Toyota Silverstone test report

Toyota test session, day 2 Silverstone Circuit, England Wednesday 8 August 2001 By Mark Gledhill - Motorsport.com The Toyota Formula One team conducted the second day of testing of their three day test session at Silverstone Circuit in ...

Toyota test session, day 2
Silverstone Circuit, England
Wednesday 8 August 2001

By Mark Gledhill - Motorsport.com

The Toyota Formula One team conducted the second day of testing of their three day test session at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, England on Wednesday. Both Mika Salo and Alan McNish were present at the circuit, each with a car to themselves, as the team continued their tour of European circuits in preparation for joining the Formula One fold in 2002. The purpose of this test is mainly data acquisition and mileage and, time permitting, running a few electronic systems such as traction control.

Alan McNish was the first of the drivers to do an installation lap, shortly followed by a 4-lap run. His times improved to 1:31.5s and he was clearly taking it easy around the circuit. Salo soon joined him for a single lap, lapping in 1:31.87s.

Both drivers looked very animated and were constantly discussing the car with their engineers, gesticulating wildly on occasions to illustrate their points. The team was always aware of exactly what was going on and were very open and honest about what was happening. The only limitation was that the rear and front wings were covered whenever the cars were in the pitlane.

Soon the mechanical gremlins started to affect Salo's car. Firstly he had a run interrupted by an unscheduled return to the pits to fix a loose engine cover. Then after he returned to the circuit the car ground to a halt with a hydraulic failure - his engine had been sounding rough on the previous lap.

The circuit soon reopened but was quiet for the rest of the morning part of the session as the mechanics worked on a problem with Salo's differential, and made several modifications to McNish's car particularly around the brakes and suspension. The work continued after lunch as news began to spread around the paddock that Jean Alesi had signed for Jordan, something which brought a smile to many mechanics' faces.

The afternoon was mostly very quiet. A single installation lap from Salo broke the silence at 3pm, but the serious running started at 4pm with a couple of installation laps from McNish and one from Salo, with a slightly rough and hesitant sounding engine. Both drivers did practice starts at Copse as they left the pitlane. McNish was back out half an hour later for an installation lap.

The first flying lap of the afternoon finally occurred at 4.35pm, with Alan McNish setting a time of 1m 30.18s. However immediately after crossing the line he coasted to halt at Copse with the car stuck in gear. Salo meanwhile practised 4 pit stops, with the team changing the tyres and attaching the refuelling rig to the car each time.

The team suffered a few mechanical problems during the day but these were the type of problems that even the top teams suffer occasionally, and the problems that a new team would be expected to encounter. The times set by the drivers were comparable with times set by Benetton during testing at the circuit earlier this season which shows that, although some 10 seconds of pole position for this year's British Grand Prix, the cars are not too far off the pace in testing, considering that they were mainly concentrating on mileage and data, and not running in qualifying trim.

Testing continues tomorrow.

All times are unofficial and all descriptions of mechanical failures were supplied by team members.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jean Alesi , Mika Salo
Teams Benetton , Jordan