Formula One Test Session, Wednesday 20 February 2002 Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, England Drivers: Jarno Trulli (Renault), Jenson Button (Renault), Takuma Sato (Jordan), Heinz-Harold Frentzen (Arrows), Enrique Bernoldi (Arrows), Eddie Irvine...
Formula One Test Session, Wednesday 20 February 2002
Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, England
Drivers: Jarno Trulli (Renault), Jenson Button (Renault), Takuma Sato (Jordan), Heinz-Harold Frentzen (Arrows), Enrique Bernoldi (Arrows), Eddie Irvine (Jaguar)
The third day of testing at Silverstone provided the teams with challenging conditions as they worked on last-minute set-up and systems tests on their 2002 cars. A damp but drying track, cross-winds, cold temperatures, and then heavy rain were the obstacles presented to the teams, but the drivers handled these well and produced some respectable lap-times.
Arrows had a very successful day and put many miles on the new A23. Frentzen did two long runs and set the fastest time of the day, some two seconds ahead of the rest of the pack. He had noticeable problems handling the car in the strong winds at the back of the circuit but kept it pointing the right way. Bernoldi also did a lot of laps, running some data-logging equipment and extra aerials on the roll-hoop of his car. The team did not suffer any major technical problems for the first time this week.
Renault concentrated on systems checks and shaking down the cars, including the new R202-03, prior to shipping out to Melbourne. Trulli and Button did several short stints and were clearly not pushing the cars anywhere near their limits. This was reflected by the fact that they set the slowest times of the day, Button being some ten seconds slower than Frentzen despite being on track around the same time. The team did some practice pitstops in the afternoon, and suffered a leak in the refuelling equipment that spayed fuel over the car but fortunately did not ignite.
Jordan tested both the EJ12 and EJ11 cars, with Takuma Sato starting with the 2001 chassis in the morning and then switching to the 2002 chassis in the afternoon. He was over a second quicker in the older car despite the damper conditions. He also suffered a quick spin in the EJ12 at Club as he was caught out by the strong cross-winds, but returned to the pits without any damage. He also suffered a large slide at Luffield during a period of heavy rain but just kept the car pointing in the correct direction. The gearbox on the EJ12 was changed during the lunch break, but Sato only did one lap in the afternoon due to the worsening conditions.
Jaguar concluded their test with Eddie Irvine replacing Pedro de la Rosa in the single R3 chassis. He was experimenting with different set-up settings and was driving smoothly over the damp patches early on. However as the track conditions improved his pace picked up and he was pushing very hard late in the morning. However his engine eventually let go along the pit-straight on his seventh consecutive flying lap.
Testing will continue on Thursday on the National circuit at Silverstone with Arrows, Jordan and McLaren all participating. Media will not be permitted to attend the event.