FIA Formula One Championship * The Stewart-Ford team completed three days of testing at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain last week in preparation for the San Marino Grand Prix. Both drivers produced times which placed them in the top 10 on...
FIA Formula One Championship
* The Stewart-Ford team completed three days of testing at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain last week in preparation for the San Marino Grand Prix. Both drivers produced times which placed them in the top 10 on the time sheets.
* Rubens' best finish at Imola was fifth in 1996 while Johnny's highest was seventh in 1995.
RUBENS BARRICHELLO Car No.16 (SF3-04) - "Imola really is the big test for the team. We have been very competitive in the first two races of the season but now we have to prove we can keep it going. Imola should provide a true indication of where we stand relative to other teams. I'm confident we can show that we are capable of doing well for the whole of the championship. Imola is a power circuit which is very hard on brakes, an area which we have improved dramatically this year. Though obviously I have some bad memories of Imola, I like the circuit and I'm looking forward to another good weekend."
JOHNNY HERBERT Car No.17 (SF3-05) - "The atmosphere at Imola is fantastic with the noise and excitement generated by the tifosi. Imola has been kind to me - I have some good races there over the years though perhaps not the results. I'm looking forward to this year's race more than previous years because the car should be suited to the circuit. In particular, I'm confident that the SF3 will handle the challenge of the numerous chicanes on the circuit layout. I think we can expect a strong result for me and the team."
GARY ANDERSON, SGP Technical Director - "Racing in Italy is real racing. The passion from the fans is unbelievable. If the Ferraris do well, the crowd go wild - if the Ferraris do badly, the crowd go home. The Jerez test was reasonably successful but the constant change in temperature and track conditions makes it difficult to achieve an optimum set-up. Nonetheless we were able to work through a number of minor modifications which puts us in pretty good shape for Imola. We know the car has good brakes and good traction so it should be suited to Imola which is a very good race track. We can expect that the Ferraris will be strong so close to home so competition for places at the front in qualifying is going to be quite tough."
MARTIN WHITAKER, Director, Ford Racing, Europe - "The pace and form demonstrated by the Stewart-Ford SF3 in the Brazilian Grand Prix highlighted the overall improvement which the whole team has made over the winter months and we are looking forward to the chance of another strong showing this weekend at Imola. However, there are nevertheless reliability issues which need to be addressed and both Ford and Cosworth Racing still have work to do in catching the opposition in terms of power and performance. At last week's Jerez test we worked successfully on a number of programmes to improve the engine driveability and everyone is working extremely hard to put the season's initial problems behind us as quickly as possible."