British GP Friday Free Practice Report

Friday 10 July 1998 Friday free practice, 11.00-12.00 WEATHER CONDITIONS: warm, light overcast _________________________________________________________________ Hakkinen and ...

Friday 10 July 1998 Friday free practice, 11.00-12.00 WEATHER CONDITIONS: warm, light overcast _________________________________________________________________ Hakkinen and Coulthard 1-2 for McLaren The McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13s of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard finished the first part of today's free practice session 0.092sec apart in first and second places. Despite slight initial tyre graining in cool conditions, both drivers were generally happy with the feel of their cars although Coulthard complained of slightly too much oversteer in medium speed corners "which was a change from last week's testing when we had too much understeer." Coulthard also survived a straight-on moment without any damage. Schumacher third for Ferrari Michael Schumacher set third fastest time, although he admitted that he did not bother to try much in the way of chassis set-up work as he expects the conditions to change again this afternoon when there is more rubber on the track. The team did not bring its new front wing which is being held back for use on faster circuits later on. Eddie Irvine lost most of the session after spinning into a gravel trap at Luffield on only his third lap. Fisichella happy with Benetton Giancarlo Fisichella set fourth fastest time in his Benetton B198, reporting himself happy with the feel of the slight suspension and aerodynamic modifications which were being used this weekend. Alexander |Wurz spent most of the session getting to grips with a brand new chassis and wound up 11th. Both drivers will have development versions of the Playlife V10 engines for tomorrow's sessions. Williams fifth and seventh Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen set fifth and seventh fastest times in their Williams FW20s which incorporated shorter side pods and other aerodynamic revisions which proved promising in testing last week. "Our option tyre has been graining so the handling was not so good this morning," said Patrick Head, "but we expect things to improve as more rubber goes down." Heinz-Harald Frentzen added that he was not certain just how much of last week's testing promise will carry over to the race weekend. "The car is better," he said, "but it is a little early to say how much closer to the Ferraris we really are." Hill sixth for Jordan Damon Hill set sixth fastest time for Jordan, but neither he nor team-mate Ralf Schumacher felt this was particularly representative of what was to follow when the circuit conditions settled in. Ralf finished the session tenth fastest. Briefly: Jean Alesi complained that his Sauber's tyres were graining excessively, but Johnny Herbert said he had no problemsboth Prost drivers complained about lack of grip and are working to improve the aerodynamicsBoth Arrows drivers are using regular specification V10 engines. Pedro Diniz had a water leak and Mika Salo was troubled by rear-end bottomingRubens Barrichello's Stewart-Ford was troubled with steering trouble while Jos Verstappen found the circuit conditions "very strange". _________________________________________________________________ Friday 10 July 1998 Friday free practice, 13.00 to 14.00 WEATHER CONDITIONS: mild and overcast _________________________________________________________________ Coulthard goes ahead of Hakkinen David Coulthard raised his hopes for a possible home Grand Prix victory here at Silverstone when he lapped his McLaren-Mercedes 0.124sec faster than his team-mate Mika Hakkinen in the second hour-long portion of today's free practice session here at Silverstone. "The track conditions were fairly consistent today although not as they were when we tested here last week," said Coulthard, "but at least we are towards the right end of the field. It was quite emotional for me going down the Hangar Straight on the first lap to see all the support from the fans. I obviously would like a dry qualifying session and race; I know Ferrari have made progress, but we have some more developments in the pipeline at McLaren so they had better watch out." Mika Hakkinen was generally satisfied with his MP4/13's behaviour and spent most of the session trying to improve the sharp edge of his car's handling balance. Williams FW20s third and fourth Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jacques Villeneuve were both optimistic about the feel of their Williams FW20s here this afternoon, each driver using a fresh set of tyres in the second part of the session - Frentzen because he flat-spotted his original set and Villeneuve because the team is confident that it will rain at some stage of the weekend and conserving dry weather tyres may not be such a pressing priority. Irvine fifth for Ferrari Eddie Irvine made up for time lost during the first hour of the session, setting fifth fastest time in his Ferrari F300 after concentrating on back-to-back evaluations of the Goodyear prime and option tyre choices this afternoon. Michael Schumacher wound up seventh fastest, unconcerned about his position as he felt there was still plenty of chassis tuning to do before tomorrow's qualifying session. Benetton completes top half dozen Giancarlo Fisichella set sixth fastest time in his Benetton-Playlife, life team-mate Alexander Wurz the Italian was suffering from a big oversteer problem through the first sector of the lap. Wurz also had a straight-on moment and had to be satisfied with eighth fastest time. Jordans ninth and tenth Ralf Schumacher and Damon Hill set ninth and tenth fastest times in the Jordan Mugen Hondas, Hill slipping a bit despite trying a second set of option compound tyres. Ralf Schumacher was moderately happy with the feel of his car. Briefly: Johnny Herbert lost about half an hour as mechanics worked to rectify a problem with the hydraulic pump which controls the electronic throttle mechanismJean Alesi reported his Sauber C17 felt difficult to balance but felt the latest Step 2 Petronas engines were stronger than those used at Magny-CoursBoth Prost drivers had problems setting up their cars; Olivier Panis had a spin and Jarno Trulli stopped on the circuit shortly before the end of the session.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Jos Verstappen , Johnny Herbert , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Rubens Barrichello , Jean Alesi , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Alexander Wurz , Mika Salo , Damon Hill , Patrick Head , Pedro Diniz
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Jordan