Paul Ricard test round up

F1 teams prepare for Bahrain and Imola at the Paul Ricard HTTT The Paul Ricard HTTT welcomed the Bar Honda, Panasonic Toyota Racing, McLaren Mercedes and Renault F1 teams for a 3-day private test session on March 23rd, 24th and 25th. During ...

F1 teams prepare for Bahrain and Imola at the Paul Ricard HTTT

The Paul Ricard HTTT welcomed the Bar Honda, Panasonic Toyota Racing, McLaren Mercedes and Renault F1 teams for a 3-day private test session on March 23rd, 24th and 25th.

During these three days, the four teams and their 10 drivers shared the 3Esc track solution (3.818km) of the Paul Ricard HTTT under spring-like weather conditions, rather irregular. Despite this, the teams succeeded in achieving their test program, mostly focused on tyre evaluation for the coming Bahrain and Imola Grands Prix.

While McLaren Mercedes and Panasonic Toyota Racing concentrated their efforts on tyre testing, Bar Honda and Renault F1 Team took advantage of these days to work on reliability, electronics and aerodynamic set-ups.

During these three days, the teams and their 10 drivers completed not less than 7445 Km on the track. Ricardo Zonta, test driver of Panasonic Toyota Racing set the overall best lap time.

Thanks to the now well-known abrasive run-offs of the Paul Ricard HTTT, the incident encountered by Toyota driver Jarno Trulli, spinning out of the track on Thursday at the 'Double Droite du Beausset' at a very high speed (over 250km/h), did not seriously damage the car and the driver was not injured.

Young Renault F1 Team test driver, Heikki Kovalainen, accumulated the highest number of laps (374 laps - 1.428 km). Renault F1 Team has largely contributed to the collective 7.445 km, completing not less than 2.800 km without any major incident. To be noted, Renault F1 was the only team on the track today (Friday March 25th).

The Gentlemens' Agreement concerning the limitation of private testing is most likely the reason why McLaren Mercedes, Panasonic Toyota Racing and Bar Honda did not participate to the third and final test day.

Globally, even if the weather conditions were not ideal, the teams and drivers succeeded in completing their test programs. BMW-Williams and Jordan Grand Prix will join the four teams present this week for a new private test session programmed at the Paul Ricard HTTT on April 13th to 15th.

-paulricard-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Ricardo Zonta , Heikki Kovalainen
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Williams , Toyota Racing , Renault F1 Team , Jordan