Making the headlines - 2001-11-27
Prost - The Saudi Arabian Connection
Team Prost made news headlines regularly of late, but not in the way they hoped for. The Prost team is in financial dire straits and rumours are strong that the team may not continue, despite Alain Prost's assurance this is quite the contrary.
Prost has a few options to keep his team, of which one is Al Waleed a Saudi-Arabian Prince. According to reports, there are continuous negotiations in which Al Waleed will take a ten percent share per annum for a period of three years as return for supplying Ferrari engines for 2002. The engines are estimated at $35 million per season.
Al Waleed is quoted by Sport.com: "If it is not accepted in all its detail, talks will be broken off".
David Coulthard vs Kimi Raikkonen
Ex Sauber driver Kimi Raikkonen is positive regarding his coming season at Team McLaren. He believes that he can learn a lot from David Coulthard and also that Coulthard "seems a nice person". Raikkonen had very little interaction with members of McLaren and will get his first opportunity in January when testing resumes.
Raikkonen was quoted on McLaren's Official Website saying: "I met Ron Dennis for the first time at the Canadian GP and after that I've talked a couple of times with David Coulthard and he seems to be a nice person, I don't think that we'll have any problems in working together. I'm sure I can and will learn lot of things from David and from Alex Wurz too when we all start to work together."
Raikkonen remembers the pressure and magnifying glass he was under when FIA President Max Mosley wasn't too eager to grant him his Super Licence. Despite critics and varying opinions, Raikkonen came up trumps and proved all critics wrong. On feeling the pressure, he had this to say: "That's true," he agreed. "But I don't think there will be any more pressure than I had at the beginning of 2001, because I had to prove then that I was good enough for F1. Possibly, the pressures will be different, but I don't worry about those too much."
BAR Launch set for mid December
Newcomer, Toyota will be the first to launch their 2002 contender in three week's time followed by BAR who will unveil the BAR004 on 18th December 2001.
The event will take place at BAR's factory in Brackley, sporting a brand new Honda V10 engine and improved aerodynamics. Official drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis joined by test driver Anthony Davidson will complete the picture. The car will be put through testing two weeks later.
Ron Dennis - We will fight back
McLaren Team Boss, Ron Dennis said that McLaren will fight back to return to their former glory of being the dominating team. The 2001 season was marked by disappointment and frustration. Leaving 2001 behind, Dennis is looking ahead to 2002 with great expectation. McLaren's hopes rest on a new driver partnership in the form of the experienced David Coulthard and new blood Kimi Raikkonen said to be mentored by countryman Mika Häkkinen who opted to take a sabbatical for 2002.
Dennis on 2002: "We're all very keen to see how our new recruit Kimi Raikkonen shapes up alongside David in the race team next season. They should complement each other ideally in a blend of youthful vigour and seasoned experience, while the valuable support given to the programme from our third driver Alexander Wurz should ensure a seamless transition into 2002 which we intend to be a significantly more successful season than the one that has just ended."