Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, Northamptonshire, England 10am to 5pm on Thursday 28 September, 2000 by Mark Gledhill (firstname.lastname@example.org) Trulli sets fastest time Lemarie tests tyre-guards Manning spins off - twice ...
Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, Northamptonshire, England
10am to 5pm on Thursday 28 September, 2000
by Mark Gledhill (email@example.com)
Trulli sets fastest time Lemarie tests tyre-guards Manning spins off - twice
Drivers: Eddie Irvine (Jaguar), Jarno Trulli (Jordan), Darren Manning (BAR) and Patrick Lemarie (BAR)
Conditions: Initially cold and dull with a very wet track. Bright sun just before lunch began to dry the track, and the conditions were hot and sunny by mid-afternoon.
The action started at 10am with Eddie Irvine and Darren Manning taking to the wet track as soon as the session began. Irvine completed a single installation lap while Manning continued for 2 laps in the difficult conditions, setting a time of 1m 46.41s. The BAR driver was struggling in fast corners, especially at the exit of Woodcote, and also ran wide through Luffield. Jarno Trulli soon followed him for one installation lap, as did Patrick Lemarie in the other BAR.
Eddie Irvine returned to the track, lapping as fast as 1m 38.00s. He was clearly trying different lines through corners and appeared to be suffering from understeer. On his third lap he was very slow and careful through Club corner, and this was reflected in his time of 1m 41.17s.
A few minutes later Jarno Trulli attempted some laps on the wet track. He was deliberately running wide through Luffield, and feathering the throttle at various points around the circuit. He initially set a 1m 38.20s lap and appeared to gain confidence and was soon lapping in the 1m 37s range. The Jordan driver touched the white line a couple of times but corrected the subsequent slides.
Darren Manning accelerated straight onto the track, which was possible because the BAR garage is at the far end of the pitlane. He appeared faster, smoother and more careful than before, and was particularly cautious through Abbey and Club. He improved his best time to 1m 38.31s. As he pitted his teammate Lemarie took to the track and completed a single installation lap.
Eddie Irvine continued to try different lines, and at one point he backed off at Vale presumably because he had run wide on the exit of Stowe. His best time on a run of three laps was 1m 38.39s.
The sun started to appear, just as Trulli and Manning took to the track for long stints. Both drivers were struggling for control of their cars as they completed 15 and 9 laps respectively, with times of 1m 37.26s and 1m 38.70s. They were briefly joined by Irvine (1m 37.93s), who appeared this time to be suffering from oversteer, and Patrick Lemarie, who twitched wildly at Luffield on several laps. All drivers were clearly struggling more through Priory and Bridge as each lap passed.
Lemarie spun at Abbey, and then applied too much power when attempting to spin back onto the track and had to spin the car again to end up in the right direction. He returned straight back to the pits. The conditions then because cold with a slight drizzle and Irvine was sliding wildly as he completed three laps (1m 38.30s). He appeared to back off at Becketts, and then returned slowly to the pits.
A twenty minute gap followed, broken only by a single 1m 40.76s lap by Darren Manning.
The conditions became sunny and warm again and Irvine, Lemarie and Manning all started shorts stints, with Irvine lapping as fast as 1m 37.23s and Lemarie as slow as 1m 42.40s. Irvine was again trying different lines, as the track was starting to dry in places, although there were still many damp patches. Lemarie was also trying some different lines and twitching wildly.
Another short gap followed and when Manning and Irvine returned to the track their times (Manning 1m 37.54s and Irvine 1m 36.36s) showed that the track was starting to dry. The drivers were still on wet tyres. Lemarie (1m 39.27s) and Trulli (1m 36.12) also came out, the Jordan driver completing 9 flying laps and looking very smooth and solid on most laps. He slid into Brooklands a couple of times, but consistently lapped between 1m 36s and 1m 37s.
The drivers allowed a few more minutes for the track to dry and Lemarie was the first to venture back out, completing a single lap timed at 1m 37.49s. Manning did an installation lap, and then Lemarie set three very fast laps - 1m 31.03s, 1m 31.44s and 1m 30.50s - and looked very fast and tidy. The Frenchman pitted, but soon returned to the track and then set a 1m 30.11s, 1m 37.69s, 1m 29.34s, and finally a 1m 29.28s which was ultimately the fastest lap of the morning session His team mate Darren Manning returned to the track but went off the track on his first flying lap, bringing the session to a premature end. The BAR was returned to the pits completely hidden by a cover held down by three team members, although the car was reportedly covered in grass and mud.
The afternoon session started at 2pm with bright sun, patchy cloud and a slight cool breeze. The first engine fired into life at 2.25pm and Eddie Irvine completed a slow installation lap. Jarno Trulli set the first flying lap, a 1m 29.41s, soon followed by a 1m 29.15s lap. Eddie Irvine responded by setting a 1m 28.63s, a 1m 28.34s, and finally improving to 1m 27.66s. He was driving very fast and carried a lot of speed into corners. He appeared to run wide at Stowe again and then returned to the pits.
A long gap followed before Irvine and Trulli retuned to the track. They exchanged times in the 1m 27s to 1m 29s range. Trulli was turning into corners very early and seemed to be suffering from oversteer in Luffield. Irvine was sliding in Luffield too. Trulli pitted and soon returned, and was changing up through the gears noticeably earlier than before, and was power-sliding through Luffield. The Italian lapped as quickly as 1m 26.83s.
Eddie Irvine also found the quickest way through Luffield was to power-slide and he tried this on his out-lap. However Darren Manning brought the session to a halt by spinning into the gravel at Brooklands. The BAR driver was taking the corner carefully but appeared to loose control at the exit of the corner and spun slowly into the gravel. He sat in the car for a few minutes before being collected by a rescue vehicle and returned to the pits. The car was also returned, again under a cover, but was taken via the infield of the circuit and not past the spectators.
The session restarted after 15 minutes and Jarno Trulli returned to the track, again looking very fast and power-sliding. He set a time of 1m 26.83s and was joined on track by Irvine, Manning and Lemarie. The Frenchman's car had a type of wheel-protector on each of the four wheels, in the form of a bar that would protect the each wheel from touching the wheel of another car. Lemarie completed a handful of laps before returning to the pits, and the wheel devices were not seen again.
The conditions were now very hot. Manning returned to the track, and was joined by Trulli (1m 26.69s) who was really fighting for control of his Jordan, and Irvine (1m 27.13s) who appeared to be suffering from oversteer. Within minutes Manning had stopped in the gravel trap at Brooklands, in a repeat of his earlier incident, and the session was stopped for fifteen minutes.
At the restart Trulli, Lemarie and Irvine took to the track, with Irvine setting a 1m 27.07s lap and looked smooth and fast. He appeared to run wide at Vale, for the third time during the day. The conditions were now becoming overcast, and Lemarie (1m 29.04s) and Irvine (1m 26.79s) started their final stints of the day. Darren Manning joined them too, but unfortunately the session was halted because Patrick Lemarie had stopped on track.
This event sadly brought public Formula One testing at Silverstone in 2000 to a premature end. All drivers appeared to struggle in the initially difficult conditions, although Eddie Irvine was the smoothest through the corners and Jarno Trulli took several risks. The track really started to dry just before lunch and Lemarie's quick laps set the trend for the afternoon. Irvine and Trulli exchanged fastest laps all afternoon and both were trying different lines and driving styles. Darren Manning appeared to drive smoothly in the difficult conditions but was twice caught out by the same area of track. The wheel devices that appeared briefly on the BAR added an extra element of interest to the session.
Session times: 1 Trulli (Jordan) 1m 26.463s, 2 Irvine (Jaguar) 1m 26.559s, 3 Manning (BAR) 1m 27.511s, 4 Lemarie (BAR) 1m 28.789s.
Photographs of the session will be published at http://www.formula-photos.co.uk/ within the next few days.