Spa, July/ 27/ 1999 1999 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX - FREE PRACTICE Dry and sunny at Spa Yesterday's rain clouds had moved well away when the first session of unofficial timed practice began at Spa-Francorchamps today, enabling ...
Spa, July/ 27/ 1999
1999 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX - FREE PRACTICE
Dry and sunny at Spa
Yesterday's rain clouds had moved well away when the first session of unofficial timed practice began at Spa-Francorchamps today, enabling the teams to concentrate on setting up their cars for what everyone hopes will be a dry race on Sunday. The McLarens of David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen set the fastest times, followed by the aerodynamically improved Benetton of Giancarlo Fisichella. For the time being the Ferraris of Mika Salo and Eddie Irvine are only just quick enough to have scraped into the top ten places, but the Italian team is confident that tomorrow afternoon's qualifying will produce a different story.
Yoshihiko Ichikawa, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: "Although many of the drivers tried the Soft compound today, they found there was almost instant degradation. Some of them also reported that their cars seemed to be 'moving' too much on the Soft tyre, and they have been working on eliminating this characteristic and reducing the degradation. The drivers who used the Medium tyre say they had a better response on the harder tyre, and the difference seems to be that it is stiffer. However, it is not yet clear what the exact difference in lap times will be, so I expect most teams to be trying the Soft tyre again tomorrow."
Alan Permane, Fisichella's engineer, Mild Seven Benetton Playlife: "Today we concentrated on the race set-up which is obviously quite difficult because the weather conditions here can be so changeable. Nevertheless, once we have a good dry driver set-up, it is easier to know what changes to the car will be required if it rains. We have been running with a reasonable fuel load, to be able to do some race work, like checking the brakes and ride heights. By the end of the session the tyres in Giancarlo's car had done about 26 laps, so we put him on a new set of tyres. Almost immediately he was 2nd fastest, until Hakkinen went quicker, but we are quite pleased with the car here and delighted to be 3rd fastest."
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 19:-20: 23:-25: Sunny - dry Afternoon 23:-21: 30:-28: Sunny - dry