French GP BAR preview

MAGNY-COURS, FRANCE -- From Nogaro test to Monaco Grand Prix, from Monza test to Canadian Grand Prix, from Magny-Cours test to French Grand Prix at . . . Magny-Cours. As the 2000 Formula One World Championship season moves relentlessly towards...

MAGNY-COURS, FRANCE -- From Nogaro test to Monaco Grand Prix, from Monza test to Canadian Grand Prix, from Magny-Cours test to French Grand Prix at . . . Magny-Cours. As the 2000 Formula One World Championship season moves relentlessly towards its halfway point next weekend in France, the Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda race and test teams are also running at full throttle. Many team personnel travelled straight from rain-lashed Montreal, site of last weekend''s Canadian Grand Prix, to the Circuit de Nevers, south of Paris, to take part in a three-day test aimed at assisting BAR Honda to maximise its performance in the upcoming French Grand Prix. Regular race drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta, plus BAR Honda''s official development driver, Patrick Lemarie, all took part in the test, which was intended primarily to allow Formula One teams to hone their chassis settings around the eight-turn, 4.247-km/2.639-mile circuit. BAR Honda engineers also took the opportunity to test and evaluate several new components, including the hydraulic power-steering system that first appeared at the Nogaro test. RICARDO ZONTA
"It has been a useful test. I only wish it had rained during the time I was here, though, so there would have been an opportunity to work on chassis set-up for the wet. The weather here can be very changeable and there is every chance at least part of the race could be run in wet conditions. Generally, I''m happy with the performance of the car here. We''re not quite as fast as I would like, but we have definitely improved."

ANDREW ALSWORTH, Test Team Manager, British American Racing
"It''s useful to have a test before a Grand Prix at the same circuit as you''re going to be racing on. It just just gives you that little bit more of a chance to get sorted out and to fine tune things before the inevitable pressure of the weekend starts to build. We ran three drivers at this test and came away with some useful information. Ricardo finished his two-day stint last night feeling that he and his race engineer had worked out a good chassis balance and overall set-up, while Jacques was happy with his race set-up after driving today. Patrick did some longer runs while carrying out an engine test programme and working on other developments. The team is also encouraged by the fact that there will be a few additional improvements to the car in time for the French Grand Prix."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Ricardo Zonta , Patrick Lemarié
Teams British American Racing