By Mark Gledhill - motorsport.com Four teams attended the sesson with Arrows, Jordan and BAR having two cars and Sauber just one. The Arrows test team took part with race drivers Jos Verstappen and Enrique Bernoldi. BAR had Olivier Panis and ...
By Mark Gledhill - motorsport.com
Four teams attended the sesson with Arrows, Jordan and BAR having two cars and Sauber just one. The Arrows test team took part with race drivers Jos Verstappen and Enrique Bernoldi. BAR had Olivier Panis and development driver Patrick Lemarie. Jordan has race driver Jarno Trulli and test driver Riccardo Zonta, and Sauber just ran Kimi Raikkonen with Nick Heidfeld due to test tomorrow.
The session started with several cars doing installation laps, and then the Arrows and BARs venturing out for short runs. They were soon joined by the Jordans, and then Raikkonen.
Lemarie, Panis and Raikkinen all did several runs of 3 or 4 laps. Rakkinen set his fastest time on the fist lap of his first run, and nealy matched this on all three laps of his second run. Panis's times were erratic as usual, alterenating between as much as 1m 24s and 1m 31s. Lemarie was more consistant, starting off in the high 1m28s before improving gradually to the mid 1m 27s.
Panis did several practice starts in the pitlane, and Raikkonen did a practice start each time he left his garage - during the earlier starts he had gear-selection problems but the later starts were much smoother.
Bernoldi returned to the pits at the end of a run with some light smoke coming from the back of the Arrows. The team looked at it as the smoke became heavier and a small fire had to be extinguished. As the car was pushed back to the garage more smoke poured out of the left-hand side of the car and the team extinguished this as Benoldi quickly got out of the car. He did not return to the track during the morning session.
At 11:35am Kimi Raikkonen crashed on his first flying-lap of a qualifying run. With new tyres and a light fuel load he came across a slow moving Ricardo Zonta - the Jordan unexpectidly moved over and Kimi swerved, spun, and lightly hit the barriers. There was minor damage to the right-rear and right front tyres, and the car was taken back to the garage for repair. The session was soon restarted as three Sauber team members went towards Race Control, clearly unhappy with the behaviour of the Jordan.
There was very little action during the remainder of the moning, with Verstappen, Panis and Lemarie venturing out for single installation laps as the conditions worsened just before lunch.
The afternoon session started with an installation lap from Jos Verstappen but he spun at Luffield on the slippery track. He soon went out again for a three lap run but aborted that and returned to the pits to change some settings, as the rain started to fall harder (but lighter than it was in Valencia, according to a Bridgestone employee). Riccardo Zonta and Verstappen kept going out and back in, and were soon joined by Jarno Trulli.
The rain eased by 3.30pm and Olivier Panis tried a practice start outside his pit. Trulli managed a spin at Luffield but continued unaffected. There was a considerable amount of spray thrown up by the cars and the track never properly dried.
Kimi Raikkonen didn't return to the track after his accident, although a Sauber team member remained in the pitlane closely following the progress of the other teams and rivers.
Bernoldi's car was repared by 4pm and the team waited for a clear track, as the two Jordans were lapping together. Trulli managed to the lap as quick as the mid-1m 38s. Lemarie joined him on track, doing a practice start on the way. He steadily improved over a long series of laps, starting in the mid 1m 41s and eventually getting down to the low 1m 39s
Bernoldi then finally got back on track and did several runs combined with pracice starts, as did Verstappen, Panis and Lemarie. Trulli joined them, and set an impressive sub 1m 36s lap. He later spun at Broooklands, but continued without a problem.
The teams eventually decided to do some serious running in the wet conditions using traction control. and BAR and Arrows tried various amounts of traction control over long runs of laps.
Testing continues tomorrow (Thursday).