Atlas F1 News Service

Coulthard Fastest on Final Day at Valencia

Wednesday February 14th, 2001

Scot driver David Coulthard was fastest for the third consecutive day of testing at the Valencia circuit, where all the teams there were forced to change their plans after a heavy rain flooded the Spanish track.

Coulthard, who broke the track record twice in the last two days, continued his good form at the wheel of the new McLaren-Mercedes, being nearly a second quicker than Jos Verstappen, who set the second fastest time today, again driving the old Arrows-Asiatech A21. The Dutch driver had a busy final day of testing, completing a total of 83 laps.

McLaren's test driver Alex Wurz was once more hindered by mechanical problems driving the quick but so far unreliable MP4-16, setting the third quickest time more than two seconds off Coulthard's pace and in front of the Jordan-Honda duo of Jarno Trulli and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who spun off the track during the session.

Enrique Bernoldi, seventh quickest today, also ran off track due to a stuck throttle in his new Arrows A22, fortunately escaping unhurt. As a result of the crash, the team was forced to change the front suspension, losing a lot of track time.

Sauber's Kimi Raikkonen was also one of the victims of the slippery track, running off during the morning. The Finn was able to complete only 17 laps due to a transmission failure on his way to the ninth quickest time of the day in front of Eddie Irvine.

The Jaguar star, driving the Michelin-shod R2 for the last time before travelling to Melbourne, was, for the fourth day running, the slowest driver at the circuit, almost six seconds off the pace.

Today was the final day of testing at Valencia.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time   
 1.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:29.323
 2.  Verstappen    Arrows-Asiatech     (B)    1:31.292
 3.  Wurz          McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:31.302
 4.  Trulli        Jordan-Honda        (B)    1:31.976
 5.  Frentzen      Jordan-Honda        (B)    1:32.063
 6.  Heidfeld      Sauber-Petronas     (B)    1:32.063
 7.  Bernoldi      Arrows-Asiatech     (B)    1:33.301
 8.  Burti         Jaguar-Cosworth     (M)    1:34.038
 9.  Raikkonen     Sauber-Petronas     (B)    1:34.412
10.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth     (M)    1:35.244

All Timing Unofficial



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