TYRRELL IS AIMING FOR MORE TOP SIX FINISHES After a strong start in Australia for the first race of the 1996 Formula 1 World Championship, the Tyrrell Yamaha team is going to South America for the second and third rounds of the season aiming to...
TYRRELL IS AIMING FOR MORE TOP SIX FINISHES
After a strong start in Australia for the first race of the 1996 Formula 1 World Championship, the Tyrrell Yamaha team is going to South America for the second and third rounds of the season aiming to qualify in the top ten and finish in the points once again.
Harvey Postlethwaite, Managing Director - Engineering said: "In Melbourne, we set ourselves the target of a top ten qualifying and top six finishing position. We just did it qualifying tenth and finishing sixth! Now we will be looking to improve on both those results. On the technical side, the cars will go to Brazil to the same specification as in Melbourne but we have made detail changes all aimed at reliability. The new Yamaha engine and the new transmission give the 024 a totally different feel to the 023 so we went to Silverstone yesterday (3/20) and practiced our starts. It is important for Interlagos because it is quite difficult to start on a slope. The team have also run an intensive programme on dampers with Koni in our own laboratory, on the track and on a four-post rig. We will go to Brazil with some highly modified Koni dampers. Melbourne set a new standard for Grands Prix in terms of the facilities and Brazil will have a very different character..."
After finishing his last eight races and scoring points in the last three, Mika Salo is confident for the South American campaign: "We had a good race in Australia and we proved that the 024 is quick. The team has been working on all the small problems we had in Melbourne so we will have better qualifying and an easier race. I don't particularly like Interlagos because its bumpy, otherwise the layout is interesting. But I really hope they have improved the quality of the tarmac since last year. Argentina is a great place and I expect a very good result. I like the circuit and the 024 will be super-good on that circuit."
Since his return from Australia, Ukyo Katayama has been working with his engineers to improve his driving position. He is now more comfortable in the car and feels confident for the next two races: "We had a good working sessions at Silverstone yesterday, working on starts and shaking down our race cars. I feel more confident for Brazil and Argentina because the engineers improved my position in the cockpit. I was not comfortable in Melbourne, my driving position was too low and it was difficult to drive on the limit, especially during the race. So we changed a lot of things in the cockpit and its much better now. I like the layout of the Interlagos circuit but Buenos Aires is not one of my favorites, Its too small, very slippery and I hate slow corners!"
Mike Gascoyne, Deputy Technical Director commented: "In Melbourne, we had very consistent tyres because of the track. The tyre situation will be completely different in Brazil and it will make pit stop strategy a key to success. Interlagos is characterized by two long straights which puts the emphasis on engine power but there is a very tight infield section where the car needs to handle well. Its a circuit where you have to play with down force and find a good compromise set-up. Getting the cars to go better on the bumps will gain you time.
"Argentina is different, its a big wing circuit. There isn't much straight and there are lots of second gear hairpins. Good entry into the hairpins and good traction out will be the key to a quick lap. It will be a hard race on transmissions and gearboxes. Like Brazil, the weather could be extremely hot and that something you need to be prepared for. Having two races back to back away from home at the start of the season with little time for preparation in between puts intense pressure on teams."
The Brazilian Grand Prix will be held on the 4.325kms/2.688 mile Interlagos circuit in Sao Paolo. The 71 lap, 307.075 kms/190.848 mile race will start at 13:00 hours local time on Sunday 31 march and is expected to last 1 hour 30 minutes.
The Argentine Grand Prix will be held on the 4.259 kms.2.647 mile Autodromo Oscar Galvez in Buenos Aires. The 72 lap, 306.680 kms/190.603 mile race will start at 13:00 hours local time on Sunday 7 April and is expected to last nearly 2 hours.