Atlas F1 News Service

Coulthard Sets the Pace at Valencia - Day Two

Wednesday May 16th, 2001

David Coulthard sits in his car, today in ValenciaAustrian Grand Prix winner David Coulthard posted the fastest time of the session on the second day of testing at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, where eight of the eleven Formula One teams are carrying out a four-day programme.

Coulthard's time was some three tenths slower than teammate Mika Hakkinen's track record, set on Tuesday, on a track where the sun shone all day long, with temperatures reaching 29 degrees Celsius.

The McLaren star, who now lies four points behind championship leader Michael Schumacher, was the only driver to lap within the 1:13s bracket, with German Heinz-Harald Frentzen more than eight tenths behind with the Jordan EJ11.

Ralf Schumacher took over from teammate Juan Pablo Montoya at the wheel of the BMW-powered Williams FW23, continuing with the development of the traction control system. The German driver was only able to complete 20 laps after mechanical problems cut his running short, but he was third quickest, ahead of Jordan's test driver Ricardo Zonta and Spaniard Marc Gene driving the second Williams.

"Just like yesterday, it was a very positive day as we completed the whole programme we had planned," said Gene. "We mainly concentrated on tyre testing for Michelin for Monaco. Due to the work done today we have already got the information needed to make the decision on which compound to use in Monaco. Contrary to the original plan, I am now staying on to continue testing until Friday."

After missing the first day of testing, the Jaguar team joined the session on Wednesday, with both Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa carrying out the testing duties for the Milton Keynes-based outfit. Irvine, who concentrated on the evaluation of a new aerodynamic package, was sixth quickest while de la Rosa, testing Michelin tyre compounds, was eighth. The Jaguar drivers sandwiched Brazilian Enrique Bernoldi, who posted the seventh fastest time with the Arrows after spinning off the track during the morning.

German Nick Heidfeld continued working at the wheel of the Sauber C20, setting the ninth fastest time of the session after 52 laps. The Swiss team resumed their intensive programme of tyre evaluation, also concentrating on developing a new hydraulic differential.

"Today we did a lot of hard work," said Heidfeld. "It was precisely the sort of work that testing is all about: driving the car in a certain way to ensure maximum consistency, and then comparing results throughout the day."

Prost's Luciano Burti was tenth today, in front of Briton Darren Turner, who tested for the McLaren team, and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, whose BAR team also joined the Valencia session today. Briton Johnny Herbert was only thirteenth today after suffering mechanical problems which forced the test to be red-flagged. Olivier Panis was slowest with the second BAR.

Testing at Valencia will continue until Friday. Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time   
 1.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:13.506
 2.  Frentzen      Jordan-Honda        (B)    1:14.356
 3.  R.Schumacher  Williams-BMW        (M)    1:14.827
 4.  Zonta         Jordan-Honda        (B)    1:15.013
 5.  Gene          Williams-BMW        (M)    1:15.036
 6.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth     (M)    1:15.113
 7.  Bernoldi      Arrows-Asiatech     (B)    1:15.114  
 8.  de la Rosa    Jaguar-Cosworth     (M)    1:15.374
 9.  Heidfeld      Sauber-Petronas     (B)    1:15.455
10.  Burti         Prost-Acer          (M)    1:15.561
11.  Turner        McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:15.638
12.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda           (B)    1:15.775
13.  Herbert       Arrows-Asiatech     (B)    1:15.787
14.  Panis         BAR-Honda           (B)    1:15.862

All Timing Unofficial

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