Having already gathered useful set-up information during testing at Magny-Cours in preparation for Sunday's French Grand Prix, Jordan Grand Prix spent the first day of practice doing routine checks and saving their tyres and equipment for a...
Having already gathered useful set-up information during testing at Magny-Cours in preparation for Sunday's French Grand Prix, Jordan Grand Prix spent the first day of practice doing routine checks and saving their tyres and equipment for a serious push tomorrow.
The 2.64-mile circuit in central France is notorious for changing track conditions. Jarno Trulli and Heinz-Harald Frentzen were not unduly concerned about being seventh and tenth today since their Jordan Mugen Hondas are likely to have different handling characteristics when the all-important second day of practice and qualifying takes place tomorrow. Neither driver completed a single flying lap during the first of the two one-hour sessions today.
'The intention was not to do many laps,' said Trulli. 'We wanted to save the tyres because the wear rate is quite high. We have tested a lot here and, in any case, you can get a different reaction from the car each day. That was the case today when compared with testing but we are not concerned because we are confident of finding the right set-up tomorrow.' Frentzen tried different set-ups during the second session.
'There was no point in doing a lot of running,' agreed Heinz-Harald. 'The circumstances were a little different compared to testing so we are going to concentrate on tomorrow. It is difficult to predict what will happen. Today was a case of seeing that everything was okay with the car: we didn't have any problems.'
David Coulthard set the fastest lap so far despite losing time in the morning with a fuel pump failure, and a further 25 minutes in the afternoon while an oil tank leak was attended to. His McLaren team mate, Mika Hakkinen was third quickest, splitting the Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. All four of the leading runners concentrated on race set-ups and, like Jordan Grand Prix, preferred not to waste time today on sorting out the cars for the one-off fast laps required during qualifying tomorrow.