Fernando Alonso took to the Silverstone circuit behind the wheel of a Jaguar R3 for the first time on Thursday. The Renault test-driver was loaned out to the Jaguar Racing outfit for a one off test aimed at evaluating the talented Spaniard...
Fernando Alonso took to the Silverstone circuit behind the wheel of a Jaguar R3 for the first time on Thursday.
The Renault test-driver was loaned out to the Jaguar Racing outfit for a one off test aimed at evaluating the talented Spaniard against up and coming talents James Courtney and Andre Lotterer.
Mixed conditions over the three days made comparisons difficult, however, with Lotterer driving in the wet on Tuesday and Courtney experiencing marginally dryer conditions on Wednesday.
The circuit was again a mixture of wet and dry on Thursday and Alonso immediately impressed, managing a quickest mark of 1m22.78s from 57 laps of the circuit. Indeed, Alonso's effort was even quicker than regular driver and fellow Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa who clocked a 1m22.82s to finish fifth fastest behind Fernando.
Conditions were also extremely gusty at the circuit on Thursday and this, added to the dampness of the Silverstone tarmac caught a number of drivers out. Jarno Trulli and BAR test driver Patrick LeMarie both visited the gravel and technical gremlins accounted for David Coulthard and Marc Gene.
With every team present with the exception of Minardi, Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello finished fastest ahead of Toyota's Allan McNish and Enrique Bernoldi's Arrows. The teams will next head out for Montreal in preparation for the Canadian Grand Prix.
With Jenson Button poised to sign a new deal with Renault, Alonso looks likely to miss out on a drive for the French manufacturer in 2003 but other avenues could still be open to the Spaniard should he decide to opt out of another season on the test track.