Formula one, 2001 season Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal: Away from the track the jpoc guide
One of the main events to blow up in the run up to the Canadian race was the position of Adrian "Two Contracts" Newey. Every day or so one or other of the interested parties issued either a press release claiming that Adrian was their man, a threat of legal action or a denial of everything that everybody else had said. Thoughts such as "pathetic farago" and "when will they grow up" keep coming to mind. The affair damaged all concerned. Both teams will have been destabilised by the uncertainty as people wonder who gets which job if the man goes or stays and Adrian Newey himself emerged as a man who appeared at best to be a pathological prevaricator and at worst to be a man who could not be relied upon to keep his word. Even if those were just appearances and not reality, it did him no good. Still, no doubt it would all pump up his fee which could hardly do him harm. Quite frankly, if this got much worse, he would find himself taking on the mantle of jpoc's nominated F1F-Wit replacing his boss Ron "Brain Fade" Dennis and his engine supplier Norbert Haug.
As the teams headed off to the Canadian race, it began to look as if eventual outcome might be that Newey would not do any F1 design work at all after his current contract ended in the summer of 2002. Partly, that appeared to be a McLaren wheeze to prevent the sports top man from working for a rival team even if he no longer wished to design cars for the McLaren effort. Rather than paying him to do nothing, Ron Dennis appeared to want the designer to work on other projects under the McLaren umbrella. A fresh land speed record attempt and an America's cup yacht design were mooted as possible outlets for Newey's talents. This scenario was however clouded by the issuing of a high court injunction forbidding McLaren from employing Newey beyond the end of his current contract. A court hearing to allow McLaren to defend this injunction was scheduled for two days after the Canadian race.
McLaren's communications to the press included the phrase that when McLaren concluded their contract extension with Newey they "were not aware of any binding contract" concerning the designer. To jpoc, that sounded like a bit of arse covering because there really is a binding contract with Jaguar and I wonder why on earth McLaren would have admitted such at this stage in the game.
The BAR appeal from Austria was finally resolved and the result was that the results remained unchanged so what were provisional results from both Austria and Monaco (with respect to the championship standings) have now become official.
Just in case the row between the group of car manufacturers that make F1 engines and the series' commercial bosses had eased, FIA chief Max Mosely stirred the pot again. He remended the world that the manufacurers groups has a lot of money and they could afford to set up a new series and take the majority of the teams with them. Ron Dennis likened it all to the prospect of nuclear war and spoke about having lots of bullets for your gun. Frankly, old Brain Fade should stop sniffing all that F1 racing fuel and start sounding a little less than a spokesman for the red brigades.
Sad to say, F1 lost another ex-driver. One time race winner Vittorio Brambilla died of a heart attack while gardening at his home in Italy. I was sad to hear this but it cannot be a bad thing that, these days, we lose F1 drivers in retirement rather than on the track. Salut Vittorio.
Meanwhile, of the current driver line up, rumours surfaced to the effect that Jean Alesi would retire from F1 racing at the end of the year in order to build up his pension fund. (Sorry, I meant: switch to champ car racing in the US.)
F1 has traditionally had a silly season of driver line up rumours as the teams try to decide who will drive for whom in the following year. This has recently been supplemented by a similar game for who will get which engine for the next season and this game kicked off with rumours to the effect that Honda would only supply one team in 2002. It seemed likely that this meant that they would drop either BAR or Jordan and retain the other. From a political point of view, BAR would have expected to be ahead as they had close ties to Honda through the Japanese companies collaboration on the design of the chassis as well as the engine supply. However, from the sporting point of view, Jordan appeared to have a very slight edge so both teams could hope for the best.
|The whole 2001 season||All the races and the behind the scenes games|
|GP of Canadian at Montreal June 10th||Setting the scene|
|GP of Canadian at Montreal June 10th||Practice and qualifying|
|GP of Canadian at Montreal June 10th||The starting grid|
|GP of Canadian at Montreal June 10th||Race report|
|GP of Canadian at Montreal June 10th||Results|
|GP of Canadian at Montreal June 10th||Championship standings after the race|