Testing round up

Team testing report ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix BMW WILLIAMSF1 TEAM : TESTING AT BARCELONA - (1st - 22 points, current standing in Constructors' championship) After posting its first 1-2 finish in a Grand Prix for almost six years,...

Team testing report ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix

BMW WILLIAMSF1 TEAM : TESTING AT BARCELONA - (1st - 22 points, current standing in Constructors' championship)

After posting its first 1-2 finish in a Grand Prix for almost six years, the BMW Williams squad started a five day test at Barcelona on Tuesday with Juan Pablo Montoya driving a brand new FW24 chassis and Marc Gene handling an interim FW23C. Between them, the two drivers completed over 120 laps with Montoya handling the shakedown of the new car, plus specific brake tests, while Gene was also carrying out brake development work. Montoya managed a 1m 20.916s with Gene on 1m 21.564s. Ralf Schumacher took over on Thursday morning, but only managed three laps before stopping with electronic problems. These were rectified and he managed a 1m 20.651s while Marc Gene posted a 1m 19.537s in the FW23C.

SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO : BACK AT BARCELONA - (2nd - 14 points)

Ferrari will decide anytime whether it will take part in the Brazilian Grand Prix with its F2001s (which are already there) or the new F2002 which has been extensively tested in Barcelona since Tuesday with Rubens Barrichello. This is the first time the Brazilian has driven the new car and the first time it was seriously tested looking for the best set-ups. On Wednesday Barrichello managed a race simulation without problems. He was joined by Michael Schumacher on Thursday who achieved the fastest lap of the day on 1m 18.406s after 70 laps. Meanwhile Luca Badoer was running the F2001 and also the new car for a few laps.

WEST McLAREN MERCEDES : WURZ USES OLD CAR - (3rd - 4 points)

McLaren-Mercedes test driver Alexander Wurz flew home from Malaysia to start an intensive tyre development programme at Barcelona using one of the team's interim McLaren MP4/16B development cars. The Austrian driver was evaluating new Michelin rubber as well as carrying out engine testing and trying some aerodynamic set-up solutions in preparation for Interlagos. By Wednesday evening Wurz had got down to a 1m 18.66s best which was regarded as encouraging by the team. Mercedes is working hard to pinpoint the causes behind the engine failures which sidelined Coulthard and Raikkonen in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Wurz managed a 1m 18.87s for third fastest time on Thursday.

JAGUAR RACING : DECISION TIME FOR R3 - (4th - 3 points)

Jaguar Racing started a back-to-back comparison test at Barcelona on Wednesday between the new R3 and the interim R2B test car in a bid to establish which car the team would use for the balance of the season. The R3 in the hands of Pedro de la Rosa set the tenth fastest lap of the race in the Malaysian Grand Prix, just 0.1sec off the best posted by Nick Heidfeld's fifth place Sauber. On Wednesday at Barcelona de la Rosa drove both cars, completing 76 laps for a best time of 1m 19.982s. "We had a constructive day", said a team spokesperson. "We are working on a clinical and methodical programme which will not generate any conclusions until Friday. Even then, we will have to spend time thoroughly analysing the data before we decided which car to race at Imola". Up until Thursday afternoon de la Rosa had done most of his running in the R3, which he personally prefers. The team was waiting with interested anticipation to see how Eddie Irvine would do when he arrived to take over the test today (Friday) knowing the Ulsterman's preference for the R2B.

MILD SEVEN RENAULT F1 TEAM : ALONSO STARTS IN SPAIN (5th -3 points)

Renault F1 test driver Fernando Alonso started the team's five day test at Barcelona on Tuesday driving the latest chassis R202/04, completing 32 laps for a best time of 1m 20.715s. This was primarily a shakedown test which also involved electronic and systems work. On Wednesday Jarno Trulli took over the car, but had a difficult day grappling with a misfire which was subsequently rectified in time for him to post a 1m 19.749s best. "It was slightly frustrating for the team", said Technical Director Mike Gascoyne, "but we managed to complete a short test programme for Michelin, evaluating constructions for the race in Brazil". The team had an unspecified problem with the front end of the new chassis on Thursday which meant that the car had to be rebuilt over Thursday night so that Jenson Button could take over today (Friday).

SAUBER PETRONAS : MASSA STARTS TEST - (6th - 3 points)

Felipe Massa started Sauber's Barcelona test on Wednesday, covering 41 laps for a best time of 1m 21.667s before stopping for an engine change after the Petronas V10 reached its mileage limit. On Thursday he stopped out on the circuit at lunchtime but the team reported no technical problems and he later managed a 1m 20.74s best. Nick Heidfeld is due to take over the test today (Friday).

KL MINARDI ASIATECH : NO TESTING - (7th - 2 points)

The Minardi Asiatech team has not been running this week and the cars which will contest the Brazilian Grand Prix will be unchanged from Malaysia. On April 4 Minardi will be testing aerodynamic developments at Misano Adriatico and later at Paul Ricard. A fourth PS02 chassis is being completed at the Faenza factory.

PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING : BRISCOE'S FIRST SERIOUS TEST - (8th - 1 point)

Australian youngster Ryan Briscoe got his first serious Formula One test for Toyota when he started the team's programme at Barcelona on Wednesday, covering 55 laps for a best time of 1m 24.108s. He concentrated on work with a new engine specification as well as a newly built chassis and set-up work with next month's Spanish Grand Prix in mind. "There were a few glitches in the hydraulics and electronics", he said, "but we were testing some new things for the next couple of races, so we expected a few teething problems. Overall, though, I am quite happy". Mika Salo took over on Thursday and posted a 1m 22.100s

LUCKY STRIKE BAR HONDA : BIG CHANGES (9th - 0 points)

After its disappointing performance in the Malaysian Grand Prix, the BAR-Honda team this week announced a restructuring programme which sees several heads roll in both the design and administrative teams. Engineering director Malcolm Oastler and chief designer Andy Green are both leaving and in total there is likely to be a reduction of some 15 per cent of the workforce. Ian Ross, the Chief Operating Officer, has also decided to hand over his responsibilities to the new management team. David Richards commented; "I have the greatest respect for the people who created this team and the dedication they have shown to the task, but at the end of the day the organisation has not delivered. I know that Malcolm and Andy recognise that the results have been below their expectations and I appreciate their disappointment and thank them for their efforts".

DHL JORDAN HONDA : SATO STARTS TEST- (10th - 0 points)

Takuma Sato began the Barcelona test on Wednesday driving the latest Jordan-Honda EJ-12 chassis 05. The car reliably all day, covering 68 laps despite a minor off-track moment by the Japanese driver which caused slight damage. The team worked on tyre testing for Bridgestone, aerodynamic development and gearbox component reliability checks. Sato managed a 1m 21.09s lap, eighth fastest on the day. Giancarlo Fisichella took over on Thursday and managed a 1m 20.38s best.

ORANGE ARROWS : NO TESTING - (11th - 0 points)

The Orange Arrows team is not testing prior to the Brazilian Grand Prix, but the technical staff is working away making subtle modifications to the A23 for the next race. The team is still investigating the precise cause of the launch control malfunction which caused Heinz-Harald Frentzen to be stranded on the starting grid in Malaysia.

-fia-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Rubens Barrichello , Nick Heidfeld , Marc Gene , Fernando Alonso , Alexander Wurz , Mika Salo , Felipe Massa , Ryan Briscoe , Mike Gascoyne , David Richards , Andy Green
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jaguar Racing , Jordan