Munich/Jerez December 6, 1999 After months of testing on the BMW owned test circuit in Miramas, France, as well as on the current Grand Prix circuits of Austria and Hungary, BMW has now joined forces with WilliamsF1 and tested in Jerez, Spain. This session provided the first direct comparison with competitors, and also gave Ralf Schumacher his first taste of the new BMW V10- engine.
"It is now important to compare ourselves with other teams," says BMW Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger. "That's the one and only way to find out where we really stand." Berger's conclusion: "The test did fulfill our expectations. We had incidents, but these will give us more important knowledge during our continuing development program."
During the test with a modified 1999 chassis of partner WilliamsF1, the focus was on the electronic set-up and the reliability of the new engine. After an unidentified signal from the oil pressure control system on day one, the first engine was sent back to Munich immediately in order to find out the reason. There were no further interruptions of the program until Thursday evening (2nd day), while running the second of the four engines which were to be tested in Jerez.
"On Friday, the final day, we drove more than a race distance in three phases. This means we fully completed our scheduled test program at Jerez," explains BMW Motorsport Director Dr. Mario Theissen, responsible for technical aspects.
The team's next task is to extract as much information as possible out of the collected data in order to make the most of BMW WilliamsF1's upcoming test, taking place December 9 to 11, in Barcelona, Spain.
Best time (no. of laps) 1st day 2nd day 3rd day D. Coulthard--McLaren Mercedes: 1.24,72 (46) 1.24,80 (49) 1.24,21 (56) N. Heidfeld--Prost Peugeot: 1.27,63 (28) 1.27,01 (16) 1.25,03 (42) O. Panis--McLaren Mercedes: 1.26,87 (2) 1.25,37 (82) J. Trulli--Jordan Mugen Honda: 1.26,99 (31) 1.25,57 (29) 1.25,53 (54) J. Alesi--Prost Peugeot: 1.27,05 (19) 1.26,92 (26) 1.26,37 (42) R. Schumacher--Williams BMW: 1.29,30 (17) 1.27,55 (47) 1.27,34 (84)