Atlas F1 News Service

Weather Disrupts Valencia Test - Day One

Tuesday May 1st, 2001

Formula One teams got back to work on Tuesday - only 48 hours after the Spanish Grand Prix - as they began their preparations for the Austrian race next week. McLaren, Williams, Jaguar, Benetton and Prost began a three-day testing session at the Valencia circuit in southern Spain.

After the morning part of the session was called off due to heavy rain, the teams began working after lunch, before more showers hampered their progress again. However, the track stayed dry for some three hours, allowing the drivers to carry out their schedules programmes.

McLaren' test driver Alexander Wurz topped the time sheets at the end of the day, setting a time of 1:16.154, more than a second quicker than the ill-fated Mika Hakkinen, who retired on the final lap of the Spanish Grand Prix while leading.

Australian Mark Webber was third quickest for the Benetton team, as usual driving last year's B200, while Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was fourth fastest at the wheel of the BMW-powered Williams FW23, the Colombian encouraged by his first finish of the season in Sunday's race.

"We were back doing traction control testing today," said Montoya. "Not much else to report really as this is the most important part of our testing programme at the moment, but today the bad weather stopped us from doing as much work as we wanted to do."

Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa and Ulsterman Eddie Irvine worked for the Jaguar team after a disappointing performance at the Spanish race, where none were able to finish. Irvine posted the fifth fastest time of the day, while de la Rosa was seventh.

Former Jaguar driver Luciano Burti was sixth now driving for the Prost Grand Prix team, while Williams' test driver Marc Gene set the slowest time today.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time   
 1.  Wurz          McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:16.154
 2.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:17.281
 3.  Webber        Benetton-Renault    (M)    1:18.039
 4.  Montoya       Williams-BMW        (M)    1:18.051
 5.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth     (M)    1:18.267
 6.  Burti         Prost-Acer          (M)    1:18.350
 7.  De la Rosa    Jaguar-Cosworth     (M)    1:18.439
 8.  Gene          Williams-BMW        (M)    1:18.542

All Timing Unofficial



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