivier Panis (BAR): 'The car was very difficult to drive
and then I had a traction-control problem. The balance is not
good at all.'
15- Eddie Irvine (Jaguar): 'We still have a fair way to go
before we begin drawing any conclusions, but the early signs
16- Jarno Trulli (Renault): 'The car feels strange, and seems
to be behaving differently to normal. I'm definitely not
17- Mark Webber (Minardi): 'We had a couple of issues that
prevented us from getting the best out of the car. Hopefully
the weather will improve.'
18- Alex Yoong (Minardi): 'It was a lot more slippery out
there than I expected. I experienced a gearbox problem and
spun at the end.'
19- Allan McNish (Toyota): 'We struggled quite badly today
with general grip and balance of the car. I struggled with
both understeer and oversteer.'
No time: Mika Salo (food poisoning), Heinz-Harald Frentzen
(Arrows) and Enrique Bernoldi (Arrows).
Sir Frank Reflects
According to Sir Frank Williams, motor-racing is a 'peculiarly
Speaking proudly at the home of British motorsport,
Silverstone, the proud Englishman makes note that even 'The
key people at Ferrari learnt their stuff in England'.
Today, seven of the eleven Grand Prix outfits find a base in
the United Kingdom. Even French-owned Renault chose the nearby
Enstone location rather than trying to contest the pinnacle of
motorsports from abroad.
'We British are very independent-minded, insular, determined,
and generally aggressive; we are a belligerent nation under it
all and that makes us competitive', Sir Frank says.
Still a modest racing driver in 1969, the feisty Piers Courage
eventually persuaded Sir Frank to purchase him a Grand Prix
car to race. By 1980, Williams Grand Prix Engineering won its
inaugural drivers and constructors' championships, with the
courageous Alan Jones.
Even in spite of his paralyzing 1986 car accident, Formula One
racing flows through the veins of one Sir Frank. Knighted for
his services to queen and country in '99, Williams recalls his
early days in F1 as a 'hand-to-mouth' existence.
'But I had to look at it as a learning opportunity, even
though it was part of the very, very slow progress to where we
are today,' explains Sir Frank.
An admirer of intrepid, uncompromising drivers like Alan
Jones, Nigel Mansell, and the legendary Brazilian, Aryton
Senna, Frank Williams acknowledges that 'they (the drivers of
his era) didn't mature into world-class guys until they were
30, but now Juan Pablo (Montoya) is only 26 and Jenson
'It's changing, with younger drivers coming in. Drivers are
better younger than they were 20 years ago,' he continued.
There is always a risk, however, of trying to spot
every-younger talent. 'It can be expensive if it doesn't work
out', he says, 'Because we are only interested in world
champions - not guys who can qualify on the third or fourth
row of the grid.'
Despite Juan Pablo Montoya's recent trio of pole positions, a
Williams has not graced the top-step since Ralf Schumacher's
Sepang triumph in March.
Schu: No Defensive Driving
Michael Schumacher has issued an ominous warning that he will
not be resting on his laurels this weekend at Silverstone.
Curtly dismissing any talk of 'defensive' driving, the feisty
German makes it clear that it just isn't his style.
'I will try as long as it is sensible', he said. 'It's not a
matter of defending.'
Currently leading the Drivers' Championship with 76 points,
his closest rival is younger brother Ralf; a mammoth 46 in
arrears the Schumacher-Ferrari juggernaut.
The already four-times a champion also responded to Ferrari
President Luca di Montezemolo's assertion that he'll be
hanging up his scarlet hat. To ensure the Scuderia's long-term
future, Schumacher said, 'We will push him to stick with 'the
He added, 'I hope that is not the case simply because he has
been very important for Ferrari and for their success.'
And, just to keep his rivals in check, the German confirms
that despite his poor Silverstone record, the 2002 British
Grand Prix should be another all-scarlet affair.
'My poor record here is just probably because I've been
disqualified or knocked out too often', he smiled.
'We're in better shape this year than we have been in either
of the last two years. Last year we were quite clearly quick.
But the test Rubens did shows we are strong, and with the
package we should be sorted out for here, although we have to
see if it is true.'
Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher were the clear
pace-setters in the wet Friday Practice.
FIA Heads Team-Order Reform
The FIA have launched their campaign to review the Formula One
sporting regulations governing team orders.
'Impotent' to sanction Scuderia Ferrari's controversial and
highly-unpopular race fixing at the Austrian Grand Prix, the
governing body is consulting 'all of motor sport's
stakeholders', from racing fans to team principals, before the
newly formed working group makes its final recommendations.
Launched on a new FIA website yesterday, the working group
proposes to fundamentally alter the way in which teams are
free to impose race-altering orders.
For example, the working group suggests that team orders
should be made public, and pre-arranged team orders should be
instigated at the start of a race. The FIA additionally
maintains that any team order that interferes with the racing,
such as between teams, in unacceptable.
A brief history of team orders, however, suggests that team
orders have been a part of Formula One from its earliest
- In the Fangio days, a team leader could borrow his
team-mate's car in the middle of the race, if his own car
broke down with a mechanical failure,
- In the 1970s, Ronnie Peterson sat behind Mario Andretti in
several races, but accepted the position because Andretti had
developed the Lotus, and he had signed a contract to be the
number two driver,
- Mansell, Coulthard, Villeneuve, Barrichello, Salo, and even
Michael Schumacher moved aside for their respective team-mates
to give them an added advantage to win the championship.
The man at the helm of the A1-Ring controversy, Michael
Schumacher, is hesitant that an emotional crowd reaction
should dictate fundamental rule changes in Formula One.
'Racing has been going on like this throughout its history',
said the German.
'Its natural emotions will change with circumstances, and
circumstances have been different this year from a fan's point
of view. You cannot make rules for emotions. That's
To make your voice heard, send your email suggestion to the
FIA at email@example.com
by September 1.
Arrows To Qualify Today?
Despite missing both Free Practice sessions on a wet British
Grand Prix Friday, the struggling Arrows team will reportedly
take to the track for qualifying today.
After missing the Thursday deadline at Silverstone
International, Arrows were granted a scrutineering extension
until 10am yesterday. As the F1 action sprung into life at the
sodden British track, FIA inspectors cleared Arrows' A23
contenders to race.
One minor missing detail, however, were the ECU control boxes
which govern the V10 Cosworth engines. Still without the
nearly $7m of unpaid bills, Jaguar chief Niki Lauda remained
firm that Arrows' motors would not bark into life on Friday.
While the rain teemed on the Silverstone circuit, Arrows
principal Tom Walkinshaw was deep in discussion with F1
supremo Bernie Ecclestone. A meeting was lined up between Tom,
Bernie, Niki and other Ford and Cosworth chiefs.
Team drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Enrique Bernoldi were
spotted in the Silverstone paddock while the scream of F1
engines filled the Northamptonshire skies. Somewhat confused,
they were confident of qualifying their Orange mounts tomorrow
Meanwhile, Tom, Bernie, Niki, Cosworth's commercial director
Bernard Ferguson and CEO Brendan Connor sat down for emergency
negotiation. With shareholders Morgan Grenfell still blocking
the sale of Arrows to a new consortium, Walkinshaw made it
clear that the cash was 'not yet' able to change hands.
It is understood, however, that Bernie Ecclestone may have
offered to pay Cosworth Arrows' outstanding debts in a loan to
As we peered into the OrangeArrows garage on Friday evening,
three A23's sat curiously alone, unattended. An hour later,
Heinz and Enrique's race-cars were swarmed with Leafield
For the time being, however, the Arrows line was one of
official waiting. 'We are still waiting,' a spokesman told us.
'Tom has been in meetings all day, while we wait and hope. The
cars never made first practice and within the rules we have
until qualifying at 1pm tomorrow to be there'.
Salo Sits Out Friday
After a painful installation lap, Toyota's Mika Salo called
Friday Free Practice quits at Silverstone International.
Reeling with severe stomach pains, the 35-year-old was
instructed to sit the two hour-long sessions out; the official
diagnosis being Food Poisoning.
'I did not feel too well when I woke up this morning', the
Finn said. 'I went out at the beginning of session one to do
an installation lap to see if the car was okay, but my stomach
was really painful.
'Team doctor, Riccardo Ceccarelli, examined me and said that I
have a kind of stomach infection.
'He recommended I rest today and is quite confident that I can
drive again tomorrow.'
If Salo is too unwell to qualify his TF102 later today,
Toyota-contracted F3000 driver Ryan Briscoe would be favourite
to replace the Finn.
In a curious opening session, only eighteen (of 22) Formula
One cars posted a time. The two Arrows runners without
engines, Michael Schumacher failed to set a lap-time when he
spun his Ferrari.
China Eyes F1 Race
The Chinese city of Shanghai will invest more than $180
million in building a Formula One-standard Grand Prix
Targeting 2004 or 2005 as their inaugural F1 event, the 5.3
kilometer circuit will compete with Beijing and Wuhan City who
are also vying to be hosts of the first-ever Grand Prix of
While initial construction kicks off in a matter of weeks,
China's Automobile Sporting Authority reports that 'Many
issues remain unclear.'
Beijing, for one, have also submitted their track and facility
plans to be considered by their domestic racing authority.
Bernie Ecclestone, at any rate, is known to be keen on
expanding Formula One's popularly in the Far East.
China completed an international circuit in Zhuhai a few years
ago, eventually rejected by the FIA on the grounds that it did
not meet Formula One standards.
Irvine Reserves Judgment
Eddie Irvine is reserving his judgment on the heavily-revised
R3b until the Northamptonshire skies clear.
On a sodden Silverstone circuit yesterday, the 37-year-old
Ulsterman was a promising fifth position in the opening
session before ending the day fifteenth.
Any comparison with the car's dismal predecessor, however,
will have to wait until after substantial dry running in
'For sure you can have your ideas but in these conditions what
you think and what is real are two different things', Irvine
So Eddie, what do you think? 'I'm positive about some things
and negative about others.'
'But all I can do is note what we think but not draw any
Eddie Irvine, after revealing his boredom with contesting
Formula One from the rear of the grid, says he will retire if
the R3b does not 'fly'.
'Obviously today we would have liked to get some miles in and
get a proper feel for it but we weren't lucky in that
respect', he said, referring to the rain-soaked Silverstone
'It's impossible to know what the story is. Generally though,
the car is better in some areas, but there were a few issues
'It could be a simple fix or it could take us longer. We don't
know because we haven't done any running'.
'It is easier to drive, though. The rear end, for sure, is
more stable on the entry but it is way too early to say really
what the true story is. For sure, we have got a lot more
downforce but it is being able to use it which is the
important thing and we probably can't use all the potential'.
Turning his attention to his driving future, Eddie Irvine
revealed the continuing pressure of performing in Formula One.
'If you do good, you stay', he said plainly. If you don't, you
'It's the same for every driver in the pitlane. We've got to
just keep working on this car, trying to make it reasonable
and then hopefully we can get some results.
'Until then, I'm not making any decisions.'
Jaguar team-mate Pedro de la Rosa was three tenths quicker
yesterday, the Spaniard in thirteenth place.
Rivals Admire F2002
Williams and McLaren chiefs have paid tribute to Ferrari's
clearly dominant F2002 contender.
BMW.Williams technical director, Patrick Head, concedes that
this year's scarlet racer is 'certainly better' than their own
FW24. 'In truth', the Briton said, 'The Ferrari is an
'It certainly has been better than ours so far and it's very
difficult to imagine that we can challenge them in either
championship. But we'll still be trying as hard as we can
Managing Director at McLaren, Martin Whitmarsh, admits to the
reality that 'Ferrari have done a really good job with their
'I guess, like Patrick, we don't over-resign ourselves to not
winning the championship, but we recognise the difficulty of
going out there and trying to win a race, let alone win a
'But I think you always, throughout the year, strive to
improve your car and do a better job. You've got to look and
compete throughout the whole season. If you don't try and go
out there and compete then I think the momentum of the team
falls away and you're not there trying to win races.
'So certainly, at the moment, we are not looking to the
championship, we are looking to try and win a few races during
the rest of this year'.
As the F1 circus prepares for Sunday's round ten of the 2002
championship, Ferrari have netted an impressive seven Grands
Prix this year.
Silverstone Jinx For HHF
Arrows driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen must be thinking his
annual visit to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix is
Last year, a rapidly souring relationship with Eddie Jordan
came to a head when the German was fired at the British Grand
Prix. This year, new team Arrows floundering with debt,
Frentzen's driving career could once again be thrown into
'The weekend in Silverstone started with waiting,' the
talented veteran from Monchengladbach said.
'We couldn't take part in first practice. But I am here and
ready to get into the race weekend. At the moment I don't know
how it will go on, I have to wait for the information of the
team. So I can't say anything.
'I have to wait until things are sorted out.'
As the sound of practicing F1 cars filled the Northamptonshire
skies, we bumped into plain-clothed Heinz and teammate Enrique
Bernoldi as they hopped from one Orange-clad motorhome to the
next. 'We can't talk to you', said the German.
'But we will be racing. It will be resolved tomorrow
While teams are permitted to miss Free Practice, every
competitor must qualify for Sunday's British Grand Prix.
Three Cars For Grandees?
With Arrows' Grand Prix future on the rocks, the issue of
Formula One's 'big three' teams running a trio of contenders
has once again risen.
If the field dips below eighteen runners, the Concorde
Agreement contains a clause which could request the leading
teams to introduce a third car and driver to the world
championship to boost the grid.
Williams technical director Patrick Head is concerned that
running a third car would potentially introduce myriad
additional considerations for F1's grandees.
'I obviously hope that Arrows do manage to continue, but
running a third car is a considerable extra cost', said the
'Before anything like that would be able to be done, one would
have to work out what mechanism would achieve the income that
would allow one to run a third car.
The tech boss is additionally concerned that the top teams,
with multiple runners, would monopolise the points-scoring
'I think it's got some downsides in that generally the top
teams are pretty reliable. At the moment with Ferrari,
Williams and McLaren it takes one of those team's cars to
break down for the middle teams to pick up six and fifth
'If you have got the top three teams running three cars each,
that's the first nine positions filled, so four of them have
to break down before a middle ranking team can get a point.
'So I think it has got some down sides for the teams that
aren't right at the top but we are not there yet and I hope,
obviously, Formula One can be strengthened so that we can
continue to run as ten-plus teams'.
Alain Prost's Guyencourt team was the first to collapse
earlier this year, while Minardi and Arrows' mid-term future
is far from secure.
F1 News From Silverstone
- McLaren have renewed their sponsorship deal with technology
partners, Bae Systems, for five more years. A prime contractor
and systems integrator in the air, land, sea, and space
defence market sectors, the Bae Systems logo will appear on
the airbox of the West McLaren Mercedes Formula One car.
- Not content to restrict themselves to mechanics, engineers
and computer technicians, the Jordan team has turned to a
dentist to resolve a problem with the EJ12's hydraulic pump.
Technical Director Gary Anderson revealed that 'The pump
required very intricate work inside a 15mm diameter hole. We
didn't have the equipment but I knew there must be a way of
solving the problem. I called my dentist, took six pumps to
him and he did a really good job. We ran them in Austria and
came fifth'. Yes Gary, but did you get a free sticker and
- Ross Brawn and several leading Formula One personnel are
concerned that the wet tire regulations will restrict track
time this weekend at Silverstone. While ten dry tires are
allocated per weekend, the continuing rain this weekend means
that just 7 sets of wet tires will limit the driver's total
laps in the lead up to qualifying and the race.
- The Jaguar team have instructed Pedro de la Rosa and Eddie
Irvine to take care on the slippery Silverstone circuit.
According to our sources, the Milton-Keynes team have only two
sets of the heavily-revised aerodynamic kits here this
weekend; currently mounted on the two R3b race chassis'.
- Minardi ace Mark Webber led home a field of F1 photographers
at the Daytona go-kart track near Milton-Keynes last week.
Organized by Sutton Motorsport Images, the 25-year-old Aussie
pushed his way through the field to take the checkered flag
first. 'There were no favors out there today,' said Webber.
'The Suttons lot gave it their all and we had some fantastic
racing on a damp track.'
- The troubled Kirch Media company will probably be taken over
next week as interested parties prepare their bids for the
insolvent empire. With the major asset being a 75% stake in
Formula One's commercial rights (SLEC), Commerzbank, film
studio Colombia-Tristar and US investor Chaim Saban are among
favourites to snatch up the company.
- With helicopter being the preferred route for F1 personnel
into the Silverstone circuit, keen spotters were intrigued to
see a small, scarlet-clad Frenchman hop out of the
BMW.Williams chopper as it landed at the track. Jean Todt,
Ferrari team principal, also reportedly enjoyed lunch at Sir
Frank Williams' Oxfordshire house before hitching a ride to
the track. Interesting...
- Juan Pablo Montoya's failed BMW engine is already en route
to the German manufacturer's Munich base for analysis. The
Colombian managed just five damp laps before the unit grenaded
in a cloud of grey smoke. 'As the engine continued running for
quite a while after the problem appeared, we will not be able
to find out the reason for the failure here at the race
track', said Motorsport Director, Dr Mario Theissen.
- McLaren chief Ron Dennis has his fingers crossed that
conditions do not stay variable for this weekend's British
Grand Prix. 'Our performance in the extreme wet is not too
bad, but in the intermediate conditions towards the end of the
second session we just lacked grip', said the Briton.
'Whatever the weather brings for the rest of the weekend let's
hope it's at either end of the spectrum and not in the
- Despite Silverstone International's new access roads at
Dadford road and the A43, Formula One personnel have admitted
they will not be wrestling the notorious British GP traffic
this weekend. At the Friday Press Conference, this open
question was posed: How did each of you get to the circuit
this weekend? 'Through the back entrance', said Allan McNish.
'I'm staying in the circuit so it is no hassle', said Jenson
Button. 'Helicopter', said Eddie Irvine and Martin Whitmarsh.
'In by helicopter, out on a scooter', said Patrick Head.
- We hear that ex-F1 and CART star Alex Zanardi is attending
the Molson Indy event at Toronto (Canada) this weekend. The
trek from Monaco is the Italian's first motor-racing event
since he lost both legs in a horror 200mph accident in Germany
last year. 'Optimism is what drives me the most,' the
inspiring driver said. In August, the CART series will travel
to Montreal for their first race at the Circuit Gilles
Villeneuve. 'It is going to be interesting to see how CART
compares to Formula One', Zanardi said. 'I'm expecting the
cars to be not that far away from F1 in lap times [if CART
still used soft tires, not the hard spec tires Bridgestone now
- Czech driver Tomas Enge sits on pole for the British F3000
race later today, the Arden Team Russia driver six tenths
faster than Sebastien Bourdais despite a late spin at Copse.
'I didn't mean to do it,' said Enge. 'But it must have looked
good for the spectators!' Giorgio Pantano lines up third for
Coloni, ahead of Petrobras Junior runners Ricardo Sperafico
and Antonio Pizzonia.
- We have been reliably informed that the Silverstone skies
will remain cloudy, but rain-free on qualifying day (Saturday)
today. For the race tomorrow, a slight chance of rain will
linger as a mostly cloudy day, and a pleasant 18°C, awaits the
British Grand Prix.
- We are always interested to note how tobacco-branded F1
contenders deal with the total ban for the British Grand Prix.
Instead of Mild Seven, the Renault's read 'Blue World' on
their R202s, while BAR have opted for the familiar 'Look
Alike' branding. Ferrari carry blank white patches, while
instead of Benson & Hedges, the Jordan rear wing reads 'BE ON
EDGE'. McLaren are running 'David' and 'Kimi' liveries. Other
livery changes of note are Minardi's new green 'Quadriga'
airbox, Williams' HP branding and Felipe Massa's helmet design
in tribute of Brazil's World Cup success.
On This F1 Day...
Today we remember British driver T C (Cuth) Harrison, born on
July 6 in 1906.
Contesting just three modern Formula One races in the
inaugural championship year of 1950, his only Grand Prix
finish was at the first-ever Silverstone race where he
finished seventh for ERA.
Dying in 1981, Cuth would have been 96 today.
Another British-driver, Ian Burgess, was also born on this
day, in 1930. Contesting 16 Grands Prix between 1958 and '63,
his best finish was sixth place at the 1959 Grand Prix of
Germany, held in Berlin, for Cooper.
He is 72 today.
Italian-born Luigi Musso shared the winning car with Fangio in
the 1956 Argentine Grand Prix. The 24-times a Grand Prix
starter was killed in the 1958 French Grand Prix on this day
44 years ago.
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