The Grand Prix of Europe, which plays out on Germany's Eiffel plateau is nestled at an altitude of 500 meters. It will be the occasion for the new qualifying format to take effect -- one single session on Saturday afternoon. It also marks a change...
The Grand Prix of Europe, which plays out on Germany's Eiffel plateau is nestled at an altitude of 500 meters. It will be the occasion for the new qualifying format to take effect -- one single session on Saturday afternoon. It also marks a change in Jordan Grand Prix's third driver, with Franck Montagny -- Renault reserve driver -- replacing Dutch driver Robert Doornbos.
The two official drivers Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan will have two sets of tires. "It must make them nervous during the two sixty minute sessions of trials they have to work on the their cars' setup, while Franck can drive with 50kg less on board, since he will have less fuel," explained a Jordan Grand Prix technician. "Every ten kilos is about 0.3 seconds a lap benefit."
Tiago is glad to be able to benefit from the experience of a driver who has driven thousands of kilometers behind the wheel of an F1. "Jordan can count on Franck's experience, which can be quite helpful. He has been a test driver for Renault since 2003 and he has driven 35,000 kilometers on board an F1. We have a great spirit for working on our team and Franck Montagny could be a very good addition."
The first day of tests on the N?rburgring was very productive for Tiago, who was the fastest of the three Jordan Grand Prix drivers in the morning. Credited with the No. 16 time in the first session, the Portuguese driver had every reason to be happy with his work.
"I was blocked for a long time in front of the stands, and when I got back on the track it took me four laps to get the tires back up to the ideal operating temperature. My best time was with hard tires. So I went back to the stands to work with the engineers and find out what could be done to improve the car, for one last try."
In the afternoon, Tiago and his engineers decided to explore some new options in the Jordan Toyota EJ15's setup. "After the technical debriefing and the first session, and in light of the telemetry measurements, we decided to make some substantial changes to the chassis setup. The car was then intrinsically faster but more unstable as well."
"Unfortunately I was not able to avoid a spinout, and the electonic traction control system that should have kept the engine revved up right didn't work and I stalled. I had to wait for the car to be brought back to the stands before I could get back to work."
Tiago was able to cover more than ten laps once his car was brought back from the stands, ready to take to the track again. He eventually wound up in 20th place in the hierarchy, ahead of his teammate by two seconds. But Tiago knows that the road is a long one before he will be able to produce good results on the N?rburgring.
"The hardest thing is choosing the tires. Hard tires are 1.5 seconds slower on a flying lap than soft ones, but they wouldn't help us make it to the checkered flag... So we have a lot of work to do with the data to lay out the best strategy."