British GP Mika Hakkinen has clear goal

SILVERSTONE, Great Britain, Thursday, April 20, 2000 - Mika Hakkinen has a clear goal in Sunday's British Grand Prix: Beat Ferrari. "If we want to be fighting for the championship at the end of the year," Hakkinen said, "we have to beat Ferrari....

SILVERSTONE, Great Britain, Thursday, April 20, 2000 - Mika Hakkinen has a clear goal in Sunday's British Grand Prix: Beat Ferrari. "If we want to be fighting for the championship at the end of the year," Hakkinen said, "we have to beat Ferrari. It doesn't matter if we win this Grand Prix, but we have to beat them." Michael Schumacher won the first three races of the season in his Ferrari while Hakkinen has only one finish in the points - a second place - in his West McLaren-Mercedes. The result is that Schumacher has 30 points and Hakkinen has only eight. Asked if he is deeply concerned about the 24-point gap, Hakkinen replied: "No, not at all. If I look serious, it is only to give you an honest answer." Norbert Haug, director of Mercedes-Benz Racing, said that the championship is far from over.

"Our guys and our team are used to working under pressure," Haug said. "We certainly should have won more races -- we made some mistakes. We are never going to give up -- even if we don't win this race. But our plans are to win this race."

The British Grand Prix has been held in mid-July every year since 1951. This year, however, it is the fourth of 17 races on the schedule, and the April weather could play a role in the outcome of the race. Rain at this time of the year is common at the Silverstone circuit located near Oxford. While it often rains during the race's usual July weekend, the distinct possibility of a cold, wet race this Sunday does not please the teams or drivers. "The reason we go to Australia and Brazil in March," said team owner Eddie Jordan, "is to chase the (most suitable) weather, so it is hazardous to be coming to Silverstone in late April. But those of us whose racing careers developed in this part of the world know that the weather can be precarious even in July and August, so to hope for fine weather here in April is asking for a miracle." Michael Schumacher commented: "It's not the right time to be here, honestly. I had a couple of runs here in the wet last week, but it really is too cold [to be racing]. It feels like winter testing in Italy, when we're doing our preparation in January and February. We will be well prepared, technically, but there must always be a question mark over your preparation when the weather turns bad." Whatever the conditions, and given the unpredictable weather in the Silverstone area, race day could be sunny and dry or cold and wet, they will be the same for everybody.

"I won't be looking forward to wet weather," Hakkinen said, "but if it is wet on Sunday then we shall have to get the best that we can out of the situation. At least it's windy here, so spray will be less of a problem than on other circuits because it will get blown away." Because of heavy rain earlier in the week, circuit organizers have stopped selling tickets in order to limit the number of cars using the grass car parks, which are already saturated with water. The organizers decided that the parking lots would be unusable by race day if too many cars went through them before Sunday. This is the home race for the seven F1 team based in England, and all but McLaren have their factories within a few miles of Silverstone. The base of the Benson & Hedges Jordan-Mugen-Honda team is literally across the street from the circuit's main entrance gate. With all the F1 teams and other racing industry companies in the area, the region is called Formula One's Silicon Valley. Many of the current F1 drivers spent their formative years racing at Silverstone. "Because I have always raced for English teams," Hakkinen said, "it obviously feels a little bit like a home race to me." This is the first British Grand Prix for the Jaguar team. For the three seasons prior to this the team ran under the Stewart-Ford banner. "It's Jaguar's 'home race' and the Jaguar name has so much heritage in British motor sport," Johnny Herbert said, "so we will be a favorite amongst the fans."

"We won't be under any extra pressure, though. Maybe people expect us to do better here, but we try as hard as we can at every Grand Prix, not just my home race. The race at Silverstone is just one of 17. "But the British GP is a special race because you are in front of your home crowd. I won my first Grand Prix in Britain in 1995 and that made it a special victory. The atmosphere is always great."

FORMULA ONE NOTEBOOK

Where to watch: Television viewers in the U.S. can watch the British Grand Prix live on Speedvision at 7:30 a.m. (EDT) April 23. Fox Sports Net will air the race tape delayed at 10 a.m. in all time zones April 23. Check local listings. Speedvision will show qualifying live at 8 a.m. (EDT) on April 22. Fox Sports Net will carry part two of an exclusive with Michael and Ralf Schumacher who were interviewed together on TV for the first time.

Speed limiters allowed: After announcing two weeks ago that it would ban pit lane speed limiters, the FIA has decided to allow them to be fitted to the cars. The system, however, must now work off the front wheels rather than the rear wheels. This will prevent the possibility of the speed limiter being used as an illegal traction control device. The pit lane speed limit is 60 km/h (37 mph) in practice and 80 km/h (50 mph) on Sunday. The drivers said it would be too unsafe if they had to be looking down at the rpm gauge trying to manually control their speed. "It means that [now, instead of staring into the cockpit] our eyes will be back where they should be looking, which is at the circuit," Michael Schumacher said.

***

Ferrari & Shell: Shell Oil has extended it sponsorship and technical partnership deal with Ferrari through 2005.

***

Stewart steps down: Paul Stewart, who founded the Stewart-Ford team (now called Jaguar) with his father Jackie Stewart in 1997, has stepped down from his post as chief operating officer of the team. The younger Stewart has been diagnosed with treatable colon cancer.

***

Toyota nominates McNish: Toyota, which will enter F1 in 2002, has named sports car driver and former McLaren test driver Allan McNish as its test and development driver.

"To join Toyota at such a significant stage in the company's motorsport development is a great challenge," McNish said. "It's a wonderful company and I'm really looking forward to playing a major part in the F1 program."

***

Proud parents: Heinz-Harald Frentzen and his wife, Tanja, are the proud parents of a baby girl, Lea.

<pre> British Grand Prix Fast Facts

Date: Sunday, April 23 Race: Fourth of 17 on 2000 schedule Venue: Silverstone Circuit length: 3.194-miles, 5.141-km Race length: 60 laps On TV: Race (live) - 7:30 a.m. (EDT) April 23, Speedvision. (Tape delay) -- 10:00 a.m. in all time zones April 23, FOX Sports Net. Check local listings. Qualifying (live) - 8:00 a.m. (EDT) April 22, Speedvision Points leader: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari 1999 race winner: David Coulthard, McLaren-Mercedes 1999 pole winner: Mika Hakkinen, West McLaren-Mercedes Previous winners: 1998 - Michael Schumacher, 1997 - Jacques Villeneuve; 1996 - Jacques Villeneuve; 1995 - Johnny Herbert; 1994 - Damon Hill, 1993 - Alain Prost

-IRLNS/IMS-

------_=_NextPart_001_01BFAB19.8D21BC96 Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>DEFENDING F1 CHAMP READY TO MAKE STATEMENT AT = SILVERSTONE</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY>

<P><FONT SIZE=3D4 FACE=3D"Times New Roman">For Immediate Release</FONT> </P>

<P ALIGN=3DCENTER><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">DEFENDING F1 CHAMP = READY TO MAKE STATEMENT AT SILVERSTONE</FONT></B></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">SILVERSTONE, Great Britain, Thursday, = April 20, 2000 - Mika Hakkinen has a clear goal in Sunday's British = Grand Prix: Beat Ferrari.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">"</FONT>If we want to be fighting for the championship at the end of the = year," Hakkinen said, "we have to beat Ferrari. It doesn't matter if we = win this Grand Prix, but we have to beat them."</FONT></P>

<P>        Michael Schumacher won the first three races of the season in = his Ferrari while Hakkinen has only one finish in the points - a second = place - in his West McLaren-Mercedes. The result is that Schumacher has = 30 points and Hakkinen has only eight.</FONT></P>

<P>        Asked if he is deeply concerned about the 24-point gap, Hakkinen = replied: "No, not at all. If I look serious, it is only to give you an = honest answer."</FONT></P>

<P>        Norbert Haug, director of Mercedes-Benz Racing, said that the = championship is far from over.</FONT> <BR><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">"Our guys and our team are used to = working under pressure," Haug said. "We certainly should have won more = races -- we made some mistakes. We are never going to give up -- even = if we don't win this race. But our plans are to win this = race."</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">The British Grand Prix has been held = in mid-July every year since 1951. This year, however, it is the fourth = of 17 races on the schedule, and the April weather could play a role in = the outcome of the race. Rain at this time of the year is common at the = Silverstone circuit located near Oxford. While it often rains during = the race's usual July weekend, the distinct possibility of a cold, wet = race this Sunday does not please the teams or drivers.</FONT></P>

<P>        "The reason we go to Australia and Brazil in March," said team = owner Eddie Jordan, "is to chase the (most suitable) weather, so it is = hazardous to be coming to Silverstone in late April. But those of us = whose racing careers developed in this part of the world know that the = weather can be precarious even in July and August, so to hope for fine = weather here in April is asking for a miracle."</FONT></P>

<P>        Michael Schumacher commented: "It's not the right time to be = here, honestly. I had a couple of runs here in the wet last week, but = it really is too cold [to be racing]. It feels like winter testing in = Italy, when we're doing our preparation in January and February. We = will be well prepared, technically, but there must always be a question = mark over your preparation when the weather turns bad."</FONT></P>

<P>        Whatever the conditions, and given the unpredictable weather in = the Silverstone area, race </FONT> <BR><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">day could be sunny and dry or cold = and wet, they will be the same for everybody.</FONT> </P>

<P ALIGN=3DCENTER><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">(More)</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Page 2 . . . British Grand Prix = preview</FONT> </P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">"I won't be looking forward to wet = weather," Hakkinen said, "but if it is wet on Sunday then we shall have = to get the best that we can out of the situation. At least it's windy = here, so spray will be less of a problem than on other circuits because = it will get blown away."</FONT></P>

<P>        Because of heavy rain earlier in the week, circuit organizers = have stopped selling tickets in order to limit the number of cars using = the grass car parks, which are already saturated with water. The = organizers decided that the parking lots would be unusable by race day = if too many cars went through them before Sunday.</FONT></P>

<P>        This is the home race for the seven F1 team based in England, = and all but McLaren have their factories within a few miles of = Silverstone. The base of the Benson & Hedges Jordan-Mugen-Honda = team is literally across the street from the circuit's main entrance = gate.</FONT></P>

<P>        With all the F1 teams and other racing industry companies in the = area, the region is called Formula One's Silicon Valley.</FONT></P>

<P>        Many of the current F1 drivers spent their formative years = racing at Silverstone.</FONT> <BR>        "Because I have always raced for English teams," Hakkinen said, = "it obviously feels a little bit like a home race to me."</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">This is the first British Grand Prix = for the Jaguar team. For the three seasons prior to this the team ran = under the Stewart-Ford banner.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">"It's Jaguar's 'home race' and the = Jaguar name has so much heritage in British motor sport," Johnny = Herbert said, "so we will be a favorite amongst the fans."</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">"We won't be under any extra = pressure, though. Maybe people expect us to do better here, but we try = as hard as we can at every Grand Prix, not just my home race. The race = at Silverstone is just one of 17.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">"But the British GP is a special race = because you are in front of your home crowd. I won my first Grand Prix = in Britain in 1995 and that made it a special victory. The atmosphere = is always great."</FONT></P>

<P><B><I><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Times New Roman">FORMULA ONE = NOTEBOOK</FONT></I></B> </P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Where to watch: Television viewers in = the U.S. can watch the British Grand Prix live on Speedvision at 7:30 = a.m. (EDT) April 23. Fox Sports Net will air the race tape delayed at = 10 a.m. in all time zones April 23. Check local listings. Speedvision = will show qualifying live at 8 a.m. (EDT) on April 22. Fox Sports Net = will carry part two of an exclusive with Michael and Ralf Schumacher = who were interviewed together on TV for the first time.</FONT></P>

<P ALIGN=3DCENTER><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">(More)</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Page 3 . . . British Grand Prix = preview</FONT>

<P ALIGN=3DCENTER><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">***</FONT></P>

<P>        Speed limiters allowed: After announcing two weeks ago that it = would ban pit lane speed limiters, the FIA has decided to allow them to = be fitted to the cars. The system, however, must now work off the front = wheels rather than the rear wheels. This will prevent the possibility = of the speed limiter being used as an illegal traction control = device.</FONT></P>

<P>        The pit lane speed limit is 60 km/h (37 mph) in practice and 80 = km/h (50 mph) on Sunday. The drivers said it would be too unsafe if = they had to be looking down at the rpm gauge trying to manually control = their speed.</FONT></P>

<P>        "It means that [now, instead of staring into the cockpit] our = eyes will be back where they should be looking, which is at the = circuit," Michael Schumacher said.</FONT></P>

<P ALIGN=3DCENTER><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">***</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Ferrari & Shell: Shell Oil has = extended it sponsorship and technical partnership deal with Ferrari = through 2005.</FONT>

<P ALIGN=3DCENTER><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">***</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Stewart steps down: Paul Stewart, who = founded the Stewart-Ford team (now called Jaguar) with his father = Jackie Stewart in 1997, has stepped down from his post as chief = operating officer of the team. The younger Stewart has been diagnosed = with treatable colon cancer.</FONT></P>

<P ALIGN=3DCENTER><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">***</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Toyota nominates McNish: Toyota, = which will enter F1 in 2002, has named sports car driver and former = McLaren test driver Allan McNish as its test and development = driver.</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">"To join Toyota at such a significant = stage in the company's motorsport development is a great challenge," = McNish said. "It's a wonderful company and I'm really looking forward = to playing a major part in the F1 program."</FONT></P>

<P ALIGN=3DCENTER><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">***</FONT></P>

<P><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Proud parents: Heinz-Harald Frentzen = and his wife, Tanja, are the proud parents of a baby girl, Lea. </FONT> </P> <BR>

<P ALIGN=3DCENTER>...USGP2000-32...</FONT></P>

<P><B><FONT SIZE=3D2>Media Contacts:</FONT></B> =         <FONT SIZE=3D2>Mai = Lindstrom, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, (317) 484-6780, = mlindstrom@brickyard.com</FONT> <UL><UL><UL><UL><UL><UL> <P><FONT SIZE=3D2>Nancy Miller, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, (317) = 484-6780, nmiller@brickyard.com</FONT> </UL></UL></UL></UL></UL></UL> <P><B><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Times New Roman">World Wide = Web:</FONT></B> <FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Times New Roman">http://www.usgpindy.com</A></FONT> <BR><B><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Times New Roman">E-mail:</FONT></B> =         =        <U> imspr@brickyard.com</FONT></U> <BR><B><FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Fax on = Demand:</FONT></B>          = <FONT SIZE=3D2 FACE=3D"Times New Roman">(877) 797-4639</FONT> </P>

<P><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">British Grand Prix Fast = Facts</FONT></B> </P>

<P><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Date:</FONT></B> Sunday, April 23</FONT> <BR><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Race:</FONT></B> Fourth of 17 on 2000 schedule</FONT> <BR><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Venue:</FONT></B> Silverstone</FONT> <BR><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Circuit length:</FONT></B> 3.194-miles, 5.141-km </FONT> <BR><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Race length:</FONT></B> 60 laps</FONT> <BR><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">On TV:</FONT></B> Race (live) - 7:30 a.m. (EDT) April 23, = Speedvision. (Tape delay) -- 10:00 a.m. in all time zones April 23, FOX = Sports Net. Check local listings. Qualifying (live) - 8:00 a.m. (EDT) = April 22, Speedvision</FONT></P>

<P><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Points leader:</FONT></B> Michael Schumacher, Ferrari</FONT> <BR><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">1999 race winner:</FONT></B> David Coulthard, McLaren-Mercedes</FONT> <BR><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">1999 pole winner:</FONT></B> Mika Hakkinen, West McLaren-Mercedes</FONT> <BR><B><FONT FACE=3D"Times New Roman">Previous winners:</FONT></B> 1998 - Michael Schumacher, 1997 - Jacques = Villeneuve; 1996 - Jacques Villeneuve; 1995 - Johnny Herbert; 1994 - = Damon Hill, 1993 - Alain Prost</FONT></P> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Johnny Herbert , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Jacques Villeneuve , Allan McNish , Eddie Jordan , Jackie Stewart , Norbert Haug , Alain Prost , Damon Hill , Paul Stewart
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Jordan