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2001 Spanish Grand Prix 
What the teams and drivers said - Friday  

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Reports & Results 

What the teams and drivers said - Friday

McLaren ( David Coulthard - 1st, Mika Hakkinen - 6th )

Ron Dennis: "Whilst the introduction of electronic freedom on the engines and gearbox has given the engineers and drivers another technical parameter, the performance gain is small but critical. Everybody within the team has worked hard to be well prepared for these rule changes but most of Davidís excellent performance today has come from further optimisation of the car and engine and his own efforts. Mikaís second practice session was seriously hampered with a mechanical problem on the gearbox, which of course will be solved for tomorrow."

David Coulthard: "The car was running reliably with the new systems throughout the session and we went through a lot of work. We have to spend more time looking at the data to optimise everything and as always its Saturdayís qualifying which counts."

Mika Hakkinen: "We went through a good programme today. The new electronic aids give you a lot of opportunities and present the engineers and drivers with a different challenge. We will look at the data overnight and make some further improvements."

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Jaguar ( Eddie Irvine - 2nd, Pedro de la Rosa - 7th )

Bobby Rahal: "The team did a comprehensive job today and their application towards both cars was rewarded with a useful bank of data. The Michelin compounds are very good here and we are pleased with the choices available to us. The team also benefited from good set-up work, but we will not be drawing too many conclusions from the positions. We successfully completed our job list for today and I was pleased to see that our traction control system is performing ok. We've got to go quicker tomorrow and we'll be working hard in an effort to achieve this. We certainly need to make changes for the better, but this isn't a bad start to our Spanish Grand Prix weekend."

Eddie Irvine: "We basically went through our programme today, and completed it successfully. Our main focus was choosing between the two Michelin tyres and we completed the programme to our satisfaction. 13th is where we are. Itís only if one of the guys in front screws up do we become 12th. Hopefully with a little bit of inspiration from me and a little bit of screw-up for other people maybe we can get a little bit better. But this is very much a car circuit. Very often itís two-by-two.
This is the first time that the team has really worked together on optimising both cars and I credit our new Chief Race Engineer Mark Ellis. He only joined us in San Marino and his presence is certainly being felt for the better."

Pedro de la Rosa: "It was an interesting day for me. I spent both sessions settling into the car and getting into the groove. We worked hard on set-up and tyre choice for tomorrow. There is obviously more work and development in progress but this is a pleasing start to my role at Jaguar Racing. The only important thing on Friday is what you learn about the car, about the tyres. How quick or how slow we are today is irrelevant. Tomorrow is qualifying, it's the same for everyone."

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Ferrari ( Rubens Barrichello - 3rd, Michael Schumacher - 5th )

Jean Todt: "This was the first official practice session to be run under the new regulations governing electronics. As usual on a Friday, we worked towards the race, trying out both types of tyre available. We can deduce that our cars are competitive, even if, at the moment, it is hard to tell which team is best exploiting the new regulations. As for qualifying, I think it will be the usual close fight for pole position and a place on the front rows between the top teams."

Rubens Barrichello: "The day got off to a very good start. Then, halfway through the second hour I had to spend a long time in the pits because of a problem with the left half-shaft. Once back on the circuit, I found that the track conditions had changed a lot, as the temperature had gone up. I think I have acquired enough data to know what set-up I want and also what type of tyre to use for the rest of the weekend."

Michael Schumacher: " I spent a lot of time working on tyres as I think that they will be more important here than they were in Imola. I think we can make it on to the front row of the grid tomorrow. We had a good test at this track about one and a half months ago, which gave us a lot of data and pointed us in the right direction. Now we are making final improvements to the car, which seem to be going the right way. Tomorrow, in qualifying, we will find out how good it is. The arrival of traction control and the other electronic aids are of course an important factor here and I think we are one of the few teams which have worked intensively on the system, so we are pretty sorted out, but I don't believe anyone can claim to have the perfect system yet. We are still experimenting and trying to improve."

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BAR ( Olivier Panis - 4th, Jacques Villeneuve - 9th )

Craig Pollock: "We came out of a very bad first session where there appeared to be an engine problem with Jacques car so the result was that he did very few laps. During the second session both cars seemed to be relatively competitive within the best of the rest. Clearly we still have some work to do to catch up with the front runners but we feel that we are heading in the right direction and are optimistic of a strong qualifying position tomorrow."

Olivier Panis: "We had a couple of small problems to start with but we worked through them and I am happy with the end result. Today we focused on our set-up and making changes in preparation for Sunday. The balance of the car is good but now we need to look at the problems that we had this morning and to improve on the set-up again tomorrow. It was a good final position during the afternoon session but we still have a lot of work to do."

Jacques Villeneuve: "We have had quite a few problems during practice mainly with the traction control system. We are not fully set up with it yet and we did not manage to get on top of it today. We lost a fair amount of time but I am not that unhappy because we were fairly acceptable on lap times. Olivier also took fuel out and the car seems to be competitive with low fuel so thatís encouraging."

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Williams ( Ralf Schumacher - 8th, Juan Pablo Montoya - 13th )

Patrick Head: "Unfortunately Juan Pablo lost at least half of the afternoon with an engine problem. We have been doing our homework on the tyres and trying to optimise the car set up for racing conditions, but we haven't developed a good set-up yet. Tomorrow we shall concentrate our efforts on qualifying conditions."

Ralf Schumacher: "As expected today has been difficult for us. The Circuit de Catalunya doesn't really suit us and I am still not happy with the balance of the car. We have got a lot of work to do before the race."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "It has been a very difficult day as I have been struggling with set-up a lot. I can't really get a handle on the car. Apart from that everything is fine. I missed half the last session with a problem, we must study the data and improve for tomorrow."

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Jordan ( Jarno Trulli - 10th, Heinz Harald Frentzen - 14th )

Jarno Trulli: "A routine day for us. We worked basically on car set-up and making adjustments to the latest electronic systems. Unfortunately, a clutch failure this morning meant I lost the first session, which effectively meant we had to do all our work in the second and final session in the afternoon. From what we can see, there is quite a lot of work to do because in these conditions - it was pretty windy in the afternoon - the car doesn't seem so well balanced. The wind at this circuit can affect some cars badly and others a bit less and it looks like we are suffering a lot at the moment."

Heinz Harald Frentzen: "I was not very happy with myself today. I went off two times at the same place and I have to say I'm a bit upset. I'm trying to find a better set-up for that particular corner and I'm obviously having a few problems there! As for the rest, everything is pretty much on schedule. We may know this track very well but the challenge is coping with the conditions on a given day, seeing which way the wind is blowing and so on. We have done a lot of testing here but this is the first time we have run officially with traction control. That makes it a little bit easier for the driver and helps with tyre degradation ≠ but things can still go wrong when braking! It's a bit embarrassing; I don't want to speak about it!."

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Sauber ( Kimi Raikkonen - 11th, Nick Heidfeld - 12th )

Peter Sauber: "I think we need more time to programme and adjust our traction control system for this particular circuit, but we know what to do to improve the cars for qualifying."

Kimi Raikkonen: "I still had some wheelspin today as the car lacked traction and felt a little nervous in places. But we didn't do so badly, with 11th fastest time. People say that traction control takes the fun away for the driver, but the fun is always there and the system will make life easier and quicker once we have it figured out. Iīm sure we can do good things tomorrow."

Nick Heidfeld: "Mechanically I had no problems today, but we still need to do some work on the electronics for the traction control system. There's quite a lot more work involved for us initially in setting up the system, but I'm sure it will make things better once we are fully accustomed to it. I'm quite optimistic for tomorrow."

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Prost ( Jean Alesi - 15th, Luciano Burti - 21st )

Alain Prost: "For Luciano's first day of testing, we had many things to adjust, particularly with his driving position and everything went fine. However, both cars are experiencing a significant understeering that we must eliminate. The Barcelona track changes a lot during the weekend, and we work with serenity, knowing that we still have a real margin of improvement on our cars' setup until Sunday."

Jean Alesi: "Today we have done our usual Friday's setup work. The main problem I have encountered is a strong understeer. We don't know the cause but we will set to work on it and find a solution by tomorrow."

Luciano Burti: "As today was my real first day in the car, I focused on getting familiar with it. I still have to get used at not having the power-assisted steering which makes it quite difficult for me in the fast corners. We managed to do some setup work and, although this afternoon's session didn't improve my position, we know in which direction we have to work for tomorrow's qualifying."

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Arrows ( Enrique Bernoldi - 16th, Jos Verstappen - 17th )

Mike Coughlan: ďA very good dayís work done. We didnít have any failures so were able to steadily work our way through the programme. We stayed with our plans and are happy to say that the whole package worked well. Where weíll be tomorrow, who knows, weíll have to wait and see.Ē

Enrique Bernoldi: ďOverall we had a good day today. We concentrated on long runs this morning, working on traction control and set-up for the race, then this afternoon we worked on the launch control. We made steady progress with the new systems so Iím happy with the way the day has gone and looking forward to tomorrow.Ē

Jos Verstappen: ďWe had an interesting day working with all the new rule changes. We spent the first session trying out some new aerodynamic parts, deciding which are best, and we did all the work we needed to with that. This afternoon we worked on our tyre choice and think we know where weíre going with those. In between we tested the traction control. All in all itís been a good day but we need to have a long hard look at the data tonight to find a bit more speed.Ē

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Benetton ( Giancarlo Fisichella - 18th, Jenson Button - 19th )

Pat Symonds: "It was an interesting session today with the reintroduction of the electronic controls. There is plenty to learn, but things went pretty successfully on that front. It is going to be hard to finalise our tyre choice this weekend, but the car is running well and I think we have achieved a lot."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "We are working in the right direction. There have been a few useful set-up improvements, but we are still too far off the pace. We are pushing as hard as we can, but I don't expect to qualify much better than row seven or eight tomorrow. The car is understeering quite a lot, particularly in the slower corners."

Jenson Button: "I'm starting to get to get to grips with car now. My left shoulder, which has been a bit sore recently, is getting better all the time and I am enjoying finding out how the traction control systems work. The car has not run too badly at all, actually. It is improving all the time ≠ and that's the important thing."

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Minardi ( Fernando Alonso - 20th, Tarso Marques - 22nd )

Paul Stoddart: "Despite the fact European Minardi F1 has never tested in Barcelona with this car and all our competitors have put in many thousands of testing miles here, the team performed creditably and proved to be competitive with the Prosts and Benettons. The field is very close, and with last yearís pole position time having been surpassed in the first session, we should be in for an interesting Saturday. Fernando put in a solid dayís running, covering the greatest number of laps of any competitor in the process, while Tarso had the misfortune to spin off the track on what should have been his fastest lap of the day, judging by the first sector time. We will just continue to work our plan for the weekend." 

Fernando Alonso: "Today we focused on the different electronic assistance devices at our disposal in the car in order to work out the best option. I think that everything went well, although we are perhaps still suffering from the fact we havenít tested very much. The electronic package seems to work well, and we didnít experience any of the engine problems that occurred to the other teams, so that is a good sign."

Tarso Marques: "The car responded well all day, but this morning I had a problem with the brake balance, which the team worked on between the sessions. I did a quick check once the car was ready this afternoon, and it felt better, so I went out for a timed run, but a rear brake locked and the car just snapped away from me and spun into the gravel. Itís a shame, because otherwise the chassis felt good. Considering the fuel load and the fact the time I set in the first session was on worn tyres, I feel confident for a better performance tomorrow."

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Session 2001 2000
First Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
First Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Qualifying Results Report Notes Results
Warm-up Results Report Notes Results
Race Results Report Notes Results

What the teams and drivers said
Friday - Saturday - Sunday

  The Heretic's Review

 Fan Reviews   

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