Japanese GP Honda Racing Friday notes

Alesi Aims To Go Out On A High Jordan Honda driver fastest in his final Friday free practice Jean Alesi finished his final session of Formula One Friday free practice fastest today at Suzuka in preparation for the Japanese Grand Prix, Honda's...

Alesi Aims To Go Out On A High
Jordan Honda driver fastest in his final Friday free practice

Jean Alesi finished his final session of Formula One Friday free practice fastest today at Suzuka in preparation for the Japanese Grand Prix, Honda's home race, in his Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda. Alesi, who will start his 201st and final grand prix on Sunday after confirming his retirement from Formula One racing yesterday, was over half a second quicker than the Williams BMW of Juan Pablo Montoya. His team-mate Jarno Trulli was 11th fastest, while the Lucky Strike B.A.R Hondas of Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis were 14th and 18th respectively.

Beautiful summer conditions greeted the drivers as they emerged for today's two one-hour sessions, with the ambient temperatures in the mid- 20s Celsius and Alesi was clearly enjoying his time in the car, waving to the enthusiastic Suzuka crowd after setting his time. The two sessions were marked by spectacular accidents, to Tomas Enge's Prost in the morning and Nick Heidfeld's Sauber in the afternoon, fortunately neither of which caused injury to either driver but brought out the red flags for a time.

Jean Alesi Position: 1st
Things cannot be better than finishing first for my last Friday. I really enjoyed the session! From first thing this morning the car felt really competitive, and then, working with my race engineer, we made even more progress. I find it so enjoyable to drive on this circuit it's so exciting because the track gives you so much feel for what you are doing. On most circuits you reach the limit of what the car can do so quickly whereas here you can keep pushing the boundaries out. It was really fun out there today.

Kazutoshi Nishizawa - Technical Director, Honda Racing Development
A normal Friday session for us. We were able to carry out our normal programme of set-up work as usual. However, we ended up with a yellow car in a very good position, which is always good to see. Being Jean's last race, I really wish to see him perform well.

Tim Holloway, Head of Engineering, Jordan Honda
No dramas today. It was good to see Jean at the top of the tree on his last race weekend. He drove very consistently but there's still more to come from him.

Malcolm Oastler, Technical Director, B.A.R Honda
The team are working hard to do the best job we can for the last race of the season. The weekend started quite well although Olivier's car has a minor technical problem that we need to correct before the second session tomorrow. Then our focus will be in qualifying better than we have of late to give us the best possible chance for the race.

-Honda Racing-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Sauber , Williams , Jordan