Formula One Update 98-04-30

On 27th April the teams were informed by the FIA Technical Department that the mid-winglets fitted on certain Formula One cars were considered dangerous. Should any car be fitted with such a device in future events, the Stewards of the...

On 27th April the teams were informed by the FIA Technical Department that the mid-winglets fitted on certain Formula One cars were considered dangerous. Should any car be fitted with such a device in future events, the Stewards of the Meeting will be invited to exclude it under Art.127 of the International Sporting Code and Art. 2.3 of the Formula One Technical Regulations ("Dangerous Construction"). COULTHARD FASTEST BEFORE ACCIDENT

David Coulthard set the pace for the McLaren-Mercedes team at Barcelona on Wednesday, the second day of the test, before crashing quite heavily on the downhill right-hander before the pits. The MP4/13 sustained quite heavy suspension damage, broken front and rear wings plus deranged bodywork, but David was not injured and the monocoque was undamaged. Prior to the accident, Coulthard had posted the fastest time of the day, managing a 1m 22.75s best before the accident occurred after he had completed 21 laps. Team-mate Mika Hakkinen managed a total of 72 laps for a best of 1m 22.87s, although he also crashed lightly, damaging his car's nose section. McLaren had arrived at Barcelona on Tuesday with two MP4/13s for Hakkinen and San Marino GP winner Coulthard, the Finn setting fastest time on the first day on 1m 22.81s after 68 laps. Hakkinen concentrated mainly on Bridgestone tyre testing and lost time with an engine problem, later also suffering a minor hydraulic malfunction. Coulthard tested some new components and worked on chassis set-up, completing 72 laps for a best time of 1m 23.28s on Tuesday. The team is scheduled to continue testing until the end of tomorrow (Friday). BADOER, SCHUMACHER AND IRVINE OUT FOR FERRARI

Luca Badoer initiated Ferrari's test programme at Barcelona on Tuesday, covering 71 laps for a best time of 1m 24.620s during the course of aerodynamic and mechanical set-up work. He had no problems. On Wednesday, Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine took over, the former testing the high exhaust - nicknamed "the periscope" - and the latter experimenting with seat modifications to reduce the possibility of the muscle spasms he experienced during the San Marino GP. Schumacher covered 46 laps for a best of 1m 23.306s and Irvine 49 laps for a best of 1m 24.275s. Both are scheduled to run until tomorrow (Friday). JORDAN AT BARCELONA

The Jordan Mugen-Honda team began a three day test at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday with Ralf Schumacher and test driver Pedro de la Rosa starting the work in dry and sunny conditions(22-deg) but with a cool wind blowing. Schumacher completed a total of 78 laps for a best time of 1m 24.16s on standard specification Goodyear tyres. During the morning Schumacher concentrated on chassis set-up work in preparation for the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday week and then carried out a tyre test programme during the afternoon. De la Rosa covered 69 laps for a best of 1m 24.97s, carrying out engine mapping work in the morning and general set-up work in the afternoon. On Wednesday Damon Hill joined Schumacher, the English driver completing 87 laps with a best time of 1m 24.21s. In the morning he concentrated on engine mapping for Mugen-Honda and concentrated on chassis set-up work in the afternoon. He had one minor spin which caused no damage. Schumacher completed 90 laps of testing with a best of 1m 24.37s, concentrating on chassis balance work. Hill and Honda scholarship driver Juichi Wakisaki will continue the balance of the test today(Thursday). DEVELOPMENT WORK FOR WILLIAMS

Heinz-Harald Frentzen started a four day test for the Williams team on Tuesday at Barcelona, the German driver combining tyre testing with the evaluation of a few relatively minor chassis modifications for the Spanish Grand Prix. "We have some larger modifications to help us get the best out of the FW20, but they won't be ready for Barcelona," said the team's Technical Director Patrick Head. "I think this could be a difficult race for the Goodyear runners on the strength of what we have seen so far." Frentzen posted a 1m 24.20s best for fifth fastest time on Tuesday and trimmed that to 1m 23.91s to set fourth fastest time on Wednesday when he completed 52 laps. Jacques Villeneuve was scheduled to take over the test programme for Thursday and Friday. FISICHELLA RESTS, THEN CRASHES

Giancarlo Fisichella had originally intended to be testing for Benetton at Barcelona from Tuesday, but it was decided that the Italian driver should miss the session as he was slightly troubled by a stiff neck after his accident in Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix. However, Fisichella began running on Wednesday morning when he was working on car set-up. Unfortunately after only 25 laps he suffered a high speed shunt at the end of the start/finish straight. Giancarlo walked away from the accident, but the chassis was damaged and it is unlikely he will be able to test on Thursday. On Tuesday morning Alexander Wurz concentrated on set-up work intended to improve the B198's mechanical grip. He managed a 1m 23.79s best after 37 laps and continued on a tyre programme on Wednesday afternoon when he turned a best lap of 1m 24.41s. SAUBER PREPARES FOR SPAIN

Jean Alesi completed two days of testing for the Sauber-Petronas team at Barcelona this week with aerodynamic work and tyre testing foremost on the programme. On Tuesday the Frenchman drove 38 laps until the engine exceeded its scheduled mileage and he kept one set of tyres for the whole day, being quite satisfied with his 1m 24.27s best. On Wednesday Alesi managed to set fifth fastest time on 1m 23.95s. Test driver Jorg Muller also drove the second C17 available, completing 33 laps with a best time of 1m 24.77s. According to race engineer Andy Tilley, he did a good job without any mstakes. Afterwards Johnny Herbert took over for 13 laps to set the car up for the following day, setting a best time of 1m 25.35s. On Thursday and Friday Alesi and Herbert will continue with the test, not using the side-mounted winglets since the FIA has issued its ruling about them(see above). MAGNUSSEN ENCOURAGED IN STEWART TEST

Jan Magnussen completed his best-ever test session for the Stewart-Ford team yesterday (Wednesday) at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. After 68 laps - three laps longer than the scheduled Spanish GP race distance - Magnussen said he was pleased with the progress made. :"We did a lot of work on the handling and front suspension," he said. Rubens Barrichello completed 37 laps also working on set-up will also be running again on Thursday. Meanwhile back at the factory, the team is working round the clock on modifications to the aerodynamics and suspension systems and hopes it will be able to demonstrate an improvement for the Spanish GP. On the engine front, Stewart-Ford expects to have a couple of P4 V10 engines to use in qualifying next week and this latest evolution is currently running on the dynamometer. Barrichello set a 1m 25.31s best and Magnussen managed 1m 26.01s although neither were going for times. PROST HAS FOUR DAY TEST

Olivier Panis began testing for the Prost-Peugeot team on Tuesday at Barcelona with Jarno Trulli scheduled to take over this morning (Thursday) for two more days. Panis was initially tyre testing for the Spanish GP as well as assessing new aerodynamic configurations to replace the now-banned side winglets. Panis also worked with Peugeot on his starting technique and on Wednesday completed back-to-back tests on two types of tyre. TAKAGI AND ROSSET FOR TYRRELL

Tyrrell is also in Barcelona for three days testing with both Toronosuke Takagi and Ricardo Rosset, both working on tyre development and set-up for the Spanish Grand Prix. On Wednesday Takagi tried a revised braking system and Rosset worked on engine mapping. The team will be testing new components from Cosworth designed to overcome the air compressor problem which eliminated both Tyrrells from the San Marino GP. Deputy Technical Director Mike Gascoyne says he is quite happy with how the test has gone so far. REDON JOINS TUERO AND NAKANO FOR MINARDI

On Wednesday Minardi's test driver Laurent Redon completed 29 laps for the team at Barcelona for a test time of 1m 26.82s while Shinji Nakano posted a 1m 25.86s fastest. Today (Thursday) Redon is expected to share one car with regular driver Esteban Tuero while Nakano drives the other one. The team was evaluating engine endurance under heat and also experimenting with weight distribution. ARROWS POSTPONES TEST AT BARCELONA

The Arrows team decided to postpone its test at Barcelona until the week following the Spanish Grand Prix. "We have substantial work to do at the factory," explained a spokesperson, "and this includes a further evolution of our V10 engine which could well be used at the next race."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Rubens Barrichello , Jean Alesi , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Jan Magnussen , Alexander Wurz , Shinji Nakano , Jorg Muller , Laurent Redon , Ricardo Rosset , Patrick Head , Mike Gascoyne , Esteban Tuero
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Minardi , Jordan