Thursday April 5th, 2001
German Nick Heidfeld set the pace on the final of the three days of testing at the French Magny Cours circuit, where the weather once again hampered the development of the cars present at the track.
The day started dry and sunny, but the afternoon session was hit by some showers which lowered the temperatures.
Sauber's Heidfeld conducted a programme of electronic and aerodynamic development, completing a total of 76 laps, and the German confessed he found it strange to drive with traction control.
"We had a good run today," admitted Heidfeld. "At first I admit that I had a few problems adjusting to using traction control. Itīs an unusual feeling having something other than your right foot controlling the wheelspin. But you get used to it."
Spaniard Marc Gene was second quickest, only five hundredths of a second slower than Heidfeld, at the wheel of the Williams FW22B, while Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was third with the FW23.
"We did some very good work with new tyres and we found some quite interesting things about the tyres, which should help us in the upcoming races," Montoya said. "We started a race simulation but I was stopped twice by some technical problems."
Enrique Bernoldi took over from teammate Jos Verstappen at the Arrows team, driving the Asiatech-powered A22. The Brazilian was fourth quickest while Frenchman Jean Alesi, fastest on Wednesday, set the slowest time of the day with the Prost AP04.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time
1. Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas (B) 1:15.63
2. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:15.68
3. Montoya Williams-BMW (M) 1:15.99
4. Bernoldi Arrows-Asiatech (B) 1:16.60
5. Alesi Prost-Acer (M) 1:17.02
All Timing Unofficial