Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda made a moderate start to the weekend when Jean Alesi and Jarno Trulli were 12th and 14th fastest at the end of the first day of practice for the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Both drivers worked on the set-up of...
Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda made a moderate start to the weekend when Jean Alesi and Jarno Trulli were 12th and 14th fastest at the end of the first day of practice for the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis.
Both drivers worked on the set-up of their cars, Alesi being held up by an electronics problem.
'Jean lost a lot of running this morning with software problems,' said Trevor Foster, joint managing director. 'We got to the bottom of the problem at the end, but not completely. It means we have a lot of work to do tomorrow. As for Jarno, he had no major problems and spent the day working on his race set-up.'
The two 60-minute sessions were run in dry, overcast and cool conditions.
'It was a routine day as usual for Friday,' said Trulli. 'We tried different set-ups, looking particularly at the race. It's difficult to say how much progress we are making because the balance of the car is not quite right yet. I had a few problems with the tyres this morning and that caused me to spin once or twice. We changed the tyres and everything was much better after that. The track was very slippery in the beginning but, as usual, it got better as more rubber went down.'
'It was quite a difficult day,' said Alesi. 'I had some problems this morning, and also at the start of the afternoon session, with the electronics. It meant I couldn't get the laps in and the work done that I needed. We have to get together now and decide which direction to go with the set-up for tomorrow.'
Mika Hakkinen was fastest despite losing all of the morning session while an engine was changed when a problem with a pneumatic valve was diagnosed as the engine was warmed up. Hakkinen managed just one lap before the end of the session but was quick straight away when the second hour got under way. The Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello were next, neither driver reporting any serious problems, although both said choosing the right tyre for the race was proving difficult. David Coulthard, who spun his McLaren but managed to continue in the morning, was fourth fastest. Several drivers had off-course incidents on the dusty circuit.