STEWART-FORD FASTEST IN BARCELONA TEST Thursday, 18th March 1999 Barcelona, Spain: Stewart-Ford drivers Rubens Barrichello and Johnny Herbert continued their excellent start to the 1999 Formula One season by topping the timesheets at the ...
STEWART-FORD FASTEST IN BARCELONA TEST
Thursday, 18th March 1999 Barcelona, Spain: Stewart-Ford drivers Rubens Barrichello and Johnny Herbert continued their excellent start to the 1999 Formula One season by topping the timesheets at the conclusion of the three-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday.
Barrichello produced a lap time of 1:20.48secs, the fastest of the test and the fastest at Barcelona this year. He covered 139 laps over the three days. Team-mate Herbert, meanwhile, had a best lap of 1:22.02 to be second quickest of the 10 drivers taking part in the test. Herbert covered 65 laps.
Barrichello said: 'It was good to come away from the test knowing that we have taken a step on from Australia. It's important to show that Melbourne was not just a one-off and there is no doubt that we have found speed since Melbourne so that's encouraging. We have made progress and identified areas where there is still room for improvement. We are not resting on our achievements in Australia but getting on with further development of the chassis and engine package. Brazil is still a few weeks away, but I am optimistic about our chances at this stage.'
Gary Anderson, the Stewart Grand Prix Technical Director, added: 'We were very satisfied with the performance of the car during the test. The suspension modifications we tried worked well first time out. There are still some engine reliability issues to be resolved but we are working hard at it.'
Nick Hayes, F1 Programme Director, Cosworth Racing said that from an engine point of view the Barcelona test was 'fast but fragile'. Over the three days the team suffered three engine failures.
He added: 'Following the grid fires in Australia we did a lot of work to solve this problem including two successful simulated hot starts. We did suffer engine failures, but, as with all such events, we have learnt much from it. Most of the time, the engines ran to higher revs than we raced in Melbourne and as a result we have accumulated a great deal more data.
'The most pleasing aspect of the testing programme was the progress made with the whole package in terms of performance. For Rubens and Johnny to set first and second fastest times is a good way to leave Barcelona, particularly considering Rubens' time is the quickest time a 1999 Formula One car has clocked on the track so far.'
Barrichello (Stewart-Ford) 1:20.48 Herbert (Stewart-Ford) 1:22.02 Hill (Jordan) 1:23.29 Frentzen (Jordan) 1:23.29 Trulli (Prost) 1:23.38 Panis (Prost) 1:23.71 Diniz (Sauber) 1:24.13 Gene (Minardi) 1:24.78