Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda made a steady start to the weekend at the Hungaroring as Jean Alesi set sixth fastest time and Jarno Trulli finished the first day in 12th place. Both 60-minute sessions were run in sunny, dry conditions with the...
Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda made a steady start to the weekend at the Hungaroring as Jean Alesi set sixth fastest time and Jarno Trulli finished the first day in 12th place.
Both 60-minute sessions were run in sunny, dry conditions with the ambient temperature reaching 30 deg C. Jordan Honda, along with several teams, took advantage of the three-week break since the last race to introduce revised aerodynamic packages to suit the slow and twisting 2.47-mile track. Jordan have four cars present in Hungary, with one for each driver carrying the latest developments. Trulli ran that car today; Alesi will use his for the first time tomorrow.
'A routine first day, as usual doing tests on race set-up,' said Trulli. 'Everything went okay. We had to get used to the new package on the car and we gathered a lot of data on that. We are learning fast, but there was nothing unexpected. It's been a positive day even though, as usual on a Friday, it's difficult to know exactly where we are because we don't know what fuel loads and tyres everyone else was running. I'm pretty confident we can be quick tomorrow.'
Alesi's running in the Jordan had been restricted to what amounted to a shakedown test at Silverstone as he made himself comfortable in the car. In his enthusiasm to get going this morning, Jean spun and became stuck in the gravel after a few laps, thus losing the rest of the first session.
'I had a very exciting morning!' said Alesi. 'I think I need to take some sleeping pills tonight because I was too excited to drive the car! I spun off after a few laps this morning and it cost me valuable learning time. I was pushing too hard considering the little I know about the car. It wasn't a very smart move because my emotion was a bit too high! Obviously, the day finished very well. I am just following what the team ask me to do. This is my first time in the car and I don't know what is needed to make the necessary changes to improve the car. Despite my mistake this morning, everything went very, very well and I'm really happy. I'm really pleased and very happy to be in the team.'
'We have new development parts and a few aerodynamic modifications,' said Tim Holloway, Head of Engineering. 'It has been very difficult for Jean, coming straight into a race weekend without having seriously tested the car. He made a mistake early on with his spin but I think, all in all, he did quite a good job today. With Jarno, we were doing our usual Friday pre-race preparation and there were no problems there. From our point of view, all the components on the new package are behaving as we expected. So that has been satisfying.'
Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello were fastest, the Ferrari drivers not yet happy with the handling and Barrichello losing time with brake trouble. Several drivers spun on a track made dusty by lack of use, David Coulthard suffering more than most when he ran wide and heavily damaged the bottom of his McLaren on a high kerb. Coulthard was 10th fastest after having to sit out the second session as a result.