APRIL 17, 2001
Frenzten tops times as teams get to grips with traction control
It was a pleasing result for Jordan, who are based right next to the circuit and invited some 250 guests from sponsors to Club Jordan members to watch the test session.
But the real business was under the skin as the traction control systems came into force in preparation for their introduction in the Barcelona race, and Jordan had double the work as a test team developed their aerodynamics at the French circuit of Lurcy Levis.
Frentzen finished more than half a second ahead of McLaren's chief tester Alexander Wurz, but perhaps the star of the day was Japan's Takuma Sato, who fresh from racing in Formula Three last weekend, jumped into the BAR and set the third fastest time.
Juan Pablo Montoya failed to continue the Williams team's buoyant form, managing only 20 laps as low temperatures hampered BMW's plans to develop their engine for the use of the new electronics.
Montoya finished the day one place behind the Jaguar of Pedro de la Rosa, and Luciano Burti was 0.8 seconds behind his potential replacement at the British team for next season.
Darren Turner was another unusual name on the side of a Formula One car as he joined McLaren for the test and set sixth fastest time, while the Prost team, who announced Jonathon Cochet and Stephane Sarrazin as their test drivers for the season, will be hoping they can do a little better than the race drivers who finished at the bottom of the timesheets.