If-1 Test Notes:/I Wurz Fast At Valencia
May 2, 2001 | 12:00 A.M. EST
Benetton test driver Mark Webber was third fastest, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya in the Williams FW23 and Eddie Irvine.
During the last test at Silverstone, many teams had to endure miserable wet and cold weather. But what greeted them on Tuesday morning was worse than anything the Northamptonshire track had ever thrown at them.
A major thunderstorm struck the area, leaving many teams stuck in the garage playing the waiting game until after lunch. The teams could only run for 45 minutes before the end of the day on a dry track as mostly wet conditions prevailed.
"The test was severely disrupted by the weather,” said Williams test team boss Tim Newton. “We had hail which prevented us from running at all in the morning. The weather was so bad, including heavy rain, that the local airport was closed for an hour. We have been continuing testing with traction control, and just hope we will get better weather over the next three days so we can complete the program we have planned."
According to Montoya, who is coming off his career high second place finish in Barcelona, the team was mainly there to test traction control.
"Not much else to report really as this is the most important part of our testing program at the moment, but today the bad weather stopped us from doing as much work as we wanted to do," Montoya said.
Zonta Leads Silverstone Testing
Jordan test driver Ricardo Zonta was quickest on Tuesday's first day of testing at Silverstone, where he will be joined by teammate Jarno Trulli today.
The Brazilian, who ran 57 laps and posted a high lap time of 1:24.31, had difficulties in the morning, and spent his day on tire evaluation, chassis set-up and aerodynamics.
It appeared that most teams had problems with their electronics as there were a number of red-flag stops on the track. Olivier Panis was second fastest in his BAR Honda, with Kimi Raikkonen next best for Sauber.
"It's good to be on a circuit with which I am completely familiar from my Formula Renault racing time,” said Raikkonen, who only ran 25 laps in the morning. "There is a lot of work with Sauber to implement all the data gathered in Barcelona. Globally the new electronics have created a lot more work for the drivers when it comes to helping the engineers to set the cars up."
Sauber test team honcho Jacky Eeckelaert called the test “very important.”
“This (gives) Sauber an opportunity to continue developments on the new traction control system and also the new launch control which the team will be using in Spielberg next weekend for the Austrian Grand Prix,” Eeckelaert said. “At the same time we also have an intensive program of tire evaluation to work through. It's unfortunate that all teams present lost a lot of running time this morning with frequent red-flag incidents."
Meanwhile, Takuma Sato was fourth fastest for BAR, followed by the Arrows pair of Enrique Bernoldi and Jos Verstappen.
"We mainly worked on durability testing today and the car seems OK,” Verstappen said. “I think we can be reasonably happy with today's work as we completed quite a few laps and added good mileage to the car."