Formula one, 2001 season Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona: Setting the scene the jpoc guide

This was the first race with electronic drivers allowed back on the cars. Most significantly of course this meant traction control and launch control. Of course, for many teams, these devices were new and untested and they arrived at the race with some bugs to be ironed out. A number of drivers ended up turning their traction control systems off at various times because they could go faster without.

One reason for the return of these electronic controls was that many teams were believed to have been using them secretly for some time. It seems clear to me that a team which encountered software glitches in their systems had not been running illegal traction control devices before. Of course that leads me to wonder if any of those teams that had no problems with their "new" software had actually been using it all along.

This was also the first race back for Pedro de la Rosa. He had signed a deal with Jaguar to drive in 2001 as a test driver but with a guarantee of a race drive in 2002. Team driver Luciano Burti had been told that his services would not be needed in 2002 and when Alain Prost decided to sack his second driver Gaston Mazzacane, the way was clear for Burti to be released to drive for Prost. Mazzacane was taken on by Prost at the urging of PSN his sponsor. There was a performance deal in the contract which allowed Prost to sack the driver if he failed to meet certain performance targets. The driver failed and Prost replaced him. The catalyst had been the previous race at Imola where the probationer qualified 2.3 seconds slower than his team mate Jean Alesi.

The race was also to see the debut of Finn Kimi Raikkonen as a permanent driver. Because of his extreme lack of experience, he was originally given a probationary licence to run in the season's first four races. After scoring a point and keeping his nose clean and staying out of trouble he was granted an unlimited super-licence.

The whole 2001 season All the races and the behind the scenes games
GP of Spain at Barcelona April 29th Off track developments
GP of Spain at Barcelona April 29th Practice and qualifying
GP of Spain at Barcelona April 29th The starting grid
GP of Spain at Barcelona April 29th Race report
GP of Spain at Barcelona April 29th Results
GP of Spain at Barcelona April 29th Championship standings after the race
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