Test day at Silverstone 2003-02-26

Test day at Silverstone 2003-02-26

Ralph Firman topped the timesheets on his first appearance at the British Grand Prix venue at this level, the Jordan driver finishing marginally ahead of Mark Webber and comfortably ahead of the Renault trio. However pure speed was not the purpose...

Ralph Firman topped the timesheets on his first appearance at the British Grand Prix venue at this level, the Jordan driver finishing marginally ahead of Mark Webber and comfortably ahead of the Renault trio. However pure speed was not the purpose of this particular test as the teams planned to shakedown their cars in preparation for transportation to Australia, carry out last-minute tests on components and allow the teams and drivers to practise pitstops and refuelling.

Ralph Firman.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
The venue for this test session was Silverstone and the circuit was the National circuit, a 2.654Km course consisting of the top third of the Grand Prix circuit and a straight connecting Becketts corner on the east side with Brooklands corner on the west side. Silverstone is currently undergoing major redevlopment work with tarmac replacing certain gravel traps and several specator areas being rebuilt. Weather conditions started overcast and cold but by lunchtime had become warm and sunny.

Allan McNish was the busiest out of the three Renault drivers as the test driver was the first driver out on track and his programme included stints of various lengths right up to the end of the session. Ultimately he completed 128 laps and continued the suspension work that he started yesterday and also tested reliability. He was joined by race drivers Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli who carried out shakedown tests on the chassis that will be taken to Melbourne. The team also did many practice pitstops during the afternoon.

Jordan also fielded their race drivers with Giancarlo Fisichella doing three sets of laps in the morning session and then being joined by team-mate Ralph Firman midway through the afternoon. Firman set the quickest time of the day despite taking to the track relatively late in the day, lapping extremely cautiously in his opening laps and powersliding wildly on the final corner on most of his laps. Jordan did a few practice refuelling stops towards the end of the day.

Takuma Sato.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
Takuma Sato was testing for BAR while race driver Jacques Villeneuve was testing at Imola. Sato completed an installation lap half an hour into the session and then did a stint constisting of a short run half an hour later which was cut short by a quick spin at Becketts. However on his third run Sato suffered a mechanical problem which caused his car to coast to a halt a the start of the National straight. He was towed back to the garage and unfortunately the team took no further part in the session.

Mark Webber was the sole driver for Jaguar and endured a troubled session. On his second outing of the morning his car coasted to a halt along the pit straight, causing the session to be stopped, and the car had to be pushed back to the garage. He returned to the track fifteen minutes later but suffered a problem on his outlap and crawled slowly back to the garage. The team completed a couple of runs before lunch and a couple of laps after lunch before packing up and leaving the circuit.

There is track time available for the teams tomorrow (Thursday) but the majority of equipment will be packed up and fly out to Australia over the next couple of days.

The Australian Grand Prix will take place on March 7th to 9th.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jarno Trulli , Mark Webber , Jacques Villeneuve , Allan McNish , Fernando Alonso , Ralph Firman
Teams Jordan