Former Formula One driver Jean Alesi conducted a three-day one-off test this week with West McLaren Mercedes. Based at the Le Castellet circuit in the South of France, Jean took the wheel of an MP4-16B, an updated version of the 2001 car.
During the course of the session, the team completed 224 laps of the 3.610 mile / 5.808 km track, with work focusing on tyre development.
Following the 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend, the West McLaren Mercedes test programme will move to Barcelona in Spain. Jean will make his DTM racing debut with Mercedes-Benz on 21st April 2002 at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany.
"It means a lot to me that after thirteen years in Formula One I have had the opportunity to drive a West McLaren Mercedes car. Throughout my driving career, McLaren has always made impressive cars and been the team to beat, so it has been a big week for me. We have had a positive few days following a scheduled programme and I have enjoyed working with the West McLaren Mercedes team. It was a very professional and friendly environment and we have worked hard, illustrated by the distance and number of laps covered in the wet weather. I am now looking forward to the start of the DTM season and concentrating on racing for Mercedes-Benz in the DTM Championship."
MARTIN WHITMARSH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, McLAREN INTERNATIONAL
"West McLaren Mercedes has had a productive week with Jean Alesi at Le Castellet circuit. It was a valuable exercise to gain another opinion, especially one as experienced as Jean's. Even though the weather conditions were mixed, the team is pleased with the progress made, and is now looking forward to the second Grand Prix of the 2002 Championship season in Malaysia."
NORBERT HAUG, VICE-PRESIDENT, MERCEDES-BENZ MOTORSPORT
"Jean did an excellent job during the three days of testing in difficult conditions especially during the first two days. With his contribution to the tyre evaluation programme he provided us with a lot of useful data. He was very busy doing 1,300 kms - more than four Grand Prix distances in three days. Jean is now focusing on his continuing DTM test programme with the next test taking place at Le Castellet already on 9 and 10 March prior to his DTM debut in the Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM at Hockenheim on 21 April."