The majority of the Formula One teams have headed to Silverstone in England for a three-day test prior to the forthcoming Spanish Grand Prix. Williams, Sauber, Jordan, BAR, Jaguar and Arrows were in action today and Minardi are expected to join...
The majority of the Formula One teams have headed to Silverstone in England for a three-day test prior to the forthcoming Spanish Grand Prix. Williams, Sauber, Jordan, BAR, Jaguar and Arrows were in action today and Minardi are expected to join the session tomorrow. Meanwhile McLaren and Toyota are testing at Mugello in Italy and Ferrari at Monza and Mugello.
Most drivers did short runs spread over the course of the day while testing traction and launch control, suspension, aerodynamics, and doing general shakedown tests. Jenson Button was the quickest driver of the day for a Renault team who were remarkably reclusive. Marc Gene suffered a big accident in his Williams and Anthony Davidson spun late in the afternoon.
Williams ran two drivers and chassis today with testers Marc Gene and Antonio Pizzonia. Gene did a handful of laps early in the morning; unfortunately he lost control of his car at the exit of a fast right-hander and spun backwards heavily into the barrier. There was substantial damage to both the car and the barrier but the driver was able to walk away from the incident. The session was delayed for 40 minutes as the tyre barrier was rebuilt. In the afternoon Antonio Pizzonia did a few installation laps then a couple of short runs. He returned slowly to the pits with some kind of mechanical problem late in the afternoon and did not continue in the session.
Nick Heidfeld was testing for Sauber at Silverstone, while Filipe Massa tested at Vairano and will take over from Heidfeld on Thursday. Heidfeld completed 52 laps, doing a lot of running in the morning and towards the later part of the afternoon. He set the third fastest time of the day.
Takuma Sato was testing for Jordan and ran 46 laps; substantial amounts of work were done on the car between runs but it didn't appear to suffer any problems. The car was running with a small extra wing behind the airbox.
BAR test driver Anthony Davidson shook down one chassis in the morning then switiched to a test chassis in the afternoon, which containted various additional sensors and aerials. The traction control on the test car was noticeably smoother than that of the other teams and it was fast and stable around the circuit. Davidson suffered an off in the afternoon when the back of his car stepped out at Brooklands, sending him into the gravel.
Eddie Irvine was testing for Jaguar and lapped just 0.009 seconds slower than the fastest time of Jenson Button. The Irishman did several short runs and was pushing extremely hard, with glowing brake disks and locked up tyres.
Jenson Button did a small amount of running in his Renualt, although this didn't prevent him from setting the fastest time of the day. The Renault appeared for some laps early in the morning and then again briefly after lunch, although Button returned slowly to the pits with a unusual sound coming from the engine and did not return to the track.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen was testing for Arrows, who have one car available for all three days of the test. The team were particularly careful to hide their front wing from the camera lenses and were generally more secretive than usual. Frenzten did a limited amount of running during the day and a couple of practice starts in the pitlane.