Formula one, 2001 season Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo: Away from the track the jpoc guide
Preparing for the off season, the teams began to complain about the long ban on testing. This is supposed to give the teams some extra time to take a break from continuous work but instead, they are upping the pace of design of next year's car so that they will be in the same position at the end of October as they would normally be at the end of the year. Also, there are rumours that F1's ever creative bosses have worked out that, if you put full bodywork on your F1 car and call it a possible Le Mans project, you can test engines, gearboxes and suspension conponents despite the ban on F1 testing. Looking forward to the winter, if things do go this way, the FIA might as well scrap the testing ban altogether. Even if they go back to a one month closed season, once teams have made the leap into testing with non-F1 cars, they will not go back. After all, if you build a sports car chassis that can run an F1 engine and gearbox, it will be very convenient to use the same chassis for subsequent years.

There is no way to regulate this. Even if the FIA try to pass a rule to say that an F1 team may not test an F1 engine in another chassis, there is nothing to stop the engine builder paying an existing sports car team to carry out such testing with, no doubt, the full involvement of staff seconded from the F1 team.

The row between Minardi and Toyota rumbled on with ex Minardi designer Gustav Brunner taking up his duties at Toyota as they prepared for their debut in 2002.

On the Wednesday before the Monaco race, Gabriele Rumi passed away after a fight with cancer. He had been involved in F1 through Osella, Fondmetal and Minardi since 1983 up until shortly before his death. He was not a Chapman or an Enzo Ferrari but he loved the sport and he brought rather more dignity to it than many other owners of minor teams.

The situation regarding the Silverstone circuit appears to be firming up as it appears that the parties involved have agreed on the funding for the improvements that are essential at the circuit. Mostly of course this will involve new facilities to allow the F1 teams to live in more luxury when they visit the race.

You are not bored with the discussion of the commercial future of F1 are you? Good, because the engine manufacturers are not bored with it either and they are still threatening to go ahead with their own series when the current concorde agreement runs out. It seems to me that it's all a case of corporate greed versus ego and I expect that it will all be settled just as soon as the former realises that it makes more money with the help of the egos and the latter realise that they achieve more world domination with the money behind them.

Far far away from anything so vulgar as greed, profit and ego, McLaren and Hugo Boss agreed to trade large sums of money in return for further ego massaging in a sponsorship deal that has now run for even longer than the Italian authorities' legal actions against Lotus and Williams in the wake of the deaths of Rindt and Senna.

Still on the subject of money, it appeared that the spat between Sauber and sponsor Red Bull has been resolved. The team's good start to the year means that they look set to keep sponsorship from the energy drink firm despite the firm being unhappy that Bernoldi didn't get the seat alongside Heidfeld. When Bernoldo got an Arrows drive and Arrows got some Reb Bull money, it had looked as though the Swiss team could be saying goodby to Red Bull sponsorship.

Ferrari, Sauber's engine supplier also had some sponsorship news of their own. They have signed a deal with telephone giant Vodafone from the start of the 2002 season. This was very significant as the F1 teams must all shed their tobacco sponsors over the next few years and a company such as Vodafone could easily replace Marlboro as a major sponsor.
The whole 2001 season All the races and the behind the scenes games
GP of Monaco at Monte Carlo May 27th Setting the Scene
GP of Monaco at Monte Carlo May 27th Practice and qualifying
GP of Monaco at Monte Carlo May 27th The starting grid
GP of Monaco at Monte Carlo May 27th Race report
GP of Monaco at Monte Carlo May 27th Results
GP of Monaco at Monte Carlo May 27th Championship standings after the race
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