F1 News - 3 April 98

Formula One News Update - 03-04-98 SCHUMACHER TESTS FOR FERRARI Ferrari was at Barcelona since Wednesday with the test team run by Luigi Mazzola. Despite a partly wet track, Michael Schumacher completed 86 laps with a best time of 1m 24.331s...

Formula One News Update - 03-04-98


Ferrari was at Barcelona since Wednesday with the test team run by Luigi Mazzola. Despite a partly wet track, Michael Schumacher completed 86 laps with a best time of 1m 24.331s on the first day, during which he tried only one set of the new wider Goodyear front tyres. He also spun twice, damaging the undertray of his Ferrari F300 (chassis 183). He was a little slower on Thursday (1m 24.412s) when he was again evaluating chassis set-ups as well as testing a new rear wing for Argentina. "It is useless to test the front tyres until we have a definite set-up for them," he said on Thursday, "and also when the wind is changing like it is today." Today (Friday) Ferrari was going to test a new exhaust configuration with the pipes exiting on top of the engine cover, this having already been tried at Mugello. The team will remain at Barcelona on Saturday.


The Jordan team began three days of testing at Barcelona on Wednesday although overnight rain left the track surface damp until around 11.00am after which the sun emerged to dry it out. Damon Hill covered 67 laps on the first day with a best time of 1m 24.98s, concentrating on engine mapping for Mugen-Honda during the morning. In the afternoon he carried out chassis set-up work on control tyres and he also tried Goodyear's latest wider front tyre. Different dampers were also tested and an engine change was carried out in the evening prior in preparation for the following day. On Thursday Hill completed 89 laps with a best time of 1m 24.34s. Testing of modified chassis set-up with the wider front tyres continued together with back-to-back evaluations of revised front suspension components. Ralf Schumacher will take over testing for the final day on Friday.


Heinz-Harald Frentzen also started testing for Williams at Barcelona on Wednesday, driving the latest FW20 chassis number four which has just been completed. The German driver was testing Goodyear's latest wider front tyres in preparation for the Argentine Grand Prix at Buenos Aires. On Wednesday he managed 57 laps with a best time of 1m 24.54s. "I think the capability of our car is very similar to the Ferrari F300," said Patrick Head, "and we are looking forward to another performance improvement in Argentina." Frentzen got down to 1m 23.68s on Thursday.


The McLaren-Mercedes drivers were not testing this week, preferring instead to have a break before the Argentine Grand Prix at Buenos Aires. David Coulthard has gone to Miami and Mika Hakkinen to Uruguay.


Jo Verstappen was invited to carry out some routine testing at Silverstone for the Benetton-Playlife team this week, lapping the Northampton circuit doing data acquistion work for engine suppliers, Mecachrome. Verstappen drove on Wednesday and Thursday, completing a total of 64 laps for a best time of 1m 29.58s. The first day was marred by rain all day, but conditions were partly dry on Thursday. Jos said; "it's a shame a lot of time was lost due to bad weather, but I was still pleased with the test. The car is far more powerful than anything I have driven before, with a lot of grip and downforce."


The majority of Sauber team personnel are having a holiday break following the Brazilian Grand Prix and the Swiss team's test programme is due to resume at Magny-Cours the week after the Buenos Aires race.


Minardi has not been testing this week as the team personnel are holidaying in Brazil, although the factory staff in Italy remain busy working on aerodynamic modifications to improve the M198's downforce. In addition, the team is also attempting to improve the reliability of its drive-by-wire throttle system.


Most of the Prost team personnel returned to France after the Brazilian GP in order to complete the move from Magny-Cours to Guyancourt and this transfer will be virtually finished after Argentina. Meanwhile, Olivier Panis and Jarno Trulli remained in Brazil to complete a physical preparation programme under Patrick Chamagne. A new car is being completed as spare in Argentine to replace the one damaged in the warm-up by Panis at Interlagos. The team will also test at Barcelona on its return from Buenos Aires.


After two long haul races in relatively quick succession and a third on the way, many members of the Tyrrell team elected to stay in South America for a little rest and relaxation prior to the Argentine Grand Prix.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Damon Hill
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Minardi , Jordan