JUNE 1, 1998

Barrichello fastest at Silverstone

BENETTON, Stewart, Jordan, Arrows and Tyrrell were all in action last week at Silverstone with Rubens Barrichello surprising everyone by setting the fastest time of the three-day test. The Brazilian ran on Wednesday and Thursday, completing around 50 laps with a best time of 1m26.7s as he tried different set-ups. He suffered one Ford engine failure in the course of the testing. The Stewart team then packed up and got ready for Canada and for the opening of the new factory by the PrincessÊRoyal on Monday.

Benetton would probably have gone quicker than they did if Alexander Wurz had been concentrating on setting fast times. The team was more interested in doing long distance and reliability work, checking out revised suspension settings and new aerodynamic solutions which are due to appear in Canada. He completed a mammoth 132 laps in his three days of testing and set a best time which was only one tenth slower than Barrichello.

Arrows was in a buoyant mood after the success at Monaco and ran a two-day test for Brazilian Pedro Diniz, who tried out new software and a revised weight distribution in the course of his 50 laps. He set a best time of 1m27.6s.

Jordan was busy with two cars running on Wednesday for Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher but the car remains less than competitive with Schumacher managing a best lap of 1m28.1s that day after 54 laps while Hill could do no better than a 1m28.6s after a total of nearly 100 laps in the course of his two days of testing. Jordan is expected to announce changes to its technical structure within the next few days.

Tyrrell ran one car on Wednesday and Thursday with Ricardo Rosset doing 40 laps on the first day to record a best lap of 1m30.8s before handing over to Toranosuke Takagi who did only 21 laps to record a best of 1m29.1s.