SEPTEMBER 20, 1999

This week's testing activity

THERE was Formula 1 testing last week at Mugello and at Magny-Cours but both were disrupted by poor weather as autumn begins to set in Europe. Ferrari ran both Eddie Irvine and Mika Salo at Mugello, trying out a variety of new parts in an effort to find more performance after a series of disappointing showings. Irvine ran on all three days of the test - although two were disrupted by the rain - and completed a total of 156 laps of the track - a little over 500 miles of running, while Salo only ran seriously on the first two days completing 105 laps. The team then switched its attention to Fiorano where LucaÊBadoer did 59 laps of engine development work on Friday before handing over the car to Irvine. The Ulsterman completed another 72 laps (some of them with the track artificially flooded) and another 17 laps of shakedown runs - giving him a total for the week of 665 miles of running.

At Magny-Cours four teams completed a three-day test while Jordan, Stewart and BAR turned up for just two days each. David Coulthard set the fastest time for McLaren in the course of his 166 laps of the track (440 miles) with a best lap of 1m17.51s. Mika Hakkinen did only two days and was not far behind after his 124 laps while the team's Formula 3000 driver Mario Haberfeld completed 81 laps of long-term development work.

The Jordan team came closest to matching the McLaren times with Heinz-Harald Frentzen doing 64 laps in his two days of running with a best of 1m17.64s, a few hundredths slower than Hakkinen. Also in the 1m17s was Johnny Herbert who completed 132 laps in his two days with a best of 1m17.76s.

The Williams team ran one car for three days with Ralf Schumacher doing the first two days, completing 54 laps while Alessandro Zanardi did 50 laps on his one day of running.

Olivier Panis and Nick Heidfeld were running on all three days for Prost Grand Prix and both ran just over 100 laps of the track. The German driver worked on long-term development but did fewer laps when he suffered a high-speed suspension failure.

Sauber ran Pedro Diniz on all three days of the test, the Brazilian chalking up 140 laps while the team also tried out Brazilian Enrique Bernoldi - who drives for the Red Bull Junior Team in Formula 3000. He completed 76 laps.

British American Racing did two days but suffered a couple of engine failures and so Ricardo Zonta was restricted to 54Êlaps and Jacques Villeneuve to 69 laps.

Benetton stayed in Britain but ran aerodynamic mapping tests at RAF Kemble in Gloucestershire with Laurent Redon driving. Arrows and Minardi did not test although Arrows was due to do some shakedown runs at the Santa Pod drag strip on Monday.