Valencia, Spain 20 January 2002 <pre> Driver Chassis Laps Best Time Olivier Panis BAR004/01 9 1.15.320 Ryo Fukuda BAR003/08 97 1.14.240 </pre> Weather Fine Temperatures Track: 23ÂºC Air: 17ÂºC Olivier Panis led...
20 January 2002 <pre> Driver Chassis Laps Best Time Olivier Panis BAR004/01 9 1.15.320 Ryo Fukuda BAR003/08 97 1.14.240
Temperatures Track: 23ºC
Olivier Panis led Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda for the fourth and final day of testing in Valencia today. A programme of consolidation was the plan but he completed just 9 laps before his day was cut short by a mechanical glitch. Nevertheless, Olivier left the track content with the progress made by the team and feeling positive about the next test in Barcelona on 28th January.
Olivier's departure promoted Ryo Fukuda to the sole focus of the test team this afternoon. Yesterday's running was designed to familiarise him with the car and the circuit but he improved enough to begin work on the test team's braking programme by the afternoon. At the end of this morning's session he reported feeling much more comfortable with the car but a little uncomfortable physically after yesterday's running. The enormous power of a Formula One car and the resulting G-forces take some getting used to but Ryo didn't let a small amount of discomfort stop him improving to within 1.7 of the lead time. He completed 97 laps in total today with an impressive best time of 1.14.240. Michael Schumacher set the fastest time of 1.12.620.
"We didn't achieve very much of what was planned for today but we should feel positive about the progress across the last four days. We have learnt a lot about the car in general and the reliability has been very good. The problems we have experienced have been the kind you expect at this stage with a new car. Honda expect to make a further step forward for the next test in Barcelona so I'm looking forward to the team making more progress there."
training very hard for this moment but after the first day my back has been quite painful. I had a few problems adjusting to my seat but generally that's all part of getting used to a Formula One car.
"I'm very happy with my progress today. We tested a lot of things again which was very interesting for me and I'm feeling quite positive. I was happy with the improvement in my lap time but the important thing was to get to know the car and how I should be working with the team. My engineer has done a great job for me and I understand everything he's telling me so that's obviously very important.
"I'm very happy about making this step up to test driving for the team. For me the dream is to become a regular driver one day so to be a test driver is the first step towards achieving that dream. It feels very strange to be driving with people that I've only ever watched on TV - it seems unreal."