Budapest, August 13, 1999 -- Once again tackling a new and untried circuit, the primary objective for the British American Racing team during the two free practice sessions today was to maximise circuit time in order to work on set-ups and try...
Budapest, August 13, 1999 -- Once again tackling a new and untried circuit, the primary objective for the British American Racing team during the two free practice sessions today was to maximise circuit time in order to work on set-ups and try out the car's new aerodynamic package.
Jacques Villeneuve's car was one of the first on the track in the morning session, but he fell afoul of dirty track conditions and spun out at Turn 1 on his fifth lap. Jacques made up for lost time this afternoon, opting for a compromise set-up, and completed a day's total of 29 laps, lifting himself to 11th place on the provisional grid.
Ricardo Zonta had a trouble-free day working on finding a good balance for his car, placing 17th overall.The spare car will be set up for Zonta in Saturday's qualifying session.
The Hungaroring is a relatively tight, twisty circuit with few obvious overtaking opportunities. This sort of layout means it is a high downforce circuit and to be competitive, a car must have good front-end grip and be able to change direction quickly. Two major concerns for race engineers are the bumpy surface of the Hungarian circuit and the likelihood that the surface will be quite dirty when teams start running, as Jacques discovered to his chagrin today.
JACQUES VILLENEUVE -- 1:21.504 -- 11th "I'm confident for this weekend, because I like this track and it's always been good to me in the past. I went off a few times today, but when you're in the middle of the pack you always tend to push extra hard and make more mistakes. It's difficult to judge how the new aerodynamics are working because the track was very slippery today, however, I can say that the car seems well-balanced and we didn't need to make any major changes."
RICARDO ZONTA -- 1:22.290 -- 17th "I started this morning with the same basic setup as Jacques, and we tried the different compound tyres to see which was better. In the afternoon we stayed on the same tyres as first practice and concentrated on working on the settings for Saturday. The track was very slippery this afternoon but apart from that, no problems."
ROBERT SYNGE, Team Manager, British American Racing "Jacques was unlucky to miss the morning session. We had to make the most of the available track time on what is, for the team, a totally new circuit. This meant that we couldn't wait for the track to clean up as some of the other teams did, and Jacques was unfortunately caught out. He spun again right at the end of the afternoon, but in the meantime was reasonably quick. His last lap looked to be his quickest in fact, and we think he could have made up a couple of tenths, which would have put him three places higher up. Ricardo was a little unsettled by the slippery conditions and perhaps needed to push a little harder -- if he can get closer to Jacques on Saturday, that will be good. We didn't have any mechanical problems at all -- the new aerodynamic configuration seems good, but we'll really be able to compare on Saturday when everybody is on new tyres and low fuel.