Silverstone test report 2000-07-19

Formula One Test Report Silverstone, England 10am-5pm, Wednesday 19th July 2000 Drivers: Coulthard, Panis (McLaren); Burti, Franchitti (Jaguar); Zonta, Manning, Lemarie (BAR); Trulli (Jordan); Fisichella (Benetton); Button (Williams); Salo ...

Formula One Test Report
Silverstone, England
10am-5pm, Wednesday 19th July 2000

Drivers: Coulthard, Panis (McLaren); Burti, Franchitti (Jaguar); Zonta, Manning, Lemarie (BAR); Trulli (Jordan); Fisichella (Benetton); Button (Williams); Salo (Sauber)

Weather: Sunny and bright, clear sky, slight cool breeze at start of session, gradually cooling and clouding over towards the end of the sesion; Air temperature: 21-24 degrees Celsius; Track temperature: approaching 40 degrees Celius during the hotest parts of the session.

The circuit opened at 10:00am and one minute later the first engine of the day fired up. David Coulthard left the pitlane and completed one installation lap, followed gradually by Panis, Button, Manning, Fisichella, Salo, Burti, Trulli and Fisichella.

At 10:13am David Coulthard came out for five flying laps. The first three were in the 1m 25s range, and the McLaren looked very fast into Brooklands and through Luffield. David was soon joined by Mika Salo for four laps all at around 1m 27s. Giancarlo Fisichella completed an out lap at very low speed, with higher gear ratios than normal for Silverstone, followed by three laps at around 1m 26s.

Darren Manning, testing evolution 5 of the Honda engine for BAR, also did a very slow out lap followed by three laps above 1m 30s. He appeared to have difficulty controlling the throttle on the short straight between Brooklands and Luffield. Patrick Lemarie continued development duties for BAR, starting with four untidy laps in the high 1m 29s. BAR were testing engine reliability and set-up.

Jenson Button's first five flying laps of the day were above 1m 30s. The Briton was very slow through Luffield. He started off driving a used engine and completed few laps during the day, although the team did change engines during the lunch break. The team were concentrating on aerodynamics.

McLaren driver Olivier Panis appeared for one fast flying lap at 10:22am before returning to the pits with the engine on tickover. As Panis pitted, Grand Prix driver Luciano Burti came out and completed one flying lap, driving a new car after destroying one in a crash at Stowe yesterday. He was joined by guest driver Dario Franchitti who completed three laps in the 1m 27s before returing to the pits. Dario looked to be driving carefully and did not push hard on those early laps.

Jordan's Jarno Trulli locked-up under braking for Brooklands, the only occasion that any driver locked-up at that place during the day. Jordan had two cars at the test with slightly different specifications, in preparation for the German Grand Prix. Salo joined Trulli for four laps, as did Fisichella who was fighting for control of the car through Luffield. As Trulli pitted, Coulthard started a four lap run lapping as low as 1m 24.78s.

Shortly before 11am slight patches of cloud started to appear, and track was empty for a few minutes. For the next half an hour Darren Manning did a lot of running, accompanied by most drivers at some point. Dario Franchitti was pushing visibly harder as the car was twiching on the exit of Luffield.

At 11:32am a plume of smoke caused by an oil leak appeared from the back of Fisichella's car as he approached Brooklands. The same thing happened on the following lap and unfortunately the Benetton did not complete another lap, spinning 360 degrees at Copse before stopping further round the circuit. The session was stopped for 15 minutes as the Benetton was retrieved.

The restart saw Mika Salo, Jenson Button, David Coulthard come out for short runs, and Darren Manning complete the first serious run of the day totalling 17 flying laps at around 1m 28s. Coulthard completed six laps before sliding at Brooklands and returning to the pits. Manning returned after 7 minutes in the pits for six laps before stopping out on the circuit and causing the session to be stopped again.

After eight minutes the session restarted and all drivers except Manning completed a few laps before lunch. The session was stopped a couple of seconds short of 1.00pm to retrieve Fisichella's Benetton which had stopped out on the circuit.

MORNING SESSION: 1 Panis 1:24.63; 2 Coulthard 1:24.72; 3 Fisichella 1:25.15; 4 Burti 1:25.95; 5 Salo 1:26.38; 6 Trulli 1:26.47; 7 Manning 1:27.79; 8 Franchitti 1:27.90; 9 Lemarie 1:27.94; 10 Button 1:30.26.

Testing resumed at 2.00pm and the first car out was again David Coulthard, fifteen minutes into the session. He immediately set a 1m 25.89s followed by a 1m 25.64s. Button, Fisichella and Franchitti completed a few laps.

Luciano Burti started a race simulation. He completed 19 timed laps, made a pit-stop, 16 further timed laps, made another pit-stop, and then completed one further timed lap before the session was stopped. He was lapping fairly consistantly in 1m 27.3s, at one point going as low as 1m 26.87s in cooler conditions, and occasionally slipping into the late 1m 27s and rarely into the 1m 29s. The run was in slightly cloudly and cooler conditions. He occasionally twiched through Luffield and other times took the corner carefully. He appeared to be suffering from oversteer towards the end of the run.

The session was stopped because Jarno Trulli had gone off at Copse, fortunately with no major damage to the car. The Italian driver had just started a run and set a 1m 28.72s. The session was stopped for 16 minutes as the circuit was cleared.

The session restarted at 3:40pm and the weather conditions were now overcast with a fair breeze. Olivier Panis started a run (around 1m 25s) which after six laps was cut short because Fisichella again stopped out on the circuit. Salo and Burti retured to the pits as the Benetton was towed back to the garage.

At 4:04pm the session resumed and Riccardo Zonta made his first appearance of the day, after his dental appointment. The BAR driver immediately set a 1m 28s time before returning to the pits. Coulthard, Burti, Panis, Zonta and Lemarie all completed short runs. David Coulthard did a practice start at the pit exit before starting another short run.

Panis, Coulthard, Zonta and Salo were all on track when the session was stopped at 4:51pm. Luciano Burti had gone off the track and the right-rear tyre had become detached from the car. The wreckage, with the right-hand side covered up, was returned back to the pits and by then it was past 5:00pm and so the day's testing finished.

COMBINED SESSIONS: 1 Panis 1:24.27; 2 Coulthard 1:24.72; 3 Fisichella 1:25.15; 4 Burti 1:25.95; 5 Salo 1:26.38; 6 Trulli 1:26.47; 7 Lemarie 1;27.37; 8 Zonta 1:27.45; 9 Manning 1:27.79; 10 Franchitti 1:27.86; 11 Button 1:29.10.

Photographs from the session will be available at from Friday 21st July 2000.

Disclaimer: All times were recorded with stopwatches using reference points around the circuit, and therefore should not be regarded as exact representations of the drivers' times. All facts were taken from unofficial circuit commentary, other spectators, or events witnessed on the track. Any errors of fact must be regarded as a genuine misunderstanding or misinterpretation by the author.

Mark Gledhill

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Luciano Burti , David Coulthard , Olivier Panis , Darren Manning , Patrick Lemarié , Mika Salo , Dario Franchitti
Teams Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Jordan