McLaren MP 4/17

Diskutiere McLaren MP 4/17 im Plausch rund um den Benz, ob groß oder klein Forum im Bereich Allgemeines; LONDON, Dec 20 - McLaren will begin testing next year with a modified 2001 car but aim to start the new season in March with the 2002 version....

  1. Elch

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    LONDON, Dec 20 - McLaren will begin testing next year with a modified 2001 car but aim to start the new season in March with the 2002 version.
    "We have every intention of being in Australia with the 2002 car," a team spokesperson said on Wednesday when asked about a report that the new McLaren might not be ready in time for the opening race in Melbourne in March.
    Ferrari, who beat McLaren into second place in 2001, have already raised the possibility of using a version of last year's car for the first three long-haul races rather than what is expected to be an innovative new one.
    There are no significant technical changes for the new season and the long-haul races in Australia, Brazil and Malaysia put a premium on reliability.
    McLaren intend to start testing in Barcelona on January 7 with Briton David Coulthard, Finn Kimi Raikkonen and Austrian Alexander Wurz.
    The team also tested at the start of 2001 with an interim car, essentially the previous year's model with a few modifications and some new parts.
    The spokesperson said an interim car would again be used in 2002 up to the launch of the new Mercedes-powered car.
    McLaren have not announced a date for the launch but it is expected to be in January, when most other teams will also be presenting their new cars.
     
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  3. Elch

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    LONDON, Jan 4 - McLaren will launch their new MP4- 17 car in Barcelona on January 19, the Formula One team announced on Thursday.
    McLaren, constructors' championship runners-up for the past three seasons behind Ferrari, plan to run the car at the Circuit de Catalunya after the presentation with drivers David Coulthard and new signing Kimi Raikkonen.
    Finn Raikkonen replaces compatriot Mika Hakkinen, who is taking a one-year sabbatical.
    McLaren will begin testing in Barcelona next Monday with an intermediate car, last year's chassis with some new additions, and have rejected suggestions that they might start the new season on March 3 with the 2001 car.
    The team have been one of the last to show off their new car in recent seasons, but the January 19 date puts them ahead of many rivals.
    Only Toyota and BAR have so far unveiled their 2002 cars, while Jaguar are due to present their new model on Friday.
     
  4. #3 spookie, 24.01.2002
    spookie

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    LONDON, Jan 24 - McLaren technical director Adrian Newey has promised a fresh approach as his team bid to take the Formula One title from favourites Ferrari this year.
    "I view it as an appropriate opportunity to throw things up in the air a bit and...if we are extremely lucky and skilful, then we can wrest the 2002 championship," the Briton told Autosport magazine in an interview published on Thursday.

    Newey said McLaren would finish no better than second this year if they stuck to the same formula.

    "I think in 2001, after upsetting the form card in '98 and '99 when most people expected a Ferrari whitewash, we got a bit stale," he said.

    Ferrari have been constructors' champions for the last three seasons while four times world champion Michael Schumacher won the drivers' crown in 2000 and 2001.
    McLaren and Briton David Coulthard were runners-up in 2001 after Mika Hakkinen was champion in 1998 and 1999.

    Newey, who created a major stir last year with an aborted move to Jaguar, denied that had distracted the team and suggested that Ferrari had scuppered two of McLaren's key technical developments before the start of the 2001 season.

    One was the use of beryllium in engines and the other a gearbox using a torque biasing differential system.

    "As far as I can see, Ferrari wrote to the FIA and said they believed the system was illegal because it was banned in principle," said Newey in a reference to 2000.
    "For the first time, the FIA agreed to ban something, not because it was illegal to the letter of the regulations but because it was illegal to the principle of the regulations.
    "I think it was a very dubious call and, yes, the plan was for that to have been our 2001 gearbox.

    "Obviously it hurt us racing through 2001 with the 2000 gearbox, which was starting to be slightly aged and wasn't ideal packaging wise."

    Newey said the ban on beryllium also damaged McLaren's chances, although the move had been flagged for some time.

    "What is frustrating is that the power we had in 2001 was no more than the power we had in '98. We obviously need to improve on that," he said.
    In an echo of Newey's allegations against Ferrari, McLaren boss Ron Dennis signalled another potential row when he suggested last weekend that another team had gone too far in their interpretation of the rules for 2002.
     
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    Jean Alesi will return to the Formula One cockpit with McLaren-Mercedes

    LONDON, Feb 11 - Italian Jean Alesi will return to the Formula One cockpit with McLaren-Mercedes for a test drive just five months after retiring from grand prix racing, the team confirmed on Monday.

    Alesi will race for AMG-Mercedes in the German Touring Car (DTM) championship this year, but has been given the chance to take to the wheel of a McLaren in what is believed to be a one-off test.

    "He will test for McLaren," a team spokesperson confirmed after the news was leaked. "We will release details soon."

    The drive is thought to be planned for early March and will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona.

    Alesi was present in Barcelona at the launch of the new McLaren MP4-17 last month but reports say he will not be driving that car and will have to make do with last year's model.

    At the Japanese Grand Prix last year French-Sicilian Alesi completed a 13-year grand prix career, when he drove his final race with the Jordan team.
    He spent five seasons with Ferrari between 1991 and 1995, but in his 201 races in Formula One he achieved only one win.

    During his time with Michelin-shod Prost in the early part of last year, he gained knowledge of French tyres. That could be useful for McLaren, who switched from Bridgestone at the end of 2001.
     
  7. Elch

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    LONDON, Feb 12 - The McLaren-Mercedes-Benz Formula One team have denied reports that Frenchman Jean Alesi is set to become a regular test driver for them.

    Alesi will test for McLaren at an undisclosed venue in the week following the Australian Grand Prix on March 3.

    But the Woking-based team dismissed reports on Tuesday that he would become a regular tester alongside current race drivers David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen and chief tester Alexander Wurz.

    "Following the test, Jean will concentrate on his DTM (German touring car) programme," insisted McLaren managing director Martin Whitmarsh. "We currently have no further plans to test together.

    "Jean has extensive Formula One experience and we are, therefore, pleased to have this opportunity to benefit from his knowledge."

    Alesi will race for Mercedes in the German Touring Car championship (DTM) this year, but could provide useful input for McLaren because of his past association with their new tyre suppliers Michelin.

    His knowledge of the Michelin tyres could smooth the team's transfer from Bridgestone, who have remained with rivals Ferrari.
    "I am looking forward to sitting behind the wheel of a Formula One car again," said Alesi. "But I have no plans to return to Formula One competition.
    "I am 100 percent committed to my DTM championship challenge with Mercedes-Benz.
    "However, a drive in a West McLaren Mercedes car was missing from my Formula One CV and I am really looking forward to the challenge."
    Alesi completed a 13-year career in Formula One when he drove his last race, with Jordan, in Japan last year.

    He took part in 201 Grands Prix, and claimed 32 podium finishes but only one victory, for Ferrari at the Canadian Grand Prix in 1995.
     
  8. Elch

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    LONDON, Feb 15 - New McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen broke the lap record at the Valencia circuit in Spain on Thursday with a time of one minute and 10.937 seconds.

    The Finn eclipsed the previous mark set by Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya of Williams.

    McLaren test driver Austrian Alexander Wurz was second fastest in Thursday's testing as Jaguar, the only other team at the track, struggled to keep pace.

    The Milton Keynes-based Jaguar team is still experimenting with a new car and introduced new aerodynamic parts for the test in a bid to solve a problem with the front wing.

    But Jaguar driver Briton Eddie Irvine ended the day slowest of all, more than four seconds behind the lead McLaren, with his team mate Pedro de la Rosa of Spain third fastest.

    Jaguar will introduce more developments before the opening race of the season in Melbourne, Australia on March 3.

    Meanwhile, Germany's world champion Michael Schumacher continued work on the Ferrari team's new F2002 in testing at Mugello in Italy on Thursday.

    He set a lap time of one minute and 23.650 seconds on the car's first run at the Tuscany track.
     
  9. #8 Otfried, 15.02.2002
    Otfried

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    ..... Da sag ich nur – Corse per sempre!
     
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    FIA Formula One calendar in 2002

    LONDON, Feb 18 - Key details about the Formula One
    calendar in 2002:
    - - - -
    March 3 - AUSTRALIA.
    Melbourne, length 5.303 km.
    Total distance: 58 laps (307.574 km)
    GMT start time: 0300
    2001 result: 1. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari.
    2. David Coulthard (Britain) McLaren. 3. Rubens Barrichello
    (Brazil) Ferrari. Pole: Schumacher.
    - - - -
    March 17 - MALAYSIA
    Sepang Circuit. Length 5.543 km.
    Total distance: 56 laps (310.408 km)
    GMT start time: 0700
    2001 result: 1. M.Schumacher. 2. Barrichello. 3. Coulthard.
    Pole: M.Schumacher
    - - - -
    March 31 - BRAZIL
    Interlagos circuit, Sao Paulo. Length 4.309 km.
    Total distance: 71 laps (305.909 km)
    GMT start time: 1700
    2001 result: 1. Coulthard. 2. M.Schumacher. 3. Nick Heidfeld
    (Germany) Sauber. Pole: M.Schumacher.
    - - - -
    April 14 - SAN MARINO
    Imola circuit. Length 4.933 km.
    Total distance: 62 laps (305.609 km)
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Williams. 2.
    Coulthard. 3. Barrichello. Pole: Coulthard.
    - - - -
    April 28 - SPAIN
    Barcelona circuit. Length 4.730 km.
    Total distance: 65 laps (307.323 km)
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. M.Schumacher. 2. Juan Pablo Montoya
    (Colombia) Williams. 3. Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) BAR. Pole:
    M.Schumacher
    - - --
    May 12 - AUSTRIA
    A1 Ring, Spielberg. Length 4.326 km.
    Total distance: 71 laps (307.146 km)
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. Coulthard. 2. M.Schumacher. 3. Barrichello.
    Pole: M.Schumacher.
    - - - -
    May 26 - MONACO
    Monaco. Length 3.370 km.
    Total distance: 78 laps (262.860 km)
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. M.Schumacher. 2. Barrichello. 3. Eddie
    Irvine (Britain) Jaguar. Pole: Coulthard.
    - - - -
    June 9 - CANADA
    Montreal. Length 4.421 km
    Total distance: 69 laps (305.049 km)
    GMT start time: 1700
    2001 result: 1. R.Schumacher. 2. M.Schumacher. 3. Mika
    Hakkinen (Finland) McLaren. Pole: M.Schumacher.
    - - - -
    June 23 - EUROPE
    Nuerburgring, Germany. Length 4.556 km.
    Total distance: 67 laps (305.235 km)
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. M.Schumacher. 2. Montoya. 3. Coulthard.
    Pole: M.Schumacher.
    - - - -
    July 7 - BRITAIN
    Silverstone. Length 5.141 km.
    Total distance: 60 laps (308.356 km)
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. Hakkinen. 2. M.Schumacher. 3. Barrichello
    Pole: M.Schumacher.
    - - - -
    July 21 - FRANCE
    Magny-Cours. Length 4.251 km
    Total distance: 72 laps (305.886 km)
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. M.Schumacher. 2. R.Schumacher. 3.
    Barrichello. Pole: R.Schumacher
    - - - -
    July 28 - GERMANY
    Hockenheim (new shortened circuit). Length 4.489 km
    Total distance: to be announced
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. R.Schumacher. 2. Barrichello. 3. Villeneuve.
    Pole: Montoya
    - - - -
    August 18 - HUNGARY
    Hungaroring. Length 3.975 km.
    Total distance: 77 laps (306.075 km).
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. M.Schumacher. 2. Barrichello. 3. Coulthard.
    Pole: M.Schumacher
    - - - -
    September 1 - BELGIUM
    Spa-Francorchamps. Length 6.968 km.
    Total distance: 44 laps (306.592 km)
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. M.Schumacher. 2. Coulthard. 3. Giancarlo
    Fisichella (Italy) Benetton. Pole: Montoya.
    - - - -
    September 15 - ITALY
    Monza. Length 5.793 km.
    Total distance: 53 laps (306.764 km)
    GMT start time: 1200
    2001 result: 1. Montoya. 2. Barrichello. 3. R.Schumacher.
    Pole: Montoya.
    - - - -
    September 29 - UNITED STATES
    Indianapolis. Length 4.192 km.
    Total distance: 73 laps (306.016 km)
    GMT start time: 1800
    2001 result: 1. Hakkinen. 2. M.Schumacher. 3. Coulthard.
    Pole: M.Schumacher
    - - - -
    October 13 - JAPAN
    Suzuka. Length 5.864 km.
    Total distance: 53 laps (310.596 km)
    GMT start time: 0530
    2001 result: 1. M.Schumacher. 2. Montoya. 3. Coulthard.
    Pole: M.Schumacher
     
  11. Elch

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    LONDON, Feb 19 - Following are facts and figures
    about the McLaren team ahead of the 2002 Formula One season:
    - - - -
    Based: Woking, England
    Team principal: Ron Dennis.
    Drivers:
    David Coulthard (Britain) 30 (March 27 1971)
    Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) 22 (October 17 1979)
    Test driver: Alexander Wurz (Austria) 28 (February 15 1974)
    Car: McLaren MP4-17, powered by Mercedes V10.
    Tyres: Michelin.
    Technical director: Adrian Newey.
    Formula One record:
    Grands prix: 526 started, poles 112, wins 134, points
    2,681.5.
    Constructors' titles: Eight - 1974, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989,
    1990, 1991, 1998.
    Drivers' titles: 11
    1999 - Mika Hakkinen (Finland)
    1998 - Hakkinen
    1991 - Ayrton Senna (Brazil)
    1990 - Senna
    1989 - Alain Prost (France)
    1988 - Senna
    1986 - Prost
    1985 - Prost
    1984 - Niki Lauda (Austria)
    1976 - James Hunt (Britain)
    1974 - Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil)
    First GP entered: Monaco, 1966
    First GP win: Belgium 1968, Bruce McLaren.
    2001 season (Mika Hakkinen/Coulthard) - Second, 102 points.
    four wins (Hakkinen two, Coulthard two). Second place x3, third
    x6, fourth x4, five x3, six x2. Retired 12.
    - - - -
    Team milestones:
    1963 - New Zealander Bruce McLaren forms Bruce McLaren Motor
    Racing Limited.
    1966 - Grand Prix debut at Monaco
    1968 - First win in Belgium.
    1970 - McLaren killed in testing at Goodwood, England.
    1974 - McLaren wins first drivers' title with Fittipaldi and
    first constructors' title.
    1995 - Mercedes join as engine suppliers.
    McLaren are the only team to have won four successive
    drivers' and constructors' titles.
    - - - -
    Season by season (year, standing, points, wins, drivers):
    1966 - ninth, two points, 0 (Bruce McLaren).
    1967 - 10th, three, 0 (McLaren)
    1968 - second, 49, 3 (Denny Hulme/McLaren).
    1969 - fourth, 38, 1 (McLaren/Hulme).
    1970 - fourth equal, 35, 0 (McLaren/Hulme/Peter Gethin/Dan
    Gurney/Andrea de Adamich).
    1971 - sixth, 10, 0 (Hulme/Gethin/Jackie Oliver)
    1972 - third, 47, 1 (Hulme/Brian Redman/Peter Revson)
    1973 - third, 58, 3 (Hulme/Revson/Jody Scheckter).
    1974 - first, 73, 4 (Mike Hailwood/Hulme/Emerson
    Fittipaldi/David Hobbs/Jochen Mass).
    1975 - third, 53, 3 (Fittipaldi/Mass)
    1976 - second, 74, 6 (James Hunt/Mass)
    1977 - third, 60, 3 (Hunt/Mass).
    1978 - eighth, 15, 0 (Hunt/Patrick Tambay/Bruno Giacomelli).
    1979 - seventh, 15, 0 (John Watson/Tambay).
    1980 - seventh equal, 11, 0 (Watson/Alain Prost)
    1981 - sixth, 28, 1 (Watson/Andrea De Cesaris)
    1982 - second, 69, 4 (Niki Lauda/Watson)
    1983 - fifth, 34, 1 (Lauda/Watson).
    1984 - first, 143.5, 12 (Lauda/Prost)
    1985 - first, 90, 6 (Lauda/Prost/Watson).
    1986 - second, 96, 4 (Prost/Keke Rosberg)
    1987 - second, 76, 3 (Prost/Stefan Johansson).
    1988 - first, 199, 15 (Prost/Ayrton Senna).
    1989 - first, 141, 10 (Prost/Senna)
    1990 - first, 121, 6 (Senna/Gerhard Berger).
    1991 - first, 139, 8 (Senna/Berger)
    1992 - second, 99, 5 (Senna/Berger)
    1993 - second, 84, 5 (Senna/Michael Andretti/Mika Hakkinen).
    1994 - fourth, 42, 0 (Martin Brundle/Hakkinen).
    1995 - fourth, 30, 0 (Hakkinen/Mark Blundell/Nigel
    Mansell/Jan Magnussen)
    1996 - fourth, 49, 0 (Hakkinen/Coulthard)
    1997 - fourth, 63, 3 (Hakkinen/Coulthard)
    1998 - first, 156, 9 (Hakkinen/Coulthard)
    1999 - second, 124, 7 (Hakkinen/Coulthard)
    2000 - second, 152, 7 (Hakkinen/Coulthard)
     
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    Factbox on McLaren-Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen:

    LONDON, Feb 21 - Following is a factbox on McLaren
    driver Kimi Raikkonen:
    - - -
    Nationality: Finnish
    Age: 22
    Born: October 17 1979 in Espoo, Finland.
    Marital status: single
    Grand prix starts: 17
    2001 season: 10th, nine points. 4th x2, 5th x1, 6th x1, 7th
    x3, 8th x1, 10th x2, retired x7.
    Car number: 4
    - - - -
    Career highlights:
    1991-99 - karting.
    1999 - British Formula Renault. Quit series after four races
    because of technical problems.
    Formula Ford Zetec Euro Cup.
    Won Formula Renault winter series with Manor
    Motorsport (four races, four wins).
    2000 - British Formula Renault champion. 10 races, seven
    wins, 10 podiums, seven pole positions. Formula Renault Euro
    2000 series. Three races, two wins.
    Tested with Sauber Formula One team in September and
    December at Mugello and Jerez, completing 1,583 kms.
    Named as Sauber's driver for 2001.
    2001 - Made immediate impression in Australia as the 50th
    driver to score a point on his grand prix debut.
    Joined McLaren as Mika Hakkinen's replacement after
    the Finn decided to take a year out.
    - - - -
    Other facts:
    The least experienced driver on the grid last year, has the
    same manager as Briton Jenson Button.
    Brought Frenchman Jean Alesi's Formula One career to a close
    when they collided at Suzuka in October last season.
     
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    Following is a factbox on McLaren-Mercedes driver David Coulthard

    LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Following is a factbox on McLaren
    driver David Coulthard:
    - - - -
    Nationality: British
    Age: 30
    Born: March 27 1971 in Twynholm, Scotland.
    Marital status: Single.
    Grand prix starts 124, wins 11, poles 12.
    Career points to date: 359.
    First GP: Spain 1994.
    2001 season: Second, 65 points.
    Car number: 3
    - - - -
    Career highlights:
    1982-88 - Karting. Three times Scottish champion.
    1990 - Secures Formula One test with McLaren after winning
    young driver of the year award.
    1991 - Runner-up in British Formula Three championship.
    - Wins Macau Grand Prix.
    1992 - Formula 3000.
    - Formula One test with Benetton.
    1993 - Becomes Williams F1 test driver.
    - Wins Le Mans 24 Hours GT class with Jaguar.
    1994 - Promoted to Williams Formula One team after death of
    Ayrton Senna at Imola. Eighth overall, 14 points.
    1995 - Williams. Wins in Portugal. Third, 49 points.
    1996 - Joined McLaren. Seventh, 18.
    1997 - McLaren. Third, 36.
    1998 - McLaren. Third, 56.
    1999 - McLaren. Fourth, 48.
    2000 - McLaren, third, 73.
    - - - -
    Other facts:
    Clashed with Michael Schumacher at the 1988 Belgian Grand
    Prix when the German rammed into the back of his McLaren in a
    wall of spray while leading the race.
    He and his former girlfriend Heidi Wichlinski were involved
    in a plane crash in southern France in May 2000, clambering from
    the wreckage that claimed the lives of two pilots.
    Five days later he finished second in the Spanish GP.
     
  14. Elch

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    MELBOURNE, Feb 28 - David Coulthard says he is relishing the prospect of finally being recognised as the senior driver in a Formula One team after a career spent following in the slipstream of his team mates.
    The Briton was the number two driver behind Damon Hill at Williams in 1994 and 1995 and also had to play second fiddle to Mika Hakkinen at McLaren when the Finn won back-to-back world titles in 1998 and 1999.
    But with Hakkinen choosing to take a year's sabbatical and McLaren opting for young Finn Kimi Raikkonen as his replacement for 2002, Coulthard has finally emerged as the senior driver.
    "I feel very comfortable with that position but I don't underestimate the challenge ahead," Coulthard told a news conference on Thursday in the build-up to this weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
    Coulthard, 30, is nine years older than Raikkonen and has driven in 124 grand prixs compared to the Finn's 17 but says he is not taking anything for granted.
    "You don't have to be a brain surgeon to work out that it's not going to be very good if I'm not quicker than him," Coulthard said.
    "But the fact is Kimi is quick and on that basis it doesn't mean I'm going to be in front of him every time.
    "It's not as though he's just starting to walk, he's been racing for a number of years and he knows how to drive the car quickly."

    SCHUMACHER CHALLENGE
    Coulthard finished third in the drivers' championship four times between 1995 and 2000 but climbed one place to finish second last year and looms as the biggest threat to Michael Schumacher's bid to claim a record-equalling fifth title this year.
    "You clearly have to have confidence in your own ability," Coulthard said.
    "It's a bit unfortunate to be racing in a period against a guy who has won more grand prixs than any other man in the sport but there you go, that's the challenge.
    "But it's one that I relish and enjoy and I'm looking forward to adding to my meagre 11 grand prix victories."
    Coulthard won the Australian Grand Prix in 1997 and also finished second in 1998 and again last year but is quietly confident of claiming another victory this weekend.
    Engine failure forced him to retire from the 1999 and 2000 Australian Grand Prix but the Scot said he expected this year's car to be more reliable.
    "We managed to complete more miles in the new car than we ever have before," he said.
    "Statistically that means we've got a better chance of getting both cars to the finsh line and the car seems to be a step forward than last year's car."
     
  15. Elch

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    Coulthard sees little to celebrate

    MELBOURNE, March 3 - David Coulthard, runner-up last season, saw little to be happy about on Sunday after failing to finish the first Formula One race of 2002.

    "What are the positives?" the McLaren driver pondered after the Australian Grand Prix. "Well, we weren't quick in qualifying, we weren't quick in the wet and we didn't finish the race.

    "I wish there was a test that I could go to now before Malaysia to really do some work. But the thing is that we have to wait now until Malaysia and see whether the tyre combination works there.

    "It's difficult to find a positive on a day like today."

    Coulthard's pain was only exacerbated by the sight of adversary and world champion Michael Schumacher winning for Ferrari and his own young Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who replaced Mika Hakkinen, finishing third in his first race with McLaren.

    "I can't deny it, it's not good that they (Ferrari) have been so strong here in qualifying, in wet conditions and obviously in the race," said Coulthard.

    "I think Michael was probably just running at a canter."

    While the Scot suffered gear selection problems after escaping the first corner carnage that put eight cars out of the race at Albert Park's street circuit, Raikkonen set the fastest lap of the day.

    "At the end of the day Kimi's a competitor and I can't say I'm happy for any competitor to score points when I'm not," said Coulthard. "But I recognise the importance of a first podium to him."

    HAPPY RAIKKONEN

    "It goes without saying that I am happy with my first ever Formula One podium finish and it's great that it happened in my debut race," said the 22-year-old Raikkonen.

    He had to pit for a new nose cone and repairs to the rear wing after being caught up in the mayhem when Ralf Schumacher's Williams hit the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello.

    When he rejoined the race after his second pit stop, Raikkonen almost slipped past second placed Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya but went wide and lost the chance.

    Coulthard, who retired on lap 33, said the race was so strange that it was hard to tell how Schumacher would have fared in a normal contest.

    "It for sure would have been difficult for him to get past me had I not had the problem," he said. "Then it would have come down to pitstops.

    "I think it would have been more of a race than we saw. But there's no point in saying we could have won this race because who knows.

    "Their performance has been pretty quick all weekend and if we were running together all he (Schumacher) would have needed if he could have stopped later than me would have been a couple of quick laps before the pitstop."

    Coulthard said the gear selection difficulty varied from shifting down to neutral to resisting changes altogether.

    "I am very frustrated because I recognise the importance of getting points early on in the season," said the Scot. "You see only (eight) cars finished I think and that's the time when you should be out there finishing as well."
     
  16. Elch

    Elch Crack

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    Alesi back in the driving seat with McLaren-Mercedes

    LONDON, March 5 - Frenchman Jean Alesi returned to the Formula One cockpit on Tuesday when he tested a McLaren at the Paul Ricard circuit in his home country.

    Experienced Alesi, who drove for the now-defunct Prost team and for Jordan last year, was given the chance to test last year's McLaren at the Paul Ricard circuit.

    After the experience, he underlined his interest in becoming a regular test driver for the Woking-based team.

    "If it would be possible, I would like to give a contribution to the Formula One testing with McLaren (in the future)," he said.

    "It was a really fantastic day because I arrived at the circuit to find a McLaren with Jean Alesi on the car and it was very special because I have spent all my life battling against McLaren."

    Alesi brings with him crucial information on McLaren's new tyre suppliers, Michelin, and had a long de-brief with the team after the test.

    The persistent rain hampered his progress, but he will continue to test for the team on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Alesi will race for McLaren's engine suppliers Mercedes in the German touring car championship this year.

    But he is keen to continue helping the Formula One team and to use the experience of 201 Grand Prix races he has accrued during his career to benefit McLaren and Mercedes.

    His manager Mario Miyakawa added: "After this test we will sit together, both parties, and we will discuss things.

    "But he is very keen to do a development job because he really likes to drive Formula One cars."

    Meanwhile, Williams and Renault were back on track at Silverstone on Tuesday with two cars driven by their respective test drivers Marc Gene and Fernando Alonso.

    Alonso was more than two-and-a-half seconds slower than Gene in the new Renault R202.
     
  17. Elch

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    SEPANG, Malaysia, March 14 - David Coulthard failed to finish this month's Australian Grand Prix because of a McLaren error that will not happen again, team boss Ron Dennis said on Thursday.

    The Scot led behind the safety car early in Melbourne but then struggled with gear problems which led to his retirement from the season-opening race won by Ferrari's world champion Michael Schumacher.

    McLaren new boy Kimi Raikkonen was third.

    "The parts that failed were a very small part of the mechanism that drives the electronic sensor that determines which gear the driver is in," Dennis told a news conference at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Thursday.

    He said the design of the guilty component had been around for about four years but the new and more powerful Mercedes engine was producing more vibration this year.

    "We just missed it in the latter part of our testing." said Dennis. "We had such good gearbox reliability through the testing that the last test's gearboxes were not stripped until after the Australian Grand Prix.

    "There was an indication of the problem in those boxes. So it was a fair and square McLaren mistake.

    "It is something that we should have picked up and we didn't. It's not going to occur again."

    Coulthard was plagued by problems last season, mainly electronic ones after the introduction of previously banned software, and ended as runner-up to Schumacher.
     
  18. Elch

    Elch Crack

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    SEPANG, Malaysia, March 15 - David Coulthard's hopes of a competitive time in opening free practice for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix went up in smoke when his McLaren caught fire on Friday.

    The Scot, Formula One's runner-up last season but still seeking his first points of 2002, had completed just three slow laps when he pulled over with flames licking out of the rear right of the McLaren.

    Coulthard jumped out as an official extinguished the flames, sending smoke billowing across the track.

    Then, in sweltering humidity, he pushed the car back along the track to the pitlane from turn 21 before watching as world champions Ferrari went on to dominate the hour-long session.

    A team spokeswoman said an exhaust pipe had caused the bodywork to catch fire.

    SCHUMACHER FASTEST
    Four-times world champion Michael Schumacher, who has won the last two out of three races in Malaysia and was also triumphant in Australia two weeks ago, was again fastest despite a spin.

    The German's best lap of one minute 38.626 seconds was nearly a second quicker than Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello's 1:39.602.

    Barrichello tracked harmlessly across the gravel with 40 minutes gone.

    German Nick Heidfeld, in a Ferrari-powered Sauber, was third quickest in 1:41.124 while Brazilian Enrique Bernoldi lapped fourth fastest for Arrows.

    The leading four cars were all on Bridgestone tyres with Briton Jenson Button, fifth in a Renault, the quickest driver with Michelin.

    Japan's Takuma Sato, who failed to qualify but was allowed to enter the season-opening race in Australia after crashing and then running into technical problems with his Jordan, was sixth fastest.

    Australian Mark Webber, a surprising fifth in Melbourne after a first-corner pile-up culled nearly half the field, managed only 15 minutes before pulling over in his Malaysian-sponsored Minardi.

    His troubles allowed team mate and local hero Alex Yoong, who put in 19 laps compared to Webber's five, to set a faster time before the few home fans who turned out to watch the session.
     
  19. Elch

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    SEPANG, Malaysia, March 15 - Kimi Raikkonen left Michael Schumacher trailing by more than a second on Friday as McLaren led the field in free practice for Sunday's Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix.

    The young Finn, preparing for only his second race as a McLaren driver after a debut season with Sauber, roared around a sweltering Sepang circuit in one minute 37.399 seconds.

    The time was inside the race lap record but well outside Schumacher's 2001 pole for Ferrari of 1:35.220.

    Team mate David Coulthard, whose hopes of a competitive time in the opening session went up in smoke when his car caught fire, was second quickest in 1:38.038 as the Michelin-shod team turned the tables on Ferrari.

    Four times world champion Schumacher, who has been on pole at every Malaysian Grand Prix since the circuit was inaugurated in 1999 as well as winning the last two races, was third fastest in his Ferrari in 1:38.490.

    Raikkonen's time, after a morning session dominated by the teams on Bridgestone tyres, left Michelin the early winners in the battle between the sport's two suppliers. But Saturday's qualifying will be the real test.

    FEEL THE HEAT

    "It's nice to be fastest but it's too early to say how we will do tomorrow," said Raikkonen. "Obviously I hope we can show the same level of competitiveness but at least we are on the pace."

    Schumacher let nothing break his calm.

    "We worked on defining our tyre choice," the German said. "This meant we did not spend much time working on the actual set-up of the car.

    "But I'm pretty optimistic for the rest of the weekend. I am not worried about the gap to the quickest runners today.

    "We expected the others to be fast here but we have to remember that Friday's times do not always give a clear indication of the real situation."

    Coulthard felt the heat more than most, his car bursting into flames in the first session when an exhaust pipe ignited the bodywork.

    LICKING FLAMES

    The Scot, Formula One's runner-up last season but still seeking his first points of 2002, had completed just three slow laps when he pulled over with flames licking out of the rear right of the McLaren.

    Coulthard jumped out as an official extinguished the flames, sending smoke billowing across the track.

    Then, despite the humidity, he pushed the car back along the track to the pitlane from turn 21 before watching Ferrari set the fastest times of the morning.

    But the senior McLaren driver soon picked up the pace, despite an early spin.

    "As a day of preparation, today wasn't ideal," the Scot said. "In the circumstances to set the second fastest time is encouraging but, as always, it's Friday and what is important is where we end up tomorrow."

    Williams' Ralf Schumacher, Michael's younger brother, was fourth fastest, in 1:38.650, while Finn Mika Salo was a surprising fifth quickest for newcomers Toyota in 1:39.066 ahead of Williams' Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya.

    That left Michael Schumacher as the sole Bridgestone runner in the top six at the end of the day.

    Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello, who had been second quickest, halted on the circuit with 14 minutes to go and was only seventh fastest.

    Australian Mark Webber, a surprising fifth in Melbourne after a first-corner pile-up culled nearly half the field, managed only six laps in his Minardi and was slowest.
     
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  21. Elch

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    SEPANG, Malaysia, March 15 - McLaren's David Coulthard, despite being second quickest in free practice with 1:38.038, did not mince his words after a frustrating Friday at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

    "Pushing cars was not part of the plan in the pre-season build-up," he said. "I was knackered."

    The Scot, overall runner-up last season behind Ferrari's four times world champion Michael Schumacher, was left stranded when his car caught fire in the first free practice.

    It must have been more than a kilometre from the pits, although Coulthard simply measured the distance by saying he felt far enough away to be duty free shopping in downtown Kuala Lumpur.

    After being sidelined by a gearbox problem in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago -- a problem that McLaren owned up to as their fault -- it looked like Coulthard's bad luck was continuing.

    Mechanics cannot leave the pits to assist so Coulthard, who knew he had to get the car back to have a chance of an afternoon outing, took over.

    He rolled his fireproof overalls down to his waist and, after a few short cuts, eventually appeared in the pit lane pushing the car in the sweltering heat.

    With the engine changed, the Scot eventually set the second fastest time of the day in the afternoon.

    "It is a good job I am fit although I have not had much practice of pushing cars," he said. "Maybe I should do that more often if this is going to be the form for the season.

    "As a day of preparation, I am very disappointed because to go out and stop after one lap is clearly not good and I cannot win those laps back.

    EVERY LAP

    "I feel, given what happened in Melbourne, that I need every lap I can get."

    McLaren said later that a high-tension engine coil harness had short-circuited, overheating an exhaust and setting the bodywork alight.

    "I knew it would take a while for the guys to change the engine and I desperately wanted to get back out at the beginning of the session," explained Coulthard.

    "That was the only option to push because you are not allowed to get the mechanics to help you otherwise you get fined or something ridiculous.

    "I knew I would make it, I just didn't know if I would have any energy left.

    Coulthard's McLaren team mate Kimi Raikkonen of Finland clocked the fastest lap, more than a second quicker than Ferrari's Schumacher, who has won for the last two years in Malaysia.

    But the Scot warned against reading too much into that: "Ferrari's performance was really impressive," he said.

    "I would not be surprised if they are setting the pace tomorrow. Ferrari are very strong and we should not be misled by today's performance.
    "
    You can get excited about being one-two but the reality is Ferrari were running very quick straight away and I then think they started to concentrate on other things."

    "They are strong. I am not going to mislead myself. It is going to be boring if he (Schumacher) wins again. It should be made illegal."
     
  22. Elch

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    MUGELLO, Italy, April 16 - France's former Formula One driver Jean Alesi returned to the cockpit of a McLaren-Mercedes-Benz when he tested with the team for a second time at the Italian circuit of Mugello on Tuesday.

    Alesi, who completed a 201-race career when he raced for Jordan in last year's Japanese Grand Prix, has switched to race in the German Touring Car championship with Mercedes this season.

    But the flamboyant former Ferrari driver, who won one Grand Prix in Canada in 1995, is keen to continue as a test driver for the England-based team, and his manager Mario Miyakawa revealed they are now in crucial talks.

    "We are in very serious talks with McLaren and although nothing is yet defined, the fact that Jean was invited to do another test with the team shows something," said Miyakawa.

    Alesi completed 90 laps of the track as he continued to help the struggling team with his vast amount of knowledge.

    He was delighted to have been called back after his first run in a McLaren at Barcelona following the Australian Grand Prix.

    "I am very happy and it is a very nice experience to work with the team again," said Alesi.

    "I like Mugello and I was not looking for a special lap time, I was just there to develop things for the team."

    Toyota joined McLaren at the Italian test circuit, which has similar characteristics to the Barcelona track where the next Grand Prix will be held in 12 days.

    They began a three-day test with drivers Mika Salo and Allan McNish, and with a combined number of 124 laps completed, the pair were very satisfied with their day's work.

    "I worked on aerodynamics and testing as well as looking at the car's set-up," said Salo. "But unfortunately I had to stop my session early because my engine gave way."

    At Monza in Italy, Ferrari were in action with Luciano Burti at the wheel of an old F2001 as he worked on tyre testing for the team's suppliers, Bridgestone.

    The running was hampered by damp conditions and briefly halted by problems in the track surface, but the latter difficulty was averted by a temporary change in the circuit lay-out.
     
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