Formula one, 2001 season Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka: Race Preview: the jpoc report

At something more that three and a half miles, the Suzuka circuit is one of the longer ones in the Grand Prix year. Drivers such as Eddie Irvine and Ralf Schumacher who raced in Japan before they moved up into F1 have extensive experience of the only figure of eight circuit used for an F1 race.

For their home GP, on the circuit that they own, Honda released a revised engine to both BAR and Jordan to use in the Japanese race. It ran to higher revs and produced a bit more power.

Prost carried out no testing at between the US and Japanese races and flew just a skeleton crew out to the years final race. Arrows and Minardi also carried out no tests for Japan.

Everyone else managed to fit in just one test between travelling back form the US and heading off to Japan. The work was a mixture of testing components for the 2002 cars and setup work for the Japanese race.

At Fiorano Michael Schumacher took part in a test session for the first time in four weeks. He was testing components for 2002 along with Luca Badoer. Schumacher set the fastest ever time round the track at 58.792s.

At Barcelona McLaren kept Alex Wurtz, Michael Fassler and Darren Turner busy tesing 2002 components and tyres for Japan. Also there, Williams had Gene, Pizzonia and Ralf Schumacher testing components for 2002 and also the next year's engine and gearbox. Speculation that the new engine produced 900bhp and ran to 18,000 would mark another leap forward if it was true. Benetton's test driver, Mark Webber spent four days testing 2001 exhaust systems and electonics and brake systems for 2002. Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine was the fastest of all at Barcellona on the first day that he drove although he was still two and a half seconds off the 2001 pole time. He was testing aerodynamic and gearbox components for Japan. Pedro de la Rosa also carried out test duties on the following day.

Over at Mugello, Sauber gave an exclusive three day session to Felipe Massa. As well as evaluating him as a possible 2002 driver alongisde Nick Heidfeld, he carried out brake and cooling system tests for the Japanese race. Jordan also turned up at Mugello for a test with Jean Alesi in the anchor role and Justin Wilson and Narain Karthikeyan helping out with tests of aerodymanic parts as well as work on the traction control systems. Fellow Honda team BAR were also on hand with Darren Manning and Anthony Davidson getting a turn.

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 Business and politics
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Teams and personnel
Japanese GP at Suzuka October 14th Circuit news
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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