Silverstone testing 2002-09-19

The third and final day of testing at Silverstone saw the most action and drama of the week so far. Sauber's new signing Heinz-Harald Frentzen was drafted in at short notice to test the car and the German driver made a big impression. Also, ...

The third and final day of testing at Silverstone saw the most action and drama of the week so far. Sauber's new signing Heinz-Harald Frentzen was drafted in at short notice to test the car and the German driver made a big impression. Also, unofficial test driver Olivier Gavin continued his work at Renault.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen made his return to Formula One today by testing for the team where his career began eight years ago. The Sauber pulled out of the pitlane soon after 10am and straight to the top of the timesheets. And there it stayed, despite a brief challenge from Giancarlo Fisichella. The team made minor adjustments throughout the day to make Frentzen more comfortable in the car and he pitted mostly after three or four lap runs to make minor adjustments to the settings.

There were no problems at all until the final five minutes when the session was dramatically halted. Frentzen had suffered a problem in Stowe corner and hit the barriers backwards very quickly. The car had suffered extensive damage to the left-rear and left-hand side. The badly damaged Sauber was returned to the pitlane while Frentzen was taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks.

Meanwhile, further along the pitlane, Fernando Alonso completed a staggering 106 laps, nearly double the length of a Grand Prix. Olivier Gavin, again standing in for the unwell Jenson Button, was just 1.5 seconds behind.

Giancarlo Fisichella was testing the sole car for Jordan and carrying out a variety of systems. The car suffered a mechanical failure during the morning which was soon fixed. Fisichella tried various settings throughout the day before prematurely retiring from the session with a smoking engine late in the afternoon.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Fernando Alonso
Teams Sauber , Jordan