Formula One Update 98-05-29

WILLIAMS TRY REVISED CAR AT MONZA The Williams-Mecachrome team tried what was officially described as a "revised overall car package" on its FW20 at Monza this week, but declined to give full details of the enhancements which are ...


The Williams-Mecachrome team tried what was officially described as a "revised overall car package" on its FW20 at Monza this week, but declined to give full details of the enhancements which are scheduled to be seen at the Canadian Grand Prix for the first time. On Tuesday Jacques Villeneuve completed a total of 61 laps for a third fastest time of 1m 26.05s and on Wednesday he split the McLaren-Mercedes with a 1m 25.11s although the teams only managed to achieve half a day's dry testing as torrential rain fell all afternoon. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was due to take over on Thursday, but continued heavy rain meant that the German had to sit out the third day of the test and the team left Monza without his running a single lap. FERRARI PREPARES AT MONZA

Ferrari's test session this week began at Monza on Tuesday with Luca Badoer in the cockpit, the Italian completing 46 laps with a best time of 1m 28.038s testing a new rear wing and working on chassis set-ups. After his runs the engine was changed as it was out of hours. Michael Schumacher arrived on Wednesday and did another 46 laps in the morning, producing a best of 1m 26.04s before heavy rain prevented him from running in the afternoon. He also worked on new low downforce set-ups for Montreal and also assessed new tyre compounds. On Thursday Schumacher was unable to turn up as he was suffering from a bout of flu and Eddie Irvine only managed a couple of slow laps as the rain was still falling heavily. Today (Friday) Irvine is scheduled to run at Fiorano. McLAREN'S ITALIAN WASH-OUT

The McLaren-Mercedes team also had its test programme effectively washed out at Monza this week after Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard set the pace on Tuesday. Testing in preparation for Canada, Hakkinen completed 24 laps for a best of 1m 25.85s and Coulthard 19 laps for a best of 1m 25.90s. On Wednesday Mika suffered an engine failure similar to that experienced by Coulthard at Monaco and only managed ten laps in the morning, after which the rain arrived in the afternoon and extended right through Thursday. Coulthard was quickest on Wednesday after 37 laps for a best of 1m 24.86s and Hakkinen did only ten laps due to his engine failure for a 1m 25.83s. On Thursday Hakkinen did 17 laps in the rain for a best of 1m 40.48s, but Coulthard did not run at all. WURZ SETS EARLY BENETTON PACE

Alexander Wurz set the early pace at Silverstone on Tuesday with his Benetton Playlife B198, posting a fastest time of 1m 27.86s during preparations for the Canadian Grand Prix. The Austrian driver tried revised suspension settings and tested an aerodynamic set-up specifically for the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve at Montreal. On Thursday Wurz completed a 55 lap race simulation test for a best time of1m 26.84s, taking time off during the day for a flying visit to the Benetton headquarters at Enstone. JORDAN AT SILVERSTONE

The Jordan Mugen-Honda team began a two day test at its home circuit on Wednesday with both Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher running in cool, cloudy conditions with an ambient temperature of around 11-deg(C). Hill completed 59 laps for a best time of 1m 28.00s concentrating on chassis set-up development and experienced no mechanical problems. Ralf covered 54 laps for a best of 1m 28.15s during the course of which he had two spins but sustained no car damage. Both Jordan 198s were running in low downforce trim in preparation for the Canadian GP. On Thursday Hill completed 44 laps for a best of 1m 28.62s despite a brief delay with a minor oil leak. TRULLI GETS DRY WEATHER FOR PROST

The Prost Peugeot team began a three day test session at Monza on Tuesday with Jarno Trulli trying three different types of Bridgestone tyre as well as working on aerodynamic set-ups for Montreal. The team also continued the development of the EV4 Peugeot engine to be used in qualifying for the French GP. Trulli's best time was 1m 26.73s. Both drivers were due to run on Thursday but the rain was too heavy for any laps in the afternooon. Trulli completed 37 laps in the morning for a fastest time of 1m 26.20s, but Olivier Panis was unable to run. But he was expected to drive today (Friday). SAUBER: DEVELOPMENT ENGINE FOR MONTREAL

The Sauber team tested a modified Petronas V10 engine at Monza this week in preparation for Montreal. The engine runs about 500rpm faster and performed without any problems throughout two days. Jean Alesi covered a total of 97 laps on Tuesday and Wednesday and posted a 1m 26.66s best time. He also carried out set-up work for the Canadian race and tested new Goodyear tyres. DINIZ HAPPY WITH ARROWS

Pedro Diniz left Silverstone in a happy frame of mind on Thursday afternoon following a two day test with the Arrows A19. The Brazilian was the team's sole driver at the test and completed 32 laps on Wednesday for a fastest lap of 1m 29.07s. On Thursday he improved to 1m 27.04s after 18 laps helped by a new software system. Arrows lost an engine on Wednesday, when the team concentrated most of its work on revised weight distribution, and the programme finished early on Thursday in order to pack up the cars for the flight to Canada. BARRICHELLO QUICKEST AT SILVERSTONE

Despite a number of red flag periods which prevented him from doing many quick laps, Rubens Barrichello emerged fastest at this week's Silverstone test with a best time of 1m 26.79s, set on Thursday after 31 laps. The Stewart's team test programme included evaluating different aerodynamic and suspension set-ups with the revised front geometry on the SF2. The team lost an engine on Thursday, but the overall mood for Canada is very optimistic. TYRRELL AT SILVERSTONE

Tyrrell was at Silverstone on Wednesday where Ricardo Rosset - whose contuining place in the team has been confirmed despite his two non-qualifications - ran all day. He was testing a revised braking system and achieved a best of 1m 30.8s. Toranosuke Takagi joined him on Thursday when he also tried the revised braking system, also completing a chassis set-up programme. Before the end of the day his best was a 1m 29.1s. NO TEST FOR MINARDI

Minardi did not test this week, but it is confirmed that the team will be testing for four days at Magny-Cours upon its return from Montreal where it will try a much modified car with a longer wheelbase.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Jean Alesi , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Alexander Wurz , Tora Takagi , Ricardo Rosset , Damon Hill , Gilles Villeneuve , Pedro Diniz
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Minardi , Jordan