Testing roundup 2001-02-05

FERRARI: SCHUMACHER IMMEDIATELY QUICK - (1st - 170 points) Michael Schumacher completed 68 laps on the first day's testing with the new Ferrari F2001 at Fiorano without any problems, his best of 59.505secbeating the track record and definitely...


Michael Schumacher completed 68 laps on the first day's testing with the new Ferrari F2001 at Fiorano without any problems, his best of 59.505secbeating the track record and definitely quicker than any time with the oldF1-2000. "The first impression is very good," he said. "The times are very competitive, also thanks to the new Bridgestone tyres. The car handles well and shows early signs of reliability." Ferrari will continue testing for the next few days in Fiorano where the car was fitted with a vee-shaped front wing which was shown at the unveiling. Schumacher may carry on testing until Sunday. Meanwhile, Rubens Barrichello was busy tyre testing in Barcelonaand Italian Super Touring Alfa Romeo driver Fabrizio Giovanardi was carrying out aerodynamic tests at the Vairano circuit. Next week testing will take place in Mugello where Schumacher and Barrichello will share the single F2001 available.


While the first of the new MP4/16s was being completed and painted back in Britain in preparation for its official unveiling at Valencia next Wednesday, the McLaren-Mercedes team undertook a private test at Jerez this week. Starting on Monday, David Coulthard and regular test driver Alexande Wurz continued tyre and engine development programmes with theMP4/15K interim car while Darren Turner - who raced a Mercedes CLK in last year's DTM 2000 series - did some laps in an MP4/15. No times were issued. On Tuesday morning Turner again tried the MP4/15 while in the afternoon this was taken over by Italian F3 driver Giorgio Pantano. On Wednesday Mika Hakkinen took over from Coulthard in the MP4/15K while Pantono shared track time with Gary Paffet, the young British driver who won last year's BRDC McLaren Autosport driver of the year award. "Paffet was tried because of our connection with him through the award and Pantano is an interesting prospect we also wanted to have a look at," said a team spokes person.

WILLIAMS: NEW CAR AT BARCELONA - (3rd - 36 points)

Having unveiled the Williams-BMW FW23 at Silverstone last Saturday, the new machine was immediately flown to Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya in time for the start of testing on Monday where Marc Gene had already been testing the interim FW22B since the previous Thursday. Ralf Schumacher took the wheel for the first serious run of theFW23, completing 33 laps for a best of 1m 23.211s - 2.5sec slower than Juan Montoya managed in the FW22B development car which has 2000 aerodynamics. "Not a bad first day with the new FW23," said Schumacher. "I managed 33 laps before I heard and reported an unusual sound to the engineers and the engineers suggested that we switch it off as a precaution." Montoya also stopped with a suspected engine problem. On Tuesday Schumacher covered another 43 laps with the FW23 for a fastest time of 1m 21.527s, although another engine change was needed during the course of the day. Montoya did some tyre testing (1m 20.425s) in the FW22B, but had a minor off-track excursion and then suffered another engine problem. On Wednesday Schumacher felt that much more worthwhile progress had been made with the FW23's set-up, posting third fastest time on 1m 20.570sbefore suffering a pneumatic problem. Montoya did pit stop practice, tyre testing and then had a gearbox problem. Testing finished on Thursday with Montoya trying the FW23 in which he managed a 1m 21.581s before the team stopped its programme early due to engine system problems.

BENETTON: PREPARING FOR B201 LAUNCH - (4th - 20 points)

While the Benetton Renault Sport team put the finishing touches to the first two B201 challengers at its Enstone headquarters, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button began testing at Barcelona with two 2000-specB200s, mainly concentrating on chassis development and aerodynamic programmes in preparation for the new car. Fisichella set second fastest time on the day with a 1m 21.49swhile Button was fourth on 1m 22.53s. On Tuesday the team worked on set-up in the morning and a tyre programme in the afternoon, the two drivers again setting second and fourth fastest times with Fisichella on 1m 19.86s and Button managing 1m 20.91s. On Wednesday a similar format continued with Button posting a 1m20.65ss and Fisichella 1m 20.98s. On Thursday they managed 1m21.679s (Fisichella) and 1m 22.354s(Button). Fisichella was having his first run of the week in the new B201 in which he completed 26 laps prior to the car's unveiling in Venice next Tuesday.

BAR: TWO CARS IN BARCELONA - (5th - 20 points)

The BAR-Honda team has been running in Barcelona this week with one of the new 003 contenders and one of last year's cars. Jacques Villeneuve was trying the new BAR 003 on Thursday and Today (Friday) while Olivier Panis will take it over tomorrow and test driver Darren Manning will drive the earlier BAR 002. The testing programme in preparation for Melbourne is on schedule and the team is anxious to hear from Villeneuve whether he is satisfied with the new car which he criticised when he first tested it.


Jarno Trulli began testing for the Jordan-Honda team at Barcelona on Wednesday at the start of a planned four day programme. In dry, sunny and windy conditions, he managed 84 laps for a best time of 1m 20.08s, concentrating on chassis set-up work and adding miles to new components. On Thursday Trulli managed a 1m 20.393s for third fastest time.

ARROWS: BERNOLDI SIGNS UP - (7th - 7 points)

The Arrows-AMT test team was back at Barcelona on Monday where the 21-year old Brazilian Enrique Bernoldi drove the A21B test car, covering 30 laps for a fastest time of 1m 22.72s. Track conditions were initially wet, but Bernoldi was eventually confident enough to switch to dry tyres and successfully familiarised himself with the circuit while also clocking up mileage on new components destined for the new Arrows A22. Jos Verstappen took over on Tuesday, completing 50 laps until as mall off-track excursion near the end of the day resulted in damage to the nose section after he had managed a 1m 21.15s best. On Wednesday morning it was confirmed that Bernoldi would be taking over from Pedro de la Rosaas Verstappen's team-mate for the 2001 season. Team principal Tom Walkinshaw commented; "We have been pleased with the feedback and maturity shown by Enrique when testing the car so far and look forward to watching him develop as an F1 driver." Verstappen, meanwhile, has a frustrating third day of the test, completing only 10 laps for a best of 1m 20.62s as the team experimented with various electronic software configurations in preparation for the amended technical rules which may be introduced later in the season. Bernoldi was back in the Arrows again on Thursday when he covered 28further laps for a best time of 1m 21.001s.


Nick Heidfeld and Kimi Raikkonen undertook at intensive Bridgestone tyre test programme for the Sauber-Petronas team at Barcelona this week where both drivers did back-to-back trials with the various tyres available. Brake testing for Brembo was also part of the programme in preparation for the Melbourne circuit which is very demanding in this respect. Today (Friday) Sauber will also try new aerodynamic components. Heidfeld covered 69 laps and ended up with a 1m 20.416s, fourth fastest on Thursday, with Raikkonen close behind on 1m 20.718s after 99 laps The Finnish newcomer said; "I need all the mileage I can get. So far I have done around 4200 km in testing."


Eddie Irvine and Luciano Burti have been busy testing the Jaguar R2s at Barcelona for the past five days, the team concentrating on learning more about the qualities of the new car. On Monday Irvine managed third fastest time on 1m 22.28s after 82 laps, but Luciano Burti had what the team described as "a less productive day" and could only manage 1m 23.56s. On Tuesday the team had a more productive day with Irvine posting a1m 21.46s best. "We made steady progress today," said Jaguar Racing technical director Steve Nichols. "Eddie completed a tyre compound test in the morning and Luciano used some later generation tyres as he worked on his qualifying technique. Tomas Scheckter also began his acclimatisation programme in the afternoon driving one of the Jaguar R1s. Overall, it was a day of reasonable progress." Burti's best was a 1m 22.72s with Scheckter getting into the swing of things on 1m 24.84s. On Wednesday Burti did a 1m 22.32s with Scheckter trimming his best to 1m 24.24s before the team returned to base to prepare for its next test at Valencia.


Purchased by Australian Paul Stoddart, the Minardi team is working hard to be ready for the Australian Grand Prix. The monocoque crash tests were passed successfully and the roll bar test was carried out earlier this week. The team intends to announce the name of its first driver next Tuesday and the second one shortly afterwards.


Jean Alesi restored confidence in the Prost team by setting the quickest time of the day twice this week at Barcelona, even breaking the absolute record for the circuit on Tuesday afternoon with a 1m 18.967s. On Sunday and Monday Gaston Mazzacane was at the wheel and managed a 1m 24.450s with a heavy fuel load. The team will test next at Estoril from 7-14 February where two of the new AP04 chassis will be available.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Tomas Scheckter , Luciano Burti , Ralf Schumacher , Gaston Mazzacane , Pedro de la Rosa , Jos Verstappen , Enrique Bernoldi , Michael Schumacher , Fabrizio Giovanardi , Rubens Barrichello , Jean Alesi , David Coulthard , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Giorgio Pantano , Darren Manning , Marc Gene , Darren Turner , Paul Stoddart , Tom Walkinshaw
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Minardi , Jaguar Racing , Jordan