US GP Friday BAR notes

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, September 22, 2000 - Formula One cars today turned their wheels in anger for the first time ever at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta were...

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, September 22, 2000 - Formula One cars today turned their wheels in anger for the first time ever at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta were in the thick of the action. For Villeneuve, the 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner, it was a case of returning to the scene of one of his greatest motor racing triumphs, and although the new 13-corner IMS road circuit poses a very different set of challenges from the famous four-turn oval, he was clearly enjoying the occasion. At the end of Friday''s two one-hour practice sessions, he had posted the tenth-fastest time, while team mate, Zonta, recorded the fifteenth fastest lap. Both drivers and their race engineers spent most of the day adapting the handling characteristics of the BAR Honda 002 chassis to cope with the demands of the Indianapolis road course. By the end of the sessions, the consensus was that good progress had been made. Further fine-tuning will continue tomorrow morning in preparation for the all-important one-hour, 12-lap qualifying session that will determine the grid positions for Sunday''s United States Grand Prix. JACQUES VILLENEUVE
"It''s a difficult track. The infield is very slow and intricate, so it''s difficult to get a good lap. The last two corners through to turn one is just flat out all the way. The rest of the track you''re simply trying to get the car to flow through the corners. Initially, we thought this might be a low-downforce track, but the levels are getting higher and higher - I think everyone has been adding wing throughout the day. I have also been surprised at how physical the circuit is. Apart from the straight, you''re working throughout the lap, so the race itself will be quite demanding." RICARDO ZONTA
"My car was suffering from understeer (push) from the first run this morning and, despite trying a number of different chassis set-ups, we didn''t really improve it significantly during the day. I found the track very slippery in the infield, but then the final two corners are just flat - you don''t have to do anything in them at all. I will work with my engineers tonight to see if we can develop a better balance for the car tomorrow." MALCOLM OASTLER , Technical Director, British American Racing
"We had a good first day in terms of learning about the set-up and establishing a baseline. There were no problems with the cars and we just did our normal thing in terms of tyres and fuel. We feel we''re in reasonable shape as a result but, as usual, will have to wait until tomorrow to see where we are compared with the other teams."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Ricardo Zonta
Teams British American Racing