Tuesday June 12th, 2001
Just two days after completing the eighth round of the Championship in Canada, all Formula One teams except Minardi got back to work on Tuesday to begin a three-day testing session at the Silverstone circuit.
Italian Jarno Trulli, who retired with mechanical problems in Canada, was fastest at the wheel of the first of the Jordans today. Trulli, who tested the HANS safety device, was almost a second quicker than Briton Darren Turner, who was the surprise of the day driving the only McLaren-Mercedes on track.
Spaniard Marc Gene worked for the Williams team, winners of the Canadian Grand Prix thanks to Ralf Schumacher, posting the third fastest time of the session. The team's test driver was the quickest of the Michelin runners ahead of Ricardo Zonta, the Brazilian returning to testing duties following his debut with Jordan in Canada. German Heinz-Harald Frentzen, still unwell after a 14-G crash at Monaco, will not test this week in order to recover for the European Grand Prix at Nurburgring.
Ferrari's test driver Luca Badoer was fifth quickest, the Italian concentrating on finding the best aerodynamic, mechanical and electronic settings for the team's F2001, which was making its first appearance at the British track.
"Today was the first time I have driven on this track with a car fitted with the new electronic solutions," said Badoer. "We tried to find the best set-up."
Pedro de la Rosa was the fastest of the three Jaguar drivers present at the Northamptonshire circuit, the Spanish star working alongside German Andre Lotterer, who took over from Eddie Irvine during most of the session. De la Rosa was sixth fastest while Lotterer was down in tenth.
Briton Johnny Herbert, who will compete in this weekend's Le Mans 24-Hour race, worked at the wheel of the Arrows A22, setting the eighth fastest time.
"Its fair to say we had a good day today," Herbert said. "We were able to test a few development bits on the car and we've made some progress. Unfortunately, we ran out of time towards the end of the session because of a few niggly problems which kept us in the garage, but I think we can be happy with what we've found."
The veteran driver finished the day ahead of Benetton's test driver Mark Webber, who was more than a second quicker than Jenson Button driving the second Renault-powered car.
Test drivers Patrick Lemarie and Stephane Sarrazin were ninth and twelfth quickest for the BAR and Prost teams respectively.
German Nick Heidfeld was near the bottom of the timesheets after an engine problem hampered the Sauber driver's progress, being able to complete only four laps before a faulty engine sensor forced him to stop. But Heidfeld's bad luck continued as he felt unwell and decided to pull out of the three-day test.
"As driver safety has always been the team's first priority we decided that Nick should return to Germany for a full medical check-up," said race engineer Remi Decorzent. "The problem is that the sensor that malfunctioned is relatively inaccessible, so we had to remove the engine and gearbox before we could change it."
Eddie Irvine, like Heidfeld, could complete four laps before calling it a day after complaining of neck pains. The Irishman will rest for the remainder of the week.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time
1. Trulli Jordan-Honda (B) 1:23.154
2. Turner McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:24.109
3. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:24.275
4. Zonta Jordan-Honda (B) 1:24.369
5. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:24.420
6. de la Rosa Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:24.854
7. Herbert Arrows-Asiatech (B) 1:25.041
8. Webber Benetton-Renault (M) 1:25.274
9. Lemarie BAR-Honda (B) 1:25.486
10. Lotterer Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:25.823
11. Button Benetton-Renault (M) 1:26.404
12. Sarrazin Prost-Acer (M) 1:26.452
12. Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas (B) 1:28.080
13. Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:29.196
All Timing Unofficial