Magny-Cours, June/ 25/ 1999 1999 FRENCH GRAND PRIX -- FREE PRACTICE Ferraris excel under hot conditions at Magny-Cours Just as they did in last week's test, the Ferraris set the pace in first practice at Magny-Cours today, with Michael ...
Magny-Cours, June/ 25/ 1999 1999 FRENCH GRAND PRIX -- FREE PRACTICE
Ferraris excel under hot conditions at Magny-Cours
Just as they did in last week's test, the Ferraris set the pace in first practice at Magny-Cours today, with Michael Schumacher (the winner here in 1997 and 1998) edging out his team mate Eddie Irvine and the McLarens of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. The day was marked by some spectacular incidents, including one in which the Sauber of Jean Alesi overturned, but there were no injuries. High temperatures contributed to variable lap times and most teams are hoping that forecasts of cooler weather tomorrow prove to be accurate.
Yoshihiko Ichikawa, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager:
"Although the track conditions are not yet as good as they were during the test, the majority of the drivers have run on Soft tyres today. Because degradation here is quite severe, we anticipate that the leading teams will all decide, as usual at Magny-Cours, to make two stops. For this reason they will be conserving their rubber and I believe that virtually everyone will start practising tomorrow on scrubbed tyres."
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director, Jordan Grand Prix:
"The tyres which have been brought here by Bridgestone are very suitable to the track, although the conditions are constantly changing as the temperature increases. At Magny-Cours, unlike most other F1 circuits, times are fast at the beginning of the session and then get slower. It looks as though tyre wear will present no difficulties, and the nature of the track surface means that we should not see any degradation in the tyre compound. Our experience in the test and today indicates that a two-stop strategy will be ideal, and on Sunday I suspect that most drivers will be coming in early for their first stops. After the tests, I believe that virtually all the teams will also decide to use Soft tyres tomorrow."
Humphrey Corbett, Race Engineer on Olivier Panis's Prost-Peugeot:
"From experience with our car today, and during the test, the performance of the tyre begins to drop off after perhaps 20 laps, which leaves us quite a narrow 'window' in which to work. We have therefore been working on perfecting the handling of our car within that 20-lap period, which is proving difficult due to the high temperatures today. It means we have to do as much work as possible without doing too many laps and using up too many tyres. That is difficult, although we were pleased to find this afternoon that when we put on a fresh set of tyres the handling was unchanged. Several drivers, including Olivier, have been locking up front wheels today under braking when they try to push. This morning Olivier destroyed one set this way, although the tyres had already done nearly 30 laps and were close to the end anyway. When we gave him a fresh set he said he would not press too hard because he wanted to avoid flat-spotting the tyres. For qualifying tomorrow I think the first flying lap on fresh tyres will be the fastest, which was the case with our car."
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 25