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Should Hakkinen support Coulthard in  his title bid ? Have Your Say  
 Coulthard against two Schumachers ! 
Issue 19 - The Heretic  

18 - 25 June News  
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25-Jun: At the start of the European GP, Michael Schumacher moved across to block Ralf Schumacher from taking the lead. A move he later described as the maximum the rules allow and said "I had to make sure I would be first in the first corner, otherwise I would be in trouble. So I used the maximum that the rules allow you, to move over once, and tighten up the line. I think that's the way you have to work unfortunately. I don't think he touched the wall. It's tight and maybe for the person who has to lift off it seems unfair but on the other side that's the way the rules are written. You're allowed to do this and you have to make sure that you stay up front so we had this discussion at length some time ago and I think it's clear what is allowed and what isn't allowed."
Ralf Schumacher wasn't too happy about the move and had a chat with his brother immediately after the race but declined to comment and said "I do not want to say anything because I might regret it."
David Coulthard witnessed what happened between the two brothers and later said "It was nice to see Ralf having a chat with Michael after the race as he was clearly not happy. We looked for clarification on this last year and the powers that be gave their clarification that you are allowed to make one move. But I still maintain that if you do something that makes someone else take avoiding action or brake then that can't be right, but it doesn't seem to matter what I think."

24-Jun: What the teams and drivers said following the Race at the Nurburgring ... Report

24-Jun: At the post Race press conference for the European Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher indicated his delight to be able to win in front of his home crowd and said "Nothing better can happen than winning your home Grand Prix. We have had a superb weekend, we got pole position, we got the win, we had a nice race again together, Ralf and myself, until the stop and go, so it was quite an entertaining weekend - a tough weekend as well. Because in the end Juan Pablo was coming and pushing, so in this respect, we are very delighted to have finished where we did."
Michael described the problem he had with the spare car before the race and said "We had a problem in the warm-up. Precaution-wise, we changed some parts and we just wanted to do an installation lap. During the installation lap, something failed, I don't know what it was, and I had to stop. And it was at the worst point, obviously, because it was very far away from the pits, so I was wondering how to get back. I didn't see a scooter, just this scooter without a key, so I was lucky, suddenly a man appeared and gave me the key so I got going. Obviously, at this moment I thought that I should have enough time but you never know. You don't have time to watch on your watch. It's a strange feeling, stopping down there, and seeing your chances slipping away."
He indicated that their tyres had the upper hand today despite Ralf Schumacher pushing him hard during the first stint and said "Honestly, we struggled with the first set of tyres, we were a bit slow but then when we got the second set of tyres, things were sorted, we changed the balance of the car and I was much faster. So I think under normal circumstances, we should have been able to do it, but it would have been a very close battle."
As for the start when he moved across to prevent Ralf from passing him, Michael indicated that he played by the rules and said "The start wasn't as perfect as it was supposed to be. Again I had a little dip where I lost out a couple of meters and then I saw Ralf on the inside and obviously I knew the strategy I was on, not knowing what strategy they were on, thinking they may be only on, so I had to make sure I would be first in the first corner, otherwise I would be in trouble. So I used the maximum that the rules allow you, to move over once, and tighten up the line. I think that's the way you have to work unfortunately."
Michael believes that Magny Cours will be tough for them and the Michelin runners could do well there and expects it to be a battle between themselves and Williams  and said "Yes, it looks like it. Especially at Magny Cours, because that's quite a special circuit concerning tyres. I know Bridgestone is working very hard, and so is Michelin, so it's something which is on the edge, and whoever gets it just right is up front. That's the situation at the moment. This time we seemed to have the better end. Maybe next time we will be the other way around. But David just mentioned that somewhere they are losing out a bit and we don't know when they're going to fix it, but until then it is probably a white/blue/red battle.

Juan Pablo Montoya indicated that he doesn't really care what the critics say as he has been trying very hard and they got it right this time and said "You know the critics don't matter me to be honest. We have been trying very hard. The car was very competitive. Yesterday I was good in qualifying, I got a third, and today things started to turn my way. I had pretty good luck. The first few laps of the race I took it really steady. I knew Ralf and Michael were going to go, and I said 'take a couple of laps, get into it and just build up the pace slowly' and the car was really quick."
He described his car as amazing being able to push it hard and said "There was room in the car to go quick. The car was very positive, but I got it to handle so that I could drive it really smoothly and started to make up time. It was amazing."
As for where he thinks Williams are compared to Ferrari and McLaren, he said "I think we're a bit ahead of the McLaren a little bit at the moment, it's a bit surprising to be honest. With the Ferraris very similar I would think, we're slightly quicker but then we've still got to do a little bit more work because it's a little bit and a little bit but we're getting consistently up at the front so it's definitely getting better.

David Coulthard indicated that he was fortunate to finish in 3rd following the stop-go penalty for Ralf and said "I think under normal race pace circumstances we would have been fourth if Ralf hadn't have got his penalty, so to gain an extra place through that is obviously fortunate for me."
As for their clear lack of pace in the last 2 races, he said "We haven't just sat back because we couldn't be bothered. We haven't been as competitive as we would have liked in the last two races. Clearly in Canada, we don't know how fast I could have run because I had the problem with the suspension right from the green flag lap. We weren't very quick here in qualifying and clearly in the race we weren't a match for them either, so it was really recovery position this weekend and try and understand how we can improve for Magny Cours."
He admitted though that their lack of pace is not just a setup issue but more a fundamental problem and is expecting to be slightly off the pace at Magny Cours next week and said "We hope to be only four tenths off the pace at Magny Cours. I don't know! Let's wait and see but it's a track that with the nature of the corners can be quite hard on the tyres so in qualifying, again, unless the tyre that we have available to us works well on our car there I don't think we have something in the setup that we can change. So it's probably something a bit more fundamental."
As for his championship hopes, Coulthard indicated that he takes it a race at a time and said "As I said before I wasn't looking at points and there's no point looking now because the championship isn't decided until it's decided. I'll keep doing the best that I can and sometimes you can be driving well but not quite have the machinery and other times you have the machinery and don't drive so well so I've got to make sure I get both the elements together at the right time."

24-Jun: European GP - Race: Michael Schumacher wins the European Grand Prix ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and David Coulthard. Ralf Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Mika Hakkinen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

24-Jun: Following speculation about the future of Heinz Harald Frentzen at Jordan, Eddie Jordan has come out and confirmed that Frentzen has a two year contract with the team and will stay in 2002 and said "There seems to be a lot of talk in the media about Heinz's contract. Heinz signed a two year contract with us last year which means he will race with Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda, as always agreed, in 2002."
Frentzen is looking forward to more success with the team and said "Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda is a strong package and we are working hard to have a successful 2001 season and build for greater success in the future."

The Arrows team have taken up their option on Jos Verstappen for 2002. Tom Walkinshaw said "We're extremely happy that Jos has agreed to stay with OrangeArrows. We had an option on him for 2002 and Jos has agreed that we can exercise that option. Jos has shown this year that he is a fantastic racing driver who is improving all the time so we are very much looking forward to seeing him drive this team up the rankings, for the second half of this season and the next."
Jos Verstappen said "I'm very happy to be staying for another year as continuity in Formula One can never be underestimated. I have huge confidence in the OrangeArrows team and this shows they have confidence in me too. It's great that we have been able to do this at such an early stage in the season as it motivates me to focus on my driving without worrying about anything else. I would like to say thank you to Tom for having faith in me and providing the stability to help me progress."

24-Jun: European GP - Warm-up Session: Rubens Barrichello sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Michael Schumacher and Ralf Schumacher. Eddie Irvine, David Coulthard and Juan Pablo Montoya make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes 

23-Jun: At the post Qualifying press conference for the European Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher has expressed how special it was to win his 7th pole position in front of his home crowd  especially given the amount of time he lost during practice in the morning and said "Certainly, in particular the way it happened today because I couldn't do the second session of this morning due to a hydraulic leak we had and to sort the car out in the way they did, the team did a great job. Obviously boosted up by that, by being home and next to my brother. It's great"
Michael is hoping that a situation similar to Canada doesn't develop here during the race as he believes that Bridgestone have the better tyre and said "Looking at the practice and how it was going, our tyres look very good here, very consistent, a little bit different to what I have seen with Williams (Ralf and Juan Pablo). so we will found out whether it changes until tomorrow but so far we should have the better tyre for this weekend. But we were proofed wrong in the past so lets find out"
As for the lack of pace from McLaren, Michael indicated that he won't write them off until the end of the race and said "We have seen them - often this year - struggling in qualifying and then being competitive in the race, so I wouldn't be surprised if they would be again competitive  tomorrow, because it seems to be a different issue for them. For us, it's pretty even, but I don't write them off until the end of the race, I must say"

Ralf Schumacher indicated his surprise by the pace of his Williams and believes that it will be a difficult race and hopes for higher temperatures as that would suit their tyres and said "The whole car worked better than we all expected but as Michael said, certainly in qualifying we were able to do well with the tyre we have but it is not certain for the race and there has to be higher temperatures and a bit more rubber on the circuit which might develop during the race but I am sure we'll have a difficult race"
Ralf added that the race result will highly depend on the temperatures and said "The warmer, the Michelin, and that's what we are going to be waiting for tomorrow. We saw this in the two practices that we had this morning. One lap is always good for us, but then the performance seems to drop off quite dramatically, whereas the Bridgestone runners seem to be able to keep their performance. So it's going to be interesting"
As for the start tomorrow given that Ralf and Michael crashed out of the race here in 97 at the start, Michael interrupted and blamed the incident on Fisichella and said "Fisichella is not with us so nothing should happen to us" while Ralf said "We will approach it the same way we did in Montreal and that worked out"

Juan Pablo Montoya was reasonably happy with his qualifying session and hopes that he can end the race for a change and said "I think I had a pretty good qualifying, it wasn't the best of all. We did a couple of changes at the end of the session for the car and they didn't really pay off, but we had to try. I'm very pleased. The car is working well. We've had a pretty good day today so I'll try to get to the end tomorrow  for a change"
Asked if this good result has taken a bit of pressure off of him given the recent no-finishes that he had, Montoya didn't believe that was the case and indicated that only 2 out of the 8 failures were his fault and said "Not really, I've had about eight non-finishes, and two of them have been my fault, so not really"

23-Jun: What the teams and drivers said following Qualifying at the Nurburgring ... Report

23-Jun: European GP - Qualifying Session: Michael Schumacher grabs his 7th pole postilion of the season ahead of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya. Barrichello, Coulthard and Hakkinen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

23-Jun: European GP - 2nd Saturday Practice Session: Ralf Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Rubens Barrichello. Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

23-Jun: European GP - 1st Saturday Practice Session: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Ralf Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen. David Coulthard, Rubens Barrichello and Juan Pablo Montoya make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

22-Jun: The BMW Williams team have announced that they have extended Ralf Schumacher's contract until the end of 2004 making it a six year partnership. 
Frank Williams said "A very sound decision by the team which we are confident will be proven to be correct, time and time again, in the future. This signals our intent to continue the progress we have made together over the last two-and-a-half years towards our world championship ambitions."
Ralf Schumacher said "I am very happy that we have reached an agreement to extend our relationship until 2004. I am looking forward to the continuation of our successful partnership with WilliamsF1, BMW and Michelin and believe we will reach our targets together."
Juan Pablo Montoya is on contract until the end of next season while Jenson Button is currently on loan to Benetton for 2 seasons although Williams have him on a long term contract. It will be interesting to see which of the two will drive alongside Ralf Schumacher from 2003.

22-Jun: At the Friday press conference for the European Grand Prix, Katzutoshi Nishizawa has confirmed that Honda will continue to supply both Jordan and BAR with engines in 2002 and said "I don't understand why this rumour is circulating. We will supply both teams next year. In fact we presented our 2002 engine to both teams in Malaysia and we already have had several meetings with them. We never planned to drop either team."
On the issue of reducing the engine capacity in order to drop the speed of the F1 car, Nishizawa indicated that from a safety point of view, Honda would agree to reducing engine power by reducing the capacity to 2.5 litres 

Norbert Haugh confirmed that McLaren are working on their driver line-up for 2002 but refused to give out any details. He did however indicate that their line-up will not have any surprises hinting at retaining their current driver line-up. He added that they are in no hurry to make an announcement as it is still too early.
On the issue of reducing engine capacity, Haug disagrees with the idea and believes that it doesn't make that much of a difference and said "Our feelings are that we don't need to change anything because it doesn't contribute to lap times that much. I think the engine cannot contribute a lot really and we should stay as we are. That is our view on that issue. I think it is important that a Formula One engine is something really special. It's just not possible to have an eight cylinder, no way, in my view, in Mercedes Benz' view, Daimler Chrysler's view. The ten cylinder formula is OK, it's the same for everybody. If you go down with the capacity by half a litre or whatever, it doesn't change a lot really, so we have to find other solutions."
Haug is optimistic for the remaining half of the season and believes that McLaren will get their reliability sorted out and said "I don't think anybody in the top teams can guarantee you that you're going to finish with two cars which is our goal. If you look back at last year, we were the most reliable team. We're going to come back to that standard, I have no doubt about it, and we were not unfortunate, we were just not capable of getting the job done. But a strong team can cope with these issues and I think that is the important point. I think it would be wrong to think that we will continue like we have in the last races. We should have won more, we only won two but maybe we can turn it around right now. We have three very strong teams at the moment which is good for you guys to write about and for the media. It doesn't make life easy for us but we have great battles on the race track and we have a good relationship with each and it's especially very good for the German car manufacturers. That's the way it works. I'm quite pleased with it."
As for Mercedes supplying two teams, Haug indicated that they are not in a position to do that.

Dr. Mario Theissen has indicated he is not satisfied by the fact that BMW Williams have only managed to finish 4 times out of 16 starts however they have scored 28 points from those finishes and hopes to finish more than 4 times in the second half of the season and said "Four finishes out of 16 starts certainly isn't something to be satisfied with. On the other hand, 28 points out of four finishes is quite good, so it shows the performance is OK. We now have to focus on the reliability of the whole package, it's not just the engine of course, and on concentration during the race. I hope we will do more than four finishes in the second half of the seasons."
On the issue of engine capacity, Theissen indicated that dropping the engine capacity would probably be the most expensive way to drop lap times and said "We think to reduce engine capacity would probably be the most expensive way to slow down the cars, but more importantly, it would primarily slow down the cars on the straight and if you look at the accidents that we've had in the past year, I think none of them was depending on the top speed on the straight. So I don't think it's the right way. I have to say that Formula One is the top motor sport category. It should have not just the quickest cars, but also the strongest engines. It's called Formula One, not Formula Sorry."
As for BMW supplying two teams, Theissen believes it would put them at a disadvantage and said "We don't plan to, we are quite happy with the situation we are in. My own personal view is that only if you co-operate with one team can you achieve the overall optimum package of car/engine so I would see it as a disadvantage to supply more than one team on an equal basis."

Pedro de la Rosa has indicated that he was glad to have finished a race for Jaguar after 4 attempts and said "It's very good to score a point, especially to finish a race. For Jaguar, it was my first finish, and also if you take the last races that I did for Arrows last year and the beginning of this year for Jaguar, I don't remember seeing the chequered flag for a long time, so it was good to finish and thanks to Jos who did a good job for me I scored one point which is good. But basically the good thing was to be quite competitive in Canada and finishing the race."
When asked about the lack of a test driver at Jaguar, de la Rosa indicated that it is not a problem for him as he wanted to attend all the test sessions and said "One of the things I said when I joined the race team was I wanted to do all the tests possible. I like testing and especially coming in a bit late I thought the more mileage I could do the more I would understand the car and the team, especially with the Michelin tyres so for me there's not a problem, I think you should ask Eddie. From a team point of view obviously we need a test driver not only especially for testing but also if one of us has a problem, but that's not a thing I would take a decision on."

Nick Heidfeld has indicated that he is feeling well following his accident in Canada as it was not serious but only some stretched muscles.
As for his bad luck here at the Nurburgring, he said "Last year I didn't participate so this will be my first Grand Prix here. I twice had bad luck here in Formula 3000, both times it really was a mistake by the team - I had the wrong fuel and would have started from pole position and that ruined my chances in the championship in the first year. Last year we were two kilos underweight and so I was disqualified from the start of the race but I also had some success here in Formula 3, Formula Ford and also in 3000 with pole positions so I quite like this circuit."

When asked about how he manages to charge through the field at the start of the race, Jos Verstappen said "A lot of fighting to gain as many places as you can but I think everybody is trying that. I must say we're quite good on that but as well, like you say, we are light on fuel the last couple of races. That makes it a bit easier. I just try to get a good start and see where a gap is where you dive in and see if you can gain any places. Lately it is going well, in a race it is more competitive than in qualifying and that helps as well."

22-Jun: What the teams and drivers said following the Friday practice sessions at the Nurburgring ... Report

22-Jun: European GP - 2nd Friday Practice Session: Mika Hakkinen sets the fastest time of the session ahead of David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher. Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Juan Pablo Montoya make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

22-Jun: European GP - 1st Friday Practice Session: David Coulthard sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher. Barrichello, Trulli and Raikkonen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

22-Jun: The current track at the Nurburgring hosted it's first Grand Prix event in '84 with Alain Prost in a McLaren won the race while Nelson Piquet was on Pole. In '85 Michele Alboreto won in a Ferrari while Teo Fabi was on Pole.
After an absence of 9 years, Formula 1 returned to the Nurburgring in 1995 and since then, no driver has dominated the race. Michael Schumacher ('95 & '00) and Jacques Villeneuve ('96 & '97) won twice. Both of Schumacher's wins were in the wet. Mika Hakkinen won in '98 while Johnny Herbert won in '99. 
Both Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard finished on the podium 4 times.
In terms of Pole positions, David Coulthard has 2 ('95 & '00) while Mika Hakkinen ('97), Michael Schumacher ('98) and Heinz Harald Frentzen ('99) have one each.
Interestingly, no driver has won the race from pole position.
Since the 1985 season, McLaren ('84 & '98), Ferrari ('85 & '00) and Williams ('96 & '97) have won twice each while Benetton ('95) and Stewart ('99) have won once. Expect a close race in 2001!

21-Jun: At the Thursday press conference for the European Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher has indicated that he doesn't see a reason why brake lights should not be used in F1 and said "There's no reason why we shouldn't have brake lights. It's pretty simple to have them and it certainly can help in critical circumstances." He still believes that the HANS safety device needs more work and said "Even though we have adapted it to me, as it is quite a solid piece and you move around in the car, and you're not in 100 per cent the same position, it's still not there yet."
As for his chances at the Nurburgring he believes they are good and said "I look forward to it, we always look forward to our home race, the three of us (himself, Ralf and Heinz Harald). We have a car which works well on each character of circuit so I guess we will have a good opportunity."

Ralf Schumacher agrees with his brother regarding the use of brake lights and said "Everybody had the brake lights, I must say it was good. It looked a bit strange to begin with but you get used to it pretty quick. It is an advantage, definitely. It tells you if some other driver decides to brake a bit earlier and gives you an additional chance to react. It's a good idea. We should have policemen on the circuit as well to direct you!"
Asked if the Michelin tyres would perform well here, Ralf said "You should ask Michelin that. It's a pretty of a guess from circuit to circuit what they bring and how it works. At Montreal, on Saturday lunchtime, the tyres decided to work properly as the temperatures went up. Here at the Nurburgring, as we all know, it could snow tomorrow morning, so it's a bit of a guess. It's not really a tyre problem, this is aerodynamically a more challenging circuit than Montreal ever was."

Heinz Harald Frentzen has indicated that he is feeling better following his crash in Canada but has yet to take another test before he is allowed to take part in the European GP and said "I'm alright, yes thank you. As you know I had concussion in Montreal in practice on Friday. Right after the crash, I didn't realise but in the evening I got more and more headaches, so I decide not to race in Montreal. I had some tests with the doctors and fortunately it was only concussion. I have to go and see Sid Watkins again after this press conference to do another test."
With regard to his future, Frentzen indicated that he will probably remain at Jordan and said "Unfortunately for you guys, I'm not allowed to tell you details of the contract but let's put it this way, I joined the Jordan team in 1999 and we had some good success and I think that I will continue with Jordan in the future."
Frentzen is confident that the team will bounce back and said "We started the season well, but then we had some difficulties with our launch control and afterwards some other reliability problems, which put us back a little bit and some other teams overtook us, but I'm pretty confident that we get our technical difficulties under control again and I'm pretty confident that we will get back on track."

Pat Symonds has indicated that the lack of testing miles has caused the development of the Benetton chassis to be a long way behind and said "I think we've suffered a lot this year from not being able to do as many test miles as we'd like and therefore the general development of the chassis is lagging behind where I would expect to be at this time of the year. But the whole package needs to be improved and I think that's pretty obvious to everyone. The test miles that we've completed at this stage of the season are about 30 per cent of where we would normally be at this stage of the season. A long way behind."
He was optimistic that the engine improvements for the French GP would be significant and said "We're continually developing it but certainly at Magny Cours we have got some developments on the engine that have come together in quite a nice little package. There are some aerodynamic developments coming along as there are at every race, but we are hoping for a reasonable improvement in the engine for the next race."

Peter Sauber has confirmed that Nick Heidfeld is prepared for the race following his accident at Montreal and said "Nick has done all the necessary checks at the hospital and with the doctor and he is very prepared for the race, and you will see him at free practice on Friday.
Peter Sauber attributed  their success so far this season to the whole package they have and not just the rebadged Ferrari engine and said "Of course the engine is one part of the package, but in the end it is the whole package, the new car, it's much closer to the limit and of course the drivers have made a big step forward."
 

21-Jun: "Coulthard against two Schumachers !" is the title of the 19th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2001 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the upcoming European Grand Prix - Issue 19

21-Jun: Michael Schumacher has indicated that it would be great for the fans if he and his brother could repeat the great battle they've had in Canada and said "It's always special to race in front of your home crowd and if I have a race with my brother like the one we had in Canada they will certainly not be disappointed."
He recognised that the Michelin tyres were superior in Canada but is hoping that the Bridgestones will have an advantage at the Nurburgring and said "The Michelin tyres were certainly better on the day than our Bridgestones and with Ralf driving a perfect race there was no way I could beat him. Bridgestone have come up with some new tyres since the last race and we hope we will have the edge over them at the Nurburgring. However, it is so close now, that you can never be sure until the race itself which one will be the strongest. If the weather changes between qualifying and the race then it could swing either way."
Michael is hoping that his car will be reliable to enable him to finish all the remaining races to collect as many points as possible and said "The important thing is to finish all the races between now and the end of the season and to take as many points as possible at each race. So far we have good reliability with the Ferrari this year and I hope that continues
."

Rubens Barrichello wants to forget the disappointment of Canada when he crashed while avoiding Montoya's car and is aiming at a podium finish ahead of Ralf Schumacher as the fight for 3rd place in the Drivers' title intensifies and said "I was disappointed not to pick up any points in Montreal and it's going to be tough to retain my third place in the Championship ahead of Ralf Schumacher who is just two points behind me now after his win in Canada. I will be looking for a podium finish, hopefully ahead of Ralf."
Barrichello also indicated that he was not totally satisfied from his results so far this season but he feels that he is driving better than he was last year and said "The first part of the season has passed by very quickly. I am not totally satisfied with the way it has gone or with the end results as I have failed to finish in three races, which is a bit disappointing. I would have liked to have had more points than at this time last year. However, if you look at my qualifying performances for example, I feel I have made a step forward compared with 2000 and I am happy with my personal performance. To sum it up, I think I am driving better but the results are missing."

20-Jun: Ralf Schumacher has indicated that the Nurburgring track will be more difficult for them than Montreal as their car appears to be car more suited to low downforce circuits. The tyres will also play a major role and the Michelin will be at a disadvantage if the track temperatures are low. Ralf said "This is my home race and there is always a great atmosphere, which makes it very special. It would be nice to have a similar success at home to Canada, but the Nurburgring will be more difficult for us than Montreal, so my realistic target is to collect as many points as possible. The circuit has very high safety standards but, typical to many modern circuits, it lacks character and there are no big challenges except the chicane if it is wet."
Williams Chief Operations Engineer Sam Michael agreed with Ralf's comments and said "With a victory in Canada we are going to Nurburgring with confidence but we are also realistic because it is a very different circuit to Montreal. Nurburgring is usually quite cold and that presents a significant challenge to Michelin and the team in selecting the best tyre compounds. Having not tested here either makes the tyre selection even harder, especially if it rains. We will have a setup close to maximum downforce, while also paying particular attention to slow and medium speed corners. There is only one high speed corner so it doesn't dominate the lap. The chicane at the end of the lap is an important consideration for suspension setup and also highlights an overtaking opportunity that has been used in the past. I am sure we will see some interesting strategies on Sunday because most of the passing at this circuit is done in the pits."

With McLaren trailing Ferrari by a massive 34 points in the Constructors' Championship, their only hope of catching Ferrari would be to win the next few races. Ron Dennis has indicated that this is their target for the European GP and said "The West McLaren Mercedes team will be focused on achieving a good result at the home Grand Prix for Mercedes-Benz. We always arrive at a race weekend with the intention of winning and this is the primary target for the Nurburgring."
Meanwhile Mika Hakkinen appears to be still hoping to challenge for the title and has indicated that he is aiming to win the race and build on his 3rd place finish in Montreal and said "I am looking forward to building on the result I achieved in Canada. The entire team has been working hard to achieve the desired outcome at the Nurburgring, where the atmosphere is always fantastic as itís the home race for Mercedes-Benz and we always have a lot of crowd support. I enjoy driving at the circuit and am aiming to go one better than last years second position."

20-Jun: "Should Hakkinen support Coulthard in his title bid ?" Topic of the week - Have Your Say

19-Jun: Michael Schumacher is not comfortable with his 18 point lead over David Coulthard. In fact he has indicated that his brother Ralf also has a chance provided that the Williams is consistent. He said "We still have nine races to go, so I am not comfortable at all. There is still far too long to go in the championship for it to be over. Even though I am roughly 30 points ahead of Ralf, it can still mean that he is able to win the Championship. Wait until his car is even more reliable, then he will be very dangerous for us. But I believe that the main rivalry is between David and myself. David has been lucky this year as he has always been in the points, not having a single failure. He's had start problems twice, but no points in Canada was the first time and that's pretty unusual."

Juan Pablo Montoya has indicated that a clash of personalities has caused the incident between himself and Jacques Villeneuve during the Canadian GP weekend. However he believes that the incident was blown out of proportion and that he doesn't have any problems with Villeneuve and said "Every person is different but we have both raced in America and matured in the same way and that has led to a clash of personalities. Formula One seems to be a big mental game but I am not the sort to be out-psyched. Jacques is a very strong person mentally but so am I. Mind games do not affect me. I do get aggressive but two minutes later it's all over. That's why I wasn't at all shocked when Jacques grabbed me. It happens and to me it was no big deal. In fact it made me laugh.
Jacques is very aggressive but I don't need to grab anyone to tell them what I think. I can show it in other ways, but you can't take it on to the track. We are all mature enough not to do anything stupid with our lives, even though we sometimes don't look like it. I am never going to put my life or that of anyone else in jeopardy. Yet suddenly it became a huge story and I feel things were blown out of all proportion. Sure we had a disagreement but I have no problem with Jacques. When I was his test driver at Williams I always thought he was a great guy and I never had a disagreement with him. I certainly do not bear grudges and at the end of the day he said things that shouldn't have been said and I did the same. Now we should both just get on with driving."

Craig Pollock has indicated that Honda will honour the contract they have with BAR and supply them engines for 2002. There is a lot of speculation surrounding who will be getting Honda engines next year as Honda re-think their strategy of supplying two teams. Both Jordan and BAR are very close in the Constructors' championship with Jordan leading by a point although BAR scored the first podium. 
Craig Pollock also indicated that Jordan would also be supplied Honda power in 2002 and said "I don't care what people are saying. What I am saying is that I definitely have a signed contract with Honda and they have told me they will honour that contract, which I think will probably be exactly the same situation with Jordan."

18-Jun: "David Coulthard under pressure!" The European Grand Prix Preview is now available ... Race Preview

European Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule:

Session Time (Local / GMT) - Current local time
Friday Practice Session 1
Friday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2
Qualifying Session
Warm-up Session
Race
11 AM Nurburg Time / 9 AM GMT
1 PM Nurburg Time / 11 AM GMT
9 AM Nurburg Time / 7 AM GMT
10:15 AM Nurburg Time / 8:15 AM GMT 
1 PM Nurburg Time / 11 AM GMT
9:30 AM Nurburg Time / 7:30 AM GMT 
2 PM Nurburg Time / 12 PM GMT
Go to the European GP Page

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