BMW WilliamsF1 took part in a three-day test session at Silverstone, England, and were joined on the second and third days by the Jordan and Renault teams. The teams all planned to work on tyre testing and engine and chassis development in...
BMW WilliamsF1 took part in a three-day test session at Silverstone, England, and were joined on the second and third days by the Jordan and Renault teams. The teams all planned to work on tyre testing and engine and chassis development in addition to their own specific programmes.
There was also the unusual sight of technical directors Patrick Head (Williams), Mike Gascoyne (Renault) and Gary Anderson (Jordan) all at a test sessions and actively working with mechanics in the garages and team members on the pit wall.
Williams had scheduled Juan Pablo Montoya and Marc Gene to test all three days working on chassis and engine development and tyre testing. The team had a tyre bank in the next garage containing 20 sets of tyres all wired up to a central heating and pressure system and they methodically worked their way through these tyres over the three days.
Gene was working on longer stints, up to 20 laps at times, whereas Montoya concentrated on shorter runs. Montoya coasted to a halt at Vale on the first day with a mechanical failure but otherwise the team suffered no technical problems. Montoya's session was however cut short after the Colombian crashed his car heavily at Becketts at the end of the second day. He did return to the circuit for the final day but there was no car available for him to drive.
Jordan fielded their race team of Ralph Firman and Giancarlo Fisichella, with Ralph running both days and Giancarlo joining him on the Thursday. This was Ralph's first test at the full Grand Prix circuit in a Formula One car and at times he was very slow and cautious, whereas at other times he was pushing a little too hard and driving over the edge - particularly at Club which he entered sideways numerous times and at Abbey where he repeatidly ran wide. The team were particularly hampered by the weather after scheduling Giancarlo Fisichella to run on the final day. They carried out their programme of chassis development and tyre testing on Wednesday and the used the final day for wet weather tyre testing and set-up work.
All teams were pleased to have obtained some useful data from the test although they all were hampered by the very bad weather conditions on Thursday afternoon.
The Spanish Grand Prix will take place at Barcelona on May 2nd to May 4th.