Formula one, 2001 season Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka: Team News: the jpoc report

Toyota went a testing. For the first time, they ventured outside Europe for a run around the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. At the end of the test, Toyota announced that they were just two seconds off the fastest race lap of 2001. That was a pretty good spin to put on some bad figures. They were two seconds back on the race time but they were not limited to setting a time in the course of a race. Also, they were completing their test at the end of a season which saw large improvements in tyre performance. In reality, they were some seven seconds off the pole lap.

After that, they headed off to Paul Ricard in France for further work. While all of the other teams would have no more possibility to test in 2001, Toyota still had another months testing and they planned another trip away to Suzuka later in October.

Bernd Pischetsrieder, the man behind BMW's entry into F1 as an engine supplier was clearly still chasing the glamour of the F1 paddock despite his ousting from the company in the midst of one of BMW's monthly boardroom rows over their ill fated Rover buyout. Wolfgang Reitzle, his chief opponent in the BMW-Rover argument was also ousted in the same tussle and he emerged as head of Posh Ford which of course gave him control over Sporty Ford to boot. (We were going do a joke about Scarey Ford and the Firestones but we'd get sued.)

Anyway, it was clear that Bernd wanted to play in F1 as well and, once he took over as boss of his new employers VW in 2002, he would be in a position to indulge in his passion. Whatever, all that we can say to the man who wrote off a McLaren F1 sportscar while his mother-in-law was a passenger is "Respect." He would have to face the challenge of the fact that, after Toyota bought the last tickets to the party, the F1 entry list was full and the only way in would be as an engine builder unless he was able to buy an existing team.

It is of course the hope that they might get bought out by one of the big motor manufacturers that keeps the little guys going in F1.

Speaking of buyouts, the Red Bull-Arrows rumours surfaced again. The Austrian drinks supplier had a falling out with Peter Sauber over driver choice in 2001. They transferred some sponsorship to Arrows via their favoured driver Enrico Bernoldi. That left them sponsoring two teams and owning a stake in Sauber. The expectation that they would shift all of their sponsorship to Arrows and also buy into the Arrows team had been sparking rumours all year. Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw denied the rumours.

The whole 2001 season All the races and the behind the scenes games
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Who drives what?
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Which engine goes where?
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Business and politics
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Circuit news
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Setting the scene
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Practice and qualifying
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th The starting grid
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Race report
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Results
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Championship standings after the race
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