JORDAN-PEUGEOT GETS READY FOR BRAZILIAN GP ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Benson and Hedges Jordan-Peugeot team were in action at Silverstone this week. Rubens Barrichello and Martin Brundle spent...
JORDAN-PEUGEOT GETS READY FOR BRAZILIAN GP ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Benson and Hedges Jordan-Peugeot team were in action at Silverstone this week. Rubens Barrichello and Martin Brundle spent two days testing at the Northamptonshire circuit in preparation for the forthcom- ing Brazilian Grand Prix which takes place, March 31th, in Ru- bens' hometown of Sao Paulo. For Brundle it was a relatively untroubled return to the cockpit after the drama of the season-opener in Australia. Martin's only reminder of the first-lap accident which totally destroyed his car is a sore ankle, resulting from his much publi- cized run down the pit lane in search of Professor Sid Watkins. It was the furthest Martin has run since he broke his ankle in the Dallas race in 1994. This time it was team mate Barrichello who caused the red flag to fly; he aquaplaned off the rain-swept track on Thursday afternoon, after hitting a puddle of water at Becketts corner. Rubens was unhurt in the accident and, though the damage was to the rear end of the car was largely superficial, the incident once again highlighted the issue of driver safety. It is a subject very much on the mind of Jordan's Technical Director Gary Anderson, particularly after the Australian Grand Prix. ``Performance and safety are probably the two most important concerns in your mind when you sit down to design a car,'' Ander- son said. ``You want your drivers to be as quick as possible, and as safe as possible. Motor racing does have inherent dangers, as was demonstrated in Australia. The difference between Martin hurting himself in the accident and not hurting himself is partly down to luck. You never know where bits of the car are going to end up or whether another driver is going to hit you in that kind of situation; you cannot predict the exact sequence of events in an accident. ``You can however devise regulations to ensure the drivers are safe in as many situations as possible, hence the new regula- tions concerning cockpits. As far as out cockpit sides are con- cerned, safety was the first thing we looked at because that, afterall, is the reason the regulation was introduced in the first place. ``It's up to the design team to look at the rules and try to find the best way to achieve safety and performance within those rules. I am quite confident that the solution we came up with meets those requirements and it has the approval of the FIA. In my own mind I am 100 percent happy that I have not, and never would, build a car which compromises the safety of the driver in any way. ``Both Martin and Rubens are happy with the protection they have around the cockpit. In fact, they wouldn't want the cockpit sides higher because it would restrict their view from the car and I think that is an important point. I am 99 percent sure that, if the regulation stays the same for next year, the majori- ty of the cars will look more like ours.'' Anderson will be back in a `hands on' engineering role in Brazil and Argentina. In addition to determining the overall technical direction that the team will follow, Gary will act as Brundle's race engineer. Martin's regular race engineer, Tim Holloway, suffered a mild heart attack a few days after returning from Australia. Although 45-year old Holloway is now thankfully making a steady recovery, he is not expected back to work for a few weeks yet. Both drivers can expect improved drivability in Brazil as a result of engine modifications carried out by Peugeot. The will also be running once again with support from the Fiamm Group which has just renewed its sponsorship with the Jordan team. The 71-lap race takes place at the undulating Circuito Carlos Pace in Interlagos, just a stone's throw from Barrichello's childhood home. ``It's a very nice track and it has been resurfaced, so it should be a lot less bumpy than last year.'' Barrichello said. ``It's hard on your neck because the track goes anticlockwise - the opposite way around - but I always enjoy racing there and hopefully this year will be no exception.''
Circuit Details Length: 4.325 kms/2.687 miles. Race distance: 71 laps (307.075 kms/190.777 miles) Schedule March 29th - Practice 11:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 14:00. March 30th - Practice 09:00 to 09:45 and 10:15 to 11:00. " " - Qualifying 13:00 to 14:00. March 31th - Warm-up 08:30 to 09:00. " " - Race 13:00.