French GP Friday BAR notes

NEVERS MAGNY-COURS, FRANCE, June 30, 2000 - Their positions on the timing screens may not have reflected it, but Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta both felt they were on track in their preparations for...

NEVERS MAGNY-COURS, FRANCE, June 30, 2000 - Their positions on the timing screens may not have reflected it, but Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta both felt they were on track in their preparations for this Sunday''s French Grand Prix at the conclusion of today''s two one-hour practise sessions. Both men ran on the same sets of tyres throughout practise, concentrating on fine-tuning the handling of their BAR Honda 002 chassis around the sinewy French circuit rather than aiming to set impressive lap times. Zonta''s efforts were delayed slightly by an unscheduled engine change caused when a small oil leak was detected between the sessions. Swift work by his mechanics, however, saw him back on the track with half the afternoon session still to run. Both drivers feel confident of performing strongly in Saturday''s qualifying session. Jacques Villeneuve:
"We were just doing our homework for the race today, so we''re not overly worried about our overall position. Also, a lot of people were on new tyres and set their times early on. We have some new aero parts on the car this weekend, so we worked on getting a good chassis balance with them. We just did our own thing really and confirmed the findings from the test here last week." Ricardo Zonta:
"Inevitably, everybody was on new tyres first thing this morning, and today it was when the fastest times were set. Unfortunately, we went a little bit the wrong way on chassis settings on my first run, and by the time we had sorted them out, the tyres were past their best and then we had the oil leak, which meant the engine had to be changed. Once I did go out in the afternoon session, there was no chance of improving my time because the tyres were already gone. We should be able to do better tomorrow." STEVE FARRELL, Chief Engineer:
"On the face of it, we would prefer higher grid slots than 18th and 21st, but we do have a longer-term plan for the weekend that we''re working to and, as a result, our positions don''t reflect what we believe we''re capable of here. In truth, this is probably not likely to be one of our stronger circuits this year, but we still firmly believe we can qualify in the top 10 positions once again. Despite the problem on Ricardo''s car today, we believe we''re on target."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Ricardo Zonta