TYRRELL CONFIDENCE BUILDS AT SILVERSTONE February 20, 1997 - Tyrrell Racing's 1997 Formula One pre- season testing programme was completed at Silverstone this after- noon, where the team was further encouraged by another ...
TYRRELL CONFIDENCE BUILDS AT SILVERSTONE February 20, 1997 - Tyrrell Racing's 1997 Formula One pre- season testing programme was completed at Silverstone this after- noon, where the team was further encouraged by another construc- tive session on the track. The 200 mph Tyrrell-Ford 025 has completed over 4000 kms during the past month and this has bred confidence throughout the team as it prepares for the opening Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne in two weeks. Having been forced to cancel a proposed trip to Estoril as a result of the Spanish lorry drivers strike, the Ockham-based team hastily made arrangements to complete their scheduled testing at the Northmaptonshire track. Although much important work was carried out during the test regarding the performance and devel- opment of the car, the atrocious weather conditions and gusting winds restricted progress in terms of lap times. Mika Salo, driving the first 025 chassis, experimented with the set up of the car and did reliability work over 62 laps on Tuesday and Wednesday. "He did a very professional job in difficult conditions," said Deputy Technical Director, Mike Gascoyne. This morning, the London-based Finn completed 35 laps of the revised 5.14-kilometre Silverstone circuit, clocking a best time or 1:27.4. The third chassis currently being completed at the Surrey factory will be shaken down next week before leaving for Melbourne where it will become Mika's race car. Commenting on the progress Tyrrell has made, 30-year old Salo, who is starting his third year with the team, revealed his determination for the coming season. "I can't wait to race again and I am very much looking forward to Melbourne," Salo said. "The car is very easy to set up and is sensitive to the changes we make. "The performance of the engine has been excellent and the team is in good shape." Salo's new team mate, 24-year old Jos Verstappen, completed 76 laps during the course of the three days and this afternoon was able to post a best time of 1:27.1. Reflecting on his first month behind the wheel of the Tyr- rell-Ford 025, Verstappen enthused: "I am comfortable with the handling of the car, the engine seems to be strong and we have has no problems, so I'm looking forward to the season. "The weather was a little frustrating this week but it should be better in Australia." The settings on Salo's car were changed over the afternoon to accommodate `Tiger' Takagi, the young protege of former Tyr- rell driver and recently appointed Sporting Director, Satoru Nakajima. Takagi, the Formula Nippon star who will continue to race in Japan this season, is quickly adapting to the demands of driving a Formula One car, completing 25 laps on a greasy track. "Tiger did well today," confirmed Gascoyne. "The circuit was wet all afternoon, but he did not make any mistakes and he is learning the car all the time." Harvey Postlethwaite, Managing Director - Engineering, is delighted with the progress the team has made since the launch of the Tyrrell-Ford 025 in January. "The chassis and the engine have both worked out of the box, as we hoped they would and this has been our most productive pre- season for many years," he explained. "The cars are well balanced and the engines have been extremely consistent; above all the drivers like the car and are happy and that's a good indication."
* 1st 2.00 #8604 * Can I have a kilo of cliches and two colloquialisms, please.