JUNE 15, 1998
In action last week...
HEINZ-HARALD FRENTZEN emerged fastest during a weather-hit three-day test last week at Silverstone. The Williams driver completed 80 laps of the Northamptonshire track with a best lap of 1m28.51s although the test was hit by rain on each day as storms swept across Great Britain. Jacques Villeneuve turned up for the final day of the test but did not set any fast times because of the bad weather.
David Coulthard did a similar amount of running in his McLaren-Mercedes and set a best time of 1m28.64s. Mika Hakkinen was not seen at the test as he had returned to Finland with his new wife.
Ferrari was present for two and half days of running with Eddie Irvine starting the work on Tuesday afternoon with 27 laps of the track. His best time before the rain came was 1m30.67s. The following day Michael Schumacher was in action and he would complete 75 laps by Thursday afternoon with a best time of 1m28.69s. He then flew off to Brussels to launch an FIA-supported road safety campaign.
The Prost-Peugeot team made the journey to England to test in preparation for the British GP but was disappointed by the bad weather which made it very difficult to establish whether the long-wheelbase version of the AP01 is better than the existing car. Panis ran on all three days of the test, completing a total of 50 laps with a best of 1m30.11s while Jarno Trulli had to wait for his car to arrive but then did over 100 laps as he continued his engine development work. His best lap was a 1m29.76s.
Sauber was also present with test driver Jorg Muller running only 10 laps on the first day before handing over to Johnny Herbert. The team had planned to run a substantially modified chassis but this remained in the truck and will now appear at a test this week in Magny-Cours. Herbert completed only 50 laps during his two days of running and set a best time of 1m30.92s.
Jordan ran its two test drivers in the course of its three days of running with Juichi Wakisaka completing 20 laps on Tuesday with a best of 1m32.76s before handing over to Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa who did nearly 100 laps in the two days, testing the latest Mugen Honda engine.
Stewart Grand Prix turned up very briefly on Thursday with a long wheelbase version of the SGP2 but did only a couple of laps before the team went back to base. The test team then set off to Lurcy-Levis where it plans to do some running before the big Magny-Cours test next week.
Benetton, Arrows and Minardi did not bother to test but all are expected to be seen in action this week in Magny-Cours. Tyrrell is reported to have run Tom Kristensen at Monza and will also be seen running at Magny-Cours.
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