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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
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
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
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."
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
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."
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
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
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
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 ...
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 ...
BMW Williams team have announced that they have extended Ralf
Schumacher's contract until the end of 2004 making it a six year
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
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.
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
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
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
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."
What the teams and drivers said
following the Friday practice sessions at the Nurburgring ... Report
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
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
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
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
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
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."
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 -
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
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."
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."
"Should Hakkinen support
Coulthard in his title bid ?" Topic of the week - Have
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
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."
Coulthard under pressure!" The European Grand Prix Preview
is now available ... Race Preview
Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule:
(Local / GMT) - Current
Practice Session 1
Friday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2
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
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