F1 Hot News
By Andrew Maitland
July 8, 2002
Driver Analysis: British GP
1- Michael Schumacher (Ferrari): Stormed home on superior
Bridgestone tires for a faultless 60th career victory. 'It is
also an ideal situation for the championship. The whole car-tire
package worked well, and I thank Ross (Brawn) for making the
right decisions on strategy.'
2- Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari): Completes the scarlet 1-2
after fighting from last on the grid. 'After stalling on the
grid, I stayed calm and started to pass people. I spun when I
touched a kerb, and enjoyed a fair fight with Montoya.'
3- Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams): After a defensive fight with
Schumacher, struggled to make his Michelin's work in the wet.
'It was a crazy race. I couldn't keep Michael back, but then
the rain decided the race because our tires didn't have the
4- Jacques Villeneuve (BAR): Heads the team's first points for
2002 with an impressive drive. 'It was a very tricky race, but
so great for the team. The car and circuit really suited each
other and the result is a credit to us.'
5- Olivier Panis (BAR): With patience and a solid drive,
completed a great day for Brackley. 'I'm very, very happy.
Sometimes these things takes time but it's like good food -
you need to wait.'
6- Nick Heidfeld (Sauber): Also on Bridgestones, pushed hard
to net the final point at Silverstone. 'My first set of tires
didn't seem to work, but was better on Inters. The car was
good and I was able to push hard.'
7- Giancarlo Fisichella (Jordan): Just failed to score a point
for the locally-based outfit. 'Seventh is alright, but it
would have been fantastic to score points today. I drove well,
but the car was very nervous.'
8- Ralf Schumacher (Williams): Ran strongly until the rain and
a broken fuel rig ended his luck. 'We were clearly the best
Michelin team, but the fuel rig problem leaves me very
9- Felipe Massa (Sauber): With multiple spins, the Brazilian
was lucky to finish. 'The track was very slippery in the early
laps, and I was quicker than several people, but I'd lost too
much time for points.'
10- David Coulthard (McLaren): Multiple pitstops, poor wet
Michelin rubber and communication breakdown marred his day. 'A
terrible afternoon. While the mechanics could hear me, the
pitwall couldn't. We made a mistake by staying out on slicks
and had braking problems.'
11- Pedro de la Rosa (Jaguar): Did well to cross the finish
line intact with valuable R3b data. 'We took full wets, which
was a mistake. We did our best and have a good data bank of
information to take away and analyze.'
12- Jenson Button (Renault): Like other Michelin runners,
Jenson's luck ended with the rain. 'Everything was working
well, despite some understeer. When the rain came, the
Bridgestones were simply flying. At the end, had a problem
with the front wheel.'
13- Takuma Sato (Jordan): Another engine failure prevented
Taku from scoring a debut point. 'After we changed to
intermediates, the handling was very good and I continued to
get a good run on dry tires. But then sadly the engine just
14- Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren): Ran strongly until tire, pitstop
and engine gremlins ended his day. 'I was as quick as the
leaders early on, overtaking Ralf; and then the rain started.
I didn't inform the crew early enough for the pitstop, then an
engine problem finished my race.'
15- Jarno Trulli (Renault): A strong runner until the rain,
electrical problems halted his R202. 'It was a tough race!
Then electronic problems started: the car lacked traction, and
the gearbox started downshifting on its own. I was losing so
much time that all I could do was retire.'
16- Enrique Bernoldi (Arrows): Would have scored points, a
failure ending a dismal weekend for the team. 'I was able to
push hard and was thoroughly enjoying the race. In the end it
didn't matter as I stopped for good.'
17- Eddie Irvine (Jaguar): 'In his crucial British Grand Prix,
Irvine ended the day in the gravel. 'The conditions were very
tricky, making us stop for full wets. I lost grip on a kerb
coming out of Stowe.'
18- Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Arrows): Chasing Ralf for third
place, an engine failure ended the chance of points. 'That was
the most fun we have had this weekend! We were definitely in
for a lot of points today and Ralf would have been easy meat.'
19- Mika Salo (Toyota): When the rain hit, a small spin broke
the drive train. 'When the rain started our lack of downforce
really showed and we struggled with little grip. Very
disappointing after such a good qualifying yesterday.'
20- Mark Webber (Minardi): On lap ten, a little mistake
stranded the Aussie in the Stowe gravel. 'The car just snapped
into a high-speed spin. It's disappointing, because we could
have finished well.'
21- Allan McNish (Toyota): In his first home Grand Prix,
everything went wrong for the Scot. 'The lights went green,
the clutch groaned and the engine stalled. Needless to say I
am extremely disappointed, not only for myself and the team
but for the fans supporting me here at my home race.'
22- Alex Yoong (Minardi): Did not qualify.
Team Analysis: British GP
Scuderia Ferrari (1 and 2): A consummate performance with
clearly dominant Bridgestone wet tires. The Scuderia's twelfth
British Grand Prix triumph. Jean Todt: 'It has been an
exceptional day, with a fantastic one-two scored on our
rivals' home turf. Our entire package was excellent: the
drivers, the team, the cars and the Bridgestone tires.'
BMW.Williams (3 and 8): A difficult race marred by
underperforming Michelin wets and fuel-rig problems. Sam
Michael: 'A good conclusion for Juan to what was a really
difficult race. Juan did well to claim a podium position and
the points to go with it in all of the changeable racing
BAR Honda (4 and 5): Finally some good news for the Brackley,
a strong performance and five debut 2002 points. Olivier
Panis: 'I consider this a good step forward for the team but
let's keep focus and remember that we have a lot of work ahead
Sauber Petronas (6 and 9): Nick Heidfeld struggling with grip
and Felipe struggling to keep pointed in the right director, a
good result. Peter Sauber: 'We did well to salvage sixth place
this afternoon. Congratulations to the team for great pitwork,
and to the drivers for fighting performances.'
Jordan Honda (7 and DNF): Just meters from their Silverstone
factory, seventh place and an engine failure is a
disappointing result. Eddie Jordan: 'I'm sorry we didn't score
a better result for all our staff who are here today. I am
certain that better races are in store for us.'
McLaren Mercedes (10 and DNF): With no grip from the Michelin
wets, McLaren endured a dismal Sunday's racing at Silverstone.
Ron Dennis: 'Unexpected pitstops coupled with significant
interference on our pitwall communications systems did not
place us in a position for even a top six result. As always we
will learn from our mistakes.'
Jaguar Cosworth (11 and DNF): Failed to meet expectations or
make noticeable gains with their heavily-revised package. Niki
Lauda: 'It's been a long and difficult weekend for us, and we
have many issues to address. We have learned a great deal
about our new package and quite simply, we still have a fair
way to go before we are satisfied.'
Renault (DNF and DNF): Poor balance, no grip from the tires
and two failures speak for themselves. Mike Gascoyne: 'Jarno
suffered electronic problems, and after Jenson stopped with
the problem on the left front wheel, we decided to retire him
as there was little point continuing given his position.'
Arrows Cosworth (DNF and DNF): Would have wound up in the
points, but instead fittingly ending a dismal Silverstone
weekend. Graham Taylor: 'It was certainly good to see our cars
swarming all over some of the more significant Michelin
runners, but to not finish is a huge shame.'
Toyota (DNF and DNF): A clutch failure on McNish's car and a
low-grip spin ended Toyota's run early on. Ove Andersson: 'A
weekend to forget for us, but again there is plenty to learn
from. Our car is clearly not as good in the wet as in the dry
and we have to work on this.'
Minardi (DNF and DNQ): While Yoong failed to make the grade in
qualifying, Webber made his first mistake of the year at
Stowe. Paul Stoddart: 'Sadly, today was not as productive as
we hoped it might be. Given the changing conditions, it was a
perfect race for KL Minardi Asiatech to have scored a point.'
Irvine Ready To Walk?
Eddie Irvine has refused to confirm reports that he will hang
up his helmet before the year is out, the Ulsterman saying
that he's taking it 'day by day'.
After failing to shine in the much touted, heavily-revised R3b
package, the 37-year-old was compelled to respond to claims
that today's British Grand Prix could have been his last.
'The speculation surrounding my future continues', the Jaguar
driver said. 'There have been stories saying that if I don't
do well on Sunday I'll quit the sport,' he told the Sun
'It's not as simple as that and I have not set myself any
deadlines on making a decision. We are taking it day by day
but it would obviously be very sad if this turned out to be my
final British Grand Prix.'
His three-year contract up for renewal, Irvine promised to
'walk into the sunset' if the Silverstone aero-kit failed to
And fly it did not; unless you count a high-speed conversation
with a Silverstone tire barrier...
'The grip level on the track was far from ideal and on lap 23
I lost grip coming out of Stowe', the 37-year-old confirmed.
'The car spun completely off the track and buried itself in
the gravel trap. Not the way to leave your mark on your home
race, but with only eleven cars finishing the race today, it
isn't hard to appreciate the challenges that everyone was
faced with today.
'Some got lucky, some didn't!'
Schumacher Relishes Challenge
While Rubens Barrichello is proving a match for teammate
Michael Schumacher lately, the feisty German is relishing the
challenge of an all-scarlet duel.
Trouncing the champion at the A1-Ring, the Brazilian continued
to out-shine his illustrious Ferrari cohort at the Nurburgring
and during qualifying for yesterday's British Grand Prix.
If Schumacher is feeling the pressure, however, he certainly
isn't letting it show. 'It is always a good challenge fighting
with your teammate,' he said.
'When Rubens does better in practice and qualifying it just
pushes me to try even harder. Of course, we will try and find
out why and try to modify my car to try similar set-ups.
'Very often it works, but sometimes, like qualifying at
Silverstone, unfortunately I have not managed to do better.'
Rubens was ordered aside for Schumacher after dominating the
Austrian Grand Prix in May, the scarlet pitwall sparking a
global controversy. At yesterday's British race, Schumacher
led home the fourth Ferrari one-two this year.
'This is a very special win for me, as I have not finished
first so often here and it is also my 60th win', the German
'It is also an ideal situation for the championship.'
A repeat of today's performance will see Michael Schumacher
snare his fifth world championship crown.
Castroneves Linked To McLaren
McLaren chief Ron Dennis has rubbished claims that Indy Racing
League ace Helio Castroneves is eyeing a silver seat at Woking.
While the team principal grapples with contracted drivers
David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen and 'sabbatical-boy' Mika
Hakkinen, the Briton admits that unproven Brazilians from
across the Atlantic are the furthest thing from his mind.
'There are quite a few humorous things I could say in
response,' Dennis said with a chuckle. 'But the truth is I
can't even spell his name!'
While the back-to-back Indy 500 star impressed in his recent
Toyota F1 test at Paul Ricard, Dennis remains firm that there
is 'Absolutely no foundation' to the wild rumor.
While Castroneves might have to be content with his red and
white Penske for now, Dennis admits that a few changes are on
the cards for Woking next year.
'We are not winning at the moment and when that is the case,
you have to evaluate every aspect of your operation,' Dennis
adds. 'There are a range of decisions we are currently working
on and should be in a position to say something within the
month of July.'
Among the 'range' of decisions, is no doubt the team's 2002
driver line-up. While David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen are
expected to keep their silver seats next year, Mika Hakkinen
holds an option for a racing return.
Bernie Slams Silverstone
As 20,000 motorists grappled their way out of the revised
Silverstone International last night, Bernie Ecclestone
slammed the track after $10m of circuit revisions.
Issued a stern ultimatum late last year, promoters Octagon
were forced to pay a $8m performance bond pending rapid
improvements to circuit access, parking and traffic chaos.
The new Dadford road and 18,000 parking spaces later, and the
F1 Supremo remains unmoved that the British Grand Prix remains
'The worst event' on the calendar.
'I've looked at the car parks and everything else,' the
71-year-old Briton said yesterday at Silverstone. 'The new
roads are down to the Government. The rest hasn't changed too
'I'm not impressed and it's dreadful for the public. It's
chaos, nobody knows where they're going or where they've been.
There are no signs, nothing.'
Despite staging the inaugural modern championship race in
1950, Ecclestone is convinced that the past is 'Where it
belongs - history. It's probably worse than most other races.'
The stern warning to Silverstone comes just weeks after
Ecclestone quipped that 'three or four' current Grand Prix
tracks would lose their spot on the future F1 calendar.
Russia, China, Turkey, Bahrain and others are all lining up to
taste the benefits of the pinnacle of motorsports.
Michelin Struggle In Wet
Even Pierre Dupasquier's damage-limitation PR after
yesterday's showery British Grand Prix was not enough to hide
Michelin's slippery deficit to rival tire manufacturer
All bets were off as the rain came tumbling down on the 5.14km
Northamptonshire track, Juan Pablo Montoya's feisty defence of
Michael Schumacher coming to and end when his full-wet French
rubber failed to grip the circuit.
The scarlet juggernaut, shod with superb Intermediate
Bridgestone rubber, highlighted Michelin's urgent need to
further develop their wet rubber.
Motorsport Director Dupasquier, however, remained defiant that
the Michelin's weren't to blame for the scarlet whitewhash.
'There were some very positive aspects', the Frenchman said
'Our intermediate tires have been much maligned in the past,
but if you look at the lap times David Coulthard was doing
they stood up very well in today's conditions.
'McLaren was a bit unfortunate today: the weather conditions
were unpredictable and although the team's tire gambles didn't
pay off, they could well have done. It was a risk worth
A leading Michelin runner revealed that, with the
Intermediates simply not up to scratch, intermittent rain left
him without an option at Silverstone today. 'It was too
slippery for grooved tires, and not wet enough for full wets.
'We need an Inter like Bridgestone'.
Towards the end of a highly defensive 60-laps, Juan Pablo
Montoya found himself overtaken by Ferrari runner Rubens
Barrichello. Pierre Dupasquier continues, however, that no-one
was able to compete with Ferrari in yesterday's British Grand
'They (Ferrari) weren't just three to four seconds per lap
faster than our cars, they were that much faster than
everybody', he added. 'This included Villeneuve, Heidfeld and
Fisichella who are all exceptionally good drivers in the rain
- but they were on the same (Bridgestone) tires and were all
three to four seconds per lap slower (than Ferrari).
'Juan Pablo did a really good race, with a correct strategy,
finishing at 31 seconds from the winner.'
Pay-Day At Brackley
Four months into the 2002 season, BAR-Honda have finally
netted their first points of the season with a strong showing
at the British Grand Prix.
Clearly benefiting from superior wet Bridgestone rubber, the
locally-based Brackley outfit - led by David Richards -
welcomed home French-Canadian Jacques Villeneuve for a solid
fourth place and three vital championship points.
After so much 2002 toil, Jacques is delighted to relieve BAR
of their status as the only Formula One outfit scoreless this
year. 'It has been a long time coming but today's result is
fantastic for the team,' he said.
'It was a very tricky race and to get both cars home in the
points in those conditions is great for everybody. I've had a
very good three days here; we just kept improving the car
throughout every session.
'For the first time this season, we were confident that for
once we didn't have to rely on luck to be in with a chance of
a points finish. We were actually competitive enough and the
car and circuit really suited each other', added the 1997 and
'97 Silverstone winner.
Consolidating pay-day for the struggling team was Frenchman
Olivier Panis, following his cohort home for an additional two
BAR points. 'I'm very, very happy,' he smiled.
'This is a fantastic day for me and for the team, especially
as this was our home Grand Prix. I'm really pleased that we
were able to put on a good show for all the staff in the
grandstands -this result is exactly what they needed.
'From 13th position it was a hell of a fight because of the
weather conditions, but I had a lot of fun along the way.
After all the problems I had on Friday and Saturday, the team
reacted with great professionalism and determination.
'I would like to take this opportunity to thank Honda for all
their hard work because we have great respect for what they
are trying to do. Sometimes these things take time but it's
like good food - you need to wait.
'Last but not least, a special thank you to Bridgestone, whose
continued efforts paid off especially well in today's
'I consider this a good step forward for the team but let's
keep focus and remember that we have a lot of work ahead of
The Formula One circus moves on to country France in two
weeks, for the picturesque event at Magny-Cours.
Bridgestone Conquer Rain
Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone scored a clear victory
over rivals Michelin in yesterday's showery British Grand
Effectively winning the race with their V-treaded Intermediate
tire, Bridgestone technical director Hisao Suganuma toasted a
Ferrari one-two and five out of the six points-scoring
'I am very proud of our performance today,' he said. 'The
overall result with all but one of the top seven cars on our
tires is down to the competitiveness of our intermediates in
the damp conditions, and they survived reasonably well as the
track dried out too.'
With most Michelin contenders opting for either grooved tires
or full wets, the changeable Silverstone circuit highlights
the need for a competitive Intermediate tire.
Even on dries, however, Bridgestone were confident of taking
the fight to their French counterparts. 'During the early laps
and at the end, we also showed that our dry tires were
'Nevertheless, we won't be sitting back, we will continue to
work hard and
Ferrari Technical Director Ross Brawn, who steered Michael
Schumacher's winning Bridgestone strategy, praised the
Japanese rubber at the British Grand Prix.
'We had the best tires today, both in the dry and the wet,' he
F1 News In Brief
- The Swiss Sauber team welcomed Malaysian driver Mohamed
Fairuz into their Silverstone garage on Saturday. Fairuz, a
19-year-old British Formula 3 charger accompanied Dad - Fauzy
- a prominent man of the Malaysian karting and Motorsports
scene. According to Peter Sauber, the team chief is 'Happy to
support the efforts of the [Malaysian] government to prepare
young racers for the more senior Formulas.' The Swiss boss
then confirmed that Sauber will prepare a young driver program
to help develop young Malaysian driving talent. 'We'll make a
full announcement of this program in due course.'
- In Free Practice for the weekend's British Grand Prix, keen
track spotters may have noticed Ferrari experimenting with
different colored rain lights. As well as the usual bright red
version, the F2002s of Michael Schumacher and Rubens
Barrichello also tried a fluorescent blue tail-light for
improved rain visibility. The champion was unconvinced: 'It
did not have the effect we were expecting', Schumacher said.
'Actually, when it rains very hard and the car in front is
throwing up so much water, you can't see anything, whatever
the color of the light!' Toyota were also spotted with blue
- BMW.Williams technical Director Patrick Head has angrily
called for a rapid fix to Ralf Schumacher's failed fuel rig.
Holding fourth place, the German was forced out of the points
when his FW24 struggled to have any fuel delivered. 'It's
disappointing not to get 4th place with Ralf,' he said, 'But
we had another refueling rig problem. We've got to find out
what the problem is because it's the second time it's hit Ralf
this season, with equipment that really should be sorted.'
- Within hours of the British Grand Prix close, Michelin had
already turned their attention to the upcoming races on the
2002 calendar. With the heavily-revised Hockenheim circuit set
for debut in four weeks' time, Pierre Dupasquier says that the
German GP-spec tires are 'Not yet finalized because we are
still analyzing the layout. It really will be a step into the
unknown. It is so new that there haven't been any races at all
there yet - the first will be the Formula 3000 event that acts
as a curtain-raiser to the German GP two weeks from now.'
- Feeling a little weary? Spare a thought for Australian F1
fans today recovering from their 5 - 7am coverage of
yesterday's British Grand Prix. With the Wimbledon clash,
programmers at Channel 9 decided to air an additional seven
hours of domestic Rugby, MAD TV, and a program called The Big
Fish before televising the taped Silverstone action; and more
of the same is planned for the French Grand Prix at
Magny-Cours in two weeks' time. Since their own Australian
Grand Prix in March, no live races have been aired 'down
under' this year. Not happy? Send your email complaints to
Network Head of Sports, Gary Burns at
On This F1 Day...
No Formula One birthdays today, but July 8 does mark the
fortieth (40) anniversary of Dan Gurney and Porsche's first
Formula One win at the 1962 Grand Prix of France at Rouen.
Starting from sixth on the grid, the American went on to win
the Belgian Grand Prix in his own Eagle and Le Mans on
successive weekends in 1967. One of the best and most
versatile American drivers, he also gave Brabham their first
Gurney's Eagles went on to be a mainstay of Indycar racing in
the seventies. After 86 races, he converted four career wins
from 3 poles.
On this day in 1984, British great Nigel Mansell started from
his first career pole position in the United States Grand Prix
Driving the Lotus-Renault, the Englishman fell to sixth when
his gearbox suffered a failure.
A fiercely competitive driver - one of the best of his
generation - whose determination and talent finally netted a
richly deserved championship in 1992 after several attempts.
On this day in 1990, Ferrari drove to their 100th win with
Alain Prost at Paul Ricard.
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