Honda had an encouraging start to its Brazilian Grand Prix campaign today as Jarno Trulli finished today's free practice with the second fastest time in his Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda. His team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen was eighth fastest...
Honda had an encouraging start to its Brazilian Grand Prix campaign today as Jarno Trulli finished today's free practice with the second fastest time in his Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda. His team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen was eighth fastest while the Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Hondas of Olivier Panis and Jacques Villeneuve were 12th and 13th fastest respectively.
In conditions typical of Interlagos' tropical climate with an ambient temperature of 24 degrees Celsius and 73% humidity, McLaren's David Coulthard topped the order with a best lap of 1 minute 15.220 seconds, just over one second ahead of Trulli's time of 1:16.224, which in turn eclipsed Ferrari's Michael Schumacher by almost four-tenths of a second. Frentzen's time was a little more than 0.8 of a second shy of his team-mate's.
Conversely, the BAR Hondas were split by just 0.2 seconds as they, like many teams, concentrated on exploring potential race strategies for Sunday. The bumpy nature of Interlagos makes cars susceptible to grounding-out and therefore ride height and fuel weight become critical.
Jarno Trulli Position: 2nd
"Basically the car was good in the first session but we worked hard on set-up and managed to take a few seconds off my lap time when we went out again. It was a positive practice for me, although we did lose some running time in the second session after a small problem with the brakes. The car again looks very competitive and I'm confident for tomorrow. It's another good result for the team and I'd like to wish happy birthday to Eddie as well."
Kazutoshi Nishizawa - Technical Director, Honda Racing Development
"I'm generally happy. Both teams have worked on many different settings to set the cars up for the Brazilian conditions. On the engine side we have also tried many different maps to optimise our performance and have done some good work on our fuel consumption programmes."
Tim Holloway, Head of Engineering, Jordan Honda
"We had a good day. Jarno did a very good job working on race set-up although Heinz unfortunately lost most of the second session with a problem that we are looking into at the moment. The track appears to be less bumpy which is an improvement and we've obtained some good data and further understanding of the EJ11 car for race set-up on Sunday."
Craig Pollock, Team Principal and Managing Director, BAR Honda
"Good positive set-up work in both sessions today - we are going in the right direction. Both the engineers and drivers will be working hard tonight to optimise the package. I am positive for tomorrow."
<pre> Today's results 1 David Coulthard McLaren Mercedes 1:15.220 2 Jarno Trulli Jordan Honda 1:16.224 3 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:16.598 4 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams BMW 1:16.851 5 Mika Hakkinen McLaren Mercedes 1:16.882 6 Ralf Schumacher Williams BMW 1:16.929 8 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan Honda 1:17.072 12 Olivier Panis BAR Honda 1:17.432 13 Jacques Villeneuve BAR Honda 1:17.455