French GP Tyrrell preview

RELIABILITY WILL BRING POINTS The French Grand Prix will mark the start of the second half of the 1996 Formula 1 World Championship and Tyrrell Yamaha is heading to the continent with the aim of finishing the race and scoring more points. The...

RELIABILITY WILL BRING POINTS

The French Grand Prix will mark the start of the second half of the 1996 Formula 1 World Championship and Tyrrell Yamaha is heading to the continent with the aim of finishing the race and scoring more points. The team has been working very hard over the last weeks to get back to the level of reliability shown at the beginning of the season and Mika Salo and Ukyo Katayama are looking forward to a strong result in France.

Both drivers tested on Friday (21 June) at Silverstone with two cars. Ukyo drove 15 laps and set a best time of 1 min 29.7 sec on old tyres. Mika drove 25 laps and his best time was 1 min 29.4 sec.

Harvey Postlethwaite, Managing Director - Engineering, said: "After a difficult series of races where we missed points due to bad reliability, the team has done everything it can to get things right for the French Grand Prix and we are looking forward to a positive weekend. On Friday we were testing some engine reliability parts and doing a little set-up work. We had limited miles on the engines which we ran up to the limit and we stopped at lunch time. We had a useful, productive test with both race drivers and we will shake down cars at Brands Hatch today on our way to France."

Mika Salo said: "We had a good test on Friday. We again improved the balance of the car and I am very happy with the 024. I am looking forward to finishing the French Grand Prix as I haven't seen the chequered flag for some races now! Magny-Cours is a nice circuit to drive, with lots of nice corners except the two hairpins which are quite boring. The only problem is that the track is in the middle of nowhere and it will be a shock after Montreal! Normally the weather is good so it will be a change from the previous races. It would be good to have a dry race."

Ukyo Katayama said: "We had a short but positive session at Silverstone. I drove my new chassis for the first time. It feels better, especially under braking and the seat position is more comfortable. It even had the smell of a brand new car! Magny-Cours is my fifteenth favourite track of the season! I like the high speed corners but I hate all the chicanes and the other 180 degree corners."

Mike Gascoyne, Deputy Technical Director commented: "It's a magic circuit because track conditions can be so variable. It's very smooth and the weather can be very hot. It's a low speed circuit but after the start/finish line you have two challenging long high speed corners followed by a long straight. The best overtaking point is at the end of this back straight which ends with a hairpin. Cars will be running a fair degree of wing but it will be a compromise between straight line speed and running maximum down force for the slow speed parts of the track. We did not go particularly well at Magny-Cours over the last couple of years so I hope we will go a little bit better this year! If we are reliable, the 024 is perfectly capable of being in the points."

The French Grand Prix will be held on the 4.250 kms/2.641 miles Magny-Cours circuit near Nevers in the centre of France. The 72 lap, 305.814 kms/190.065 race will start at 14:00 hours local time on Sunday 30 June and is expected to last one hour forty minutes.

Chassis numbers: Car 18, Ukyo Katayama: 05 Car 19, Mika Salo: 04 Spare car, Salo: 02 Spare chassis: 03

-- The F1 FAQ on the Web http://www.ultranet.com/~mitchmcc

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Mika Salo , Ukyo Katayama , Mike Gascoyne