F1

Formula One Update 98-12-04

FERRARI QUICKEST IN BARCELONA Ferrari ran from Tuesday in Barcelona when Luca Baoder set the fastest time (60 laps for a best of 1m 24.19s) while Michael Schumacher took over on Wednesday to cover 33 laps for a best of 1m 23.946s...

FERRARI QUICKEST IN BARCELONA Ferrari ran from Tuesday in Barcelona when Luca Baoder set the fastest time (60 laps for a best of 1m 24.19s) while Michael Schumacher took over on Wednesday to cover 33 laps for a best of 1m 23.946s despite an off-track excursion which damaged his car's undertray. The team's next test is at Jerez from 8-10 December during which Eddie Irvine will be running all three days, Badoer on two days and Schumacher on one. Maranello's design team has now finalised the new car's wind tunnel profile and are now working on details under supervision of Rory Byrne and the team's new aerodynamicist, Nicolas Tombasis who formerly worked with Benetton. PROST TEST FOR SARRAZIN The Prost Peugeot team ended a three day Barcelona test on Thursday with Jarno Trulli and Stephane Sarrazin, the latter deputising for Olivier Panis who was in hospital being operated on for the removal of the pins which were fixed to legs after they were broken in Montreal last year. Sarrazin is now the official test driver for Prost and began by acquainting himself with the circuit on Tuesday using the AP01 chassis fitted with a Peugeot A16 Evo2 engine, the new gearbox and a longer wheelbase. He worked mainly on the electronic differential development and tried new brake discs and pads from Carbone Industrie. He also initiated a test programme with new front and rear dampers for 1999. These dampers, still in the prototype stage, already produce better traction and improved stability. Sarrazin did a 1m 26.30s on Tuesday and improved to 1m 25.86s on Wednesday. As for Trulli, he was driving the AP01B with the new A18 engine and new gearbox. He worked mainly on experiments with weight distribution as well as trying the new dampers. Gearbox work took more time than expected on Tuesday and prevented from doing many laps, his best time that day being 1m 25.72s. On Wednesday he was sidelined by an engine problem for most of the day after recording a 1m 25.32s. Then came the heavy rain on Thursday which prevented the team running. MINARDI TESTS YOUNG DRIVERS Esteban Tuero is still suffering the effects of his accident at Suzuka and will not be able to test until mid-December, so Minardi ran three days trying new drivers under the official guidance of new team manager Cesare Fiorio. Test driver Laurent Redon did 64 laps on Tuesday for a best of 1m 27.408s followed by Spain's Marc Gene and Dutchman Dany Crevels on Wednesday. Gene did 1m 27.095s after 30 laps and Crevels 1m 29.638s after 32 laps. On Thursday Gene did 12 laps in the rain but Crevels crashed on his first lap. The team will not be at Jerez next week, but the new car should be ready by mid-January. HEIDFELD TRIES McLAREN MERCEDES European F3000 runner-up Nick Heidfeld joined David Coulthard for this week's test at Barcelona, the young German driver setting second fastest time on Wednesday with his MP4/13. Both drivers were concentrating on tyre development work with Coulthard covering 77 laps on Tuesday for a best of 1m 24.23s, second only to Badoer's Ferrari. Heidfeld's car sustained some light front end damage when he spun off and he set fourth fastest time on 1m 24.88 behind Hill. On Wednesday Coulthard concentrated on comparative tests for Bridgestone, ending up fourth fastest on 1m 24.47s after 38 laps during the day. Heidfeld covered 46 laps for a best of 1m 24.12s, only 0.2sec slower than Schumacher. Heavy rain on Thursday prevented any representative testing. WILLIAMS DUO IN SPAIN The Williams team began running at Barcelona on Tuesday where test driver Max Wilson joined new recruit Alex Zanardi, the young Brazilian driver standing in for Ralf Schumacher who has recently had his tonsils out. In dry but cool conditions(11-deg) Wilson completed 33 laps for a best time of 1m 25.67s while Zanardi covered 34 laps recording a best of 1m 25.92s. Commented Senior Operations Engineer James Robinson; "We are here to test various systems and components for our 1999 car, the Williams FW21. We have a lot of work to do including learning how to get the best out of our car on Bridgestone's new four-grooved front tyres. This test also gives Alex the opportunity to get used to the car and the team." On Wednesday Zanardi covered 45 laps for a best of 1m 25.13s, 0.7sec quicker than Wilson's fastest. "It is encouraging to see that we are knocking a few tenths off our time," said Zanardi. "We are doing some fundamental testing work, trying to make the car better, and we have found a few things which improved it." On Thursday heavy rain prevented any representative lap times. HILL OUT FOR JORDAN Damon Hill was the sole Jordan team driver present at the Barcelona test, completing 38 laps in total on Tuesday for a best of 1m 24.44s which placed him third quickest on the first day. He drove 21 laps in chassis 06 before experiencing a hydraulic problem, thereafter switching to chassis 05 in which he covered another 17 laps. The team was impressed with the initial feel of the latest grooved Bridgestones and spent a lot of time working on set-up. On Wednesday Hill completed a total of 62 laps, setting a fastest time of 1m 24.18s. He completed 39 laps in chassis 06 during the morning before crashing heavily, badly damaging the right rear corner. After that he switched to chassis 05 and continued working on brake and chassis settings. DINIZ GETS USED TO SAUBER Pedro Diniz completed two days at Barcelona to accustom himself with the Sauber-Petronas C17 and the team. On both Tuesday and Wednesday he drove 53 laps each with times of 1m 25.47s and 1m 24.81s respectively. The Brazilian was pleased with the car, especially the engine and did his time on the harder available tyre compound. His test was interrupted by a gearbox problem on Tuesday and by a scheduled engine change on Wednesday. Jean Alesi did only one in and out lap due to the poor weather on Thursday. BENETTON STAYS AT HOME The Benetton F1 team did not contest the Barcelona tests, drivers Giancarlo Fisichella an Enstone headquarters. The new tunnel was designed to test a 50 per cent scale model but can also accommodate a full sized car. NO COMMENT FROM ARROWS A team spokesperson has confirmed that Tom Walkinshaw may be speaking with potential investors "but we have no comments or announcements to make by this time." Also, there was no news concerning who will be driving for the team next season. Nevertheless, Mika Salo has been testing two cars at Barcelona since Tuesday, when he tried a 99 spec engine and new components, including a new gearbox. After 50 laps his best time was1m 25.39s, the fifth fastest of the day. On Wednesday Salo continued his task of gathering data on the software system and managed 22 laps, the best in 1m 25.61s, good enough to be the ninth fastest on the day despite some gearbox problems. Yesterday (Thursday), the weather did not help and on a wet track the Finn driver was clocked on 1m 48.24s on one of the 48 laps during which he concentrated on engine mapping. The team has already returned to its Leafield base and will test again at Barcelona from 15-18 December. BURTI AND HERBERT TRY STEWART-FORD Brazilian Luciano Burti was called in to help the Stewart Ford team during the Barcelona test, alongside Britain's Johnny Herbert. Tt was the first time Burti - a top contender at the British F3 scene - had driven an Formula 1 at an official test. "It was great and I felt quite easy driving along many established Grand Prix drivers," said the 22 year old driver from Sao Paulo who managed a fastest lap of 1m 26.77s as against the 1m 26.62s from Herbert. On Wednesday Burti lostt some time due to a broken gearbox, having done some 31 laps (best 1m 27.60s). On the same day Herbert did 1m 26.01s. Yesterday (Thursday) Burti was due to do two runs of 20 laps each. The team plans another test at Silverstone before returning to Barcelona on 15 December with Rubens Barrichello.

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