Jean Alesi went some way towards making up for his disappointing race at Monza by setting the fastest time at a miserable Silverstone today. Drizzly, gusty conditions gave the Northampton track a wintery feel, as befits one of the final tests of...
Jean Alesi went some way towards making up for his disappointing race at Monza by setting the fastest time at a miserable Silverstone today. Drizzly, gusty conditions gave the Northampton track a wintery feel, as befits one of the final tests of the year. The damp track surface failed to dry during the day, so all of the nine drivers present used wet tyres throughout.
The conditions prevented Jaguar Racing from running its intended schedule, but with the weather at the Japanese GP notoriously fickle, it was a chance for Michelin to get some much-needed information on the performance of its wet tyre. The team did some comparative work on pieces that may be use at Indy, but it was not a day for making any definitive judgements.
Eddie Irvine ended up in fourth place with a best time of 1m34.820s, while Pedro de la Rosa was a few tenths further back in seventh, with a lap of 1m35.266s. Indian Narain Karthikeyan, who had a test with Jaguar Racing earlier in the year, had his second experience of F1, this time for Jordan. The Japanese F3000 driver had a couple of spins on his way to setting the eighth best time.
His was not the only unfamiliar face in the paddock, as McLaren was giving a first test to Mercedes DTM driver Marcel Fassler. The young Swiss’ first taste of F1 was limited to a couple of installation laps, although he should get a longer run tomorrow. The team’s regular test driver Alex Wurz was second quickest, despite a late spin, while Jenson Button was third for Benetton. Mark Webber had another test for the team, while Olivier Panis was BAR’s sole representative. <pre> Times from Silverstone Day One: 1. J. Alesi (Jordan) 1m34.034s (62 laps) 2. A. Wurz (McLaren) 1m34.102s (47) 3. J. Button (Benetton) 1m34.724s (24) 4. E. Irvine (Jaguar Racing) 1m34.820s (46) 5. M. Webber (Benetton) 1m34.971s (23) 6. O. Panis (BAR) 1m35.101s 7. P. de la Rosa (Jaguar Racing) 1m35.266s 8. N. Karthikeyan (Jordan) 1m36.008s 9. M. Fassler (McLaren) no time