Spanish GP Jordan preview

Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona Sunday 29 April 2001 Jordan Honda Relationship Makes Waves The Spanish Grand Prix weekend will be as busy off track for the Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda team as it will be on it. At the Circuit de...

Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona
Sunday 29 April 2001

Jordan Honda Relationship Makes Waves

The Spanish Grand Prix weekend will be as busy off track for the Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda team as it will be on it. At the Circuit de Catalunya where the Race Team focuses on continuing its consecutive run of points-scoring finishes, activities in down-town Barcelona will display the extension and strengthening of the Jordan Honda partnership.

Having announced in January this year that it would forge a relationship with Honda on the water as well as on the track, Jordan will this week present to the Formula One media, its Jordan Honda Powerboat which will compete in the Honda Formula 4-Stroke Series, the largest one-design powerboat series in the world. In distinct bright yellow livery and flying the flag of the new Jordan energy drink, EJ10, the boat will be launched in Port Vell, Barcelona on Thursday 26 April in the build up to the Spanish Grand Prix, just one week before the first race of the powerboat series which commences on 5-6 May in Teignmouth, England.

Benson And Hedges Jordan Honda Strengthens Its Race Team Engineering

As a further step towards achieving the goals shared by Jordan and Honda, 2001 has seen an enhanced engineering structure for the Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda team with the addition of a third engineer on each race car. Traditionally, Jordan has operated with one race engineer and one data engineer per car - the race engineer working directly with the driver while the data engineer gathers information gleaned from telemetry screens at the back of the garage. This system involved an onerous work load for the race engineer who was responsible not only for car set-up, but numerous other functions, including checking the legality of his car and liaising with mechanics and other race team members. For 2001, Jordan has strengthened its team by bringing on board assistant engineers to streamline its working practices. Jordan's Head of Engineering, Tim Holloway, explains that Jordan's decision to bring a further engineer to each race car means, "a great deal of day-to-day work is taken off the race engineer's shoulders, allowing him to concentrate more fully on his role of improving car set-up. The assistant engineer supports his race engineer by checking the car, the set-up and ensuring that the mechanics have got all the relevant information they need to work on the car. It doesn't sound much, but it's amazing how much work a race engineer has in just running around making sure mechanics have got set-up sheets and so on."

The presence of an assistant engineer also saves time in other ways. While the race engineer converses with his driver, he often has to divide his thoughts between the driver and other car issues. Leaving the latter to the assistant engineers means he can concentrate fully on the driver and not miss any feedback or information. "At the same time, it is also a very good learning curve for the young engineers, as we want them to progress into the number one role in the future," adds Holloway. During a typical track session at a race, the driver comes in at the end of a run, talking on the radio. Ultimately he is talking to everyone, including all three of his engineers. It is the race engineer who makes the decisions but he needs information from the data engineer and also has to be aware of what is going on with the other car. "During a session it is very difficult to liaise between the two cars, because each group is very blinkered and focused on its own driver," continues Holloway. "This problem is now made easier as the assistant engineer can listen in to the radio communications of the other car, while the race engineer is concentrating solely on his own car. That extra information helps the race engineer in his decision making. You should never underestimate how much you can learn from the other car. Unlike the way we work at Jordan, in other teams some drivers don't work together, and I am sure that affects their performances."

The assistant engineers also attend the technical debriefs. As Holloway explains, "While these meetings are going on, there are so many people needing immediate decisions as mechanics pull the car apart and possibly find something that is not quite right. Whereas in the past the race engineer would have to interrupt the meeting to sort out issues in the garage, now the assistant engineer can filter out the important items which cuts down the briefing time. When you consider that Jordan holds around fifteen briefings (ten attended by the drivers) in the course of a race weekend, the new system is a major time saver and a huge improvement in working practices." The arrival of Honda as engine partner has added to the workload. "Mugen were very good people who did an excellent job on limited resources," recalls Holloway. "But we had very few meetings as their personnel were busy with other aspects of the job, whereas Honda have additional engineers so the meetings are more intense now, but for the right reasons. They can work in Tokyo while we are at the track. Even back at our base there are many people working unsocial hours on the seven post rig while we are at the track. You cannot underestimate how Jordan relies on the guys back at base during a race weekend." Holloway is happy with the way the three engineer system has worked out so far this season, but expects the real benefits to make themselves felt in the second half of the season where in the past, fatigue amongst race engineers might have affected performance.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen on the Spanish Grand Prix
"I enjoy Barcelona but because we test here so often I know the track well and the racing is less of a challenge. It's a demanding circuit though, and you need to be fit to race well. It's one of the faster tracks, with quick corners where aerodynamics play a key role. It's hard to find the optimum set-up as the conditions change a lot, so it's a technical challenge."

Jarno Trulli on the Spanish Grand Prix
"This is another circuit I like a lot. The car is well balanced and has performed very well so far this year, so we just hope we can prove our potential in this next race. The high speed corners require good physical fitness and makes the circuit quite technical, which is the main reason many teams test in Barcelona."


Heinz-Harald Frentzen EJ11 / 04

Jarno Trulli EJ11 / 05

T-car (set up for Frentzen pre-race) EJ11 / 03


Following the San Marino Grand Prix, the Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda Test Team carried out a three day test, split over two locations - Silverstone in the UK and Lurcy Levis in France. Heinz-Harald Frentzen completed three and a half days at Silverstone, concentrating on chassis set-up and electronics work for Barcelona and tyre testing. The team's third driver, Ricardo Zonta, spent a productive three days at the straight line track in France for an aerodynamics test.


Circuit de Catalunya, Apartat de Correus 27, 08160 - Montmelo, Barcelona, Spain

Circuit length: 4.730 km

Race distance: 4.730 km x 65 laps = 307.323 km

This circuit is very well known to drivers and teams as a lot of winter testing is carried out here. Generally, if a car is fast on this track, it will be on the other circuits. Circuit de Catalunya has a good mixture of fast and slow corners with undulating bumps, so can produce a tough race. The long corners cause high tyre wear and understeer, and overtaking is difficult here so a good qualifying and pit stop strategy is crucial. The start-finish straight is one of the longest of all the F1 circuits, at close to one mile and drivers can top 190mph before braking into the first corner.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Ricardo Zonta
Teams Jordan