JANUARY 31, 2000

Another week of testing

THE Formula 1 teams continued their work last week with tests at Barcelona, Silverstone, Fiorano, Magny-Cours and Lurcy-Levis. The biggest test was in Barcelona with McLaren, Williams and Sauber all in action. The test was somewhat disrupted by snow at the start of the week but the weather improved and by the end of the week Pedro Diniz has recorded the fastest time with a best lap of 1m21.43s after completing 127 laps over three days. His Sauber team mate Mika Salo stayed on an extra day to take his total to 151 laps with a best of 1m21.45s. The Swiss team headed off after a good test, stopping off for two days of aerodynamic testing at the Lurcy-Levis track over the weekend.

Almost matching the Saubers was Olivier Panis in the McLaren-Mercedes MP4/14 development car. The Frenchman did four days of tests and completed 185 laps with a best of 1m21.46s while Mika Hakkinen was present on two days and did 100 laps with a best of 1m21.59s. Williams ran from the team launch on Monday right through to the end of testing on Friday and Ralf Schumacher was able to notch up a total of 110 laps with a best of 1m22.28s in the new Williams-BMW FW22 while new boy Jenson Button acquitted himself well completing 105 laps in the old FW21B for a best lap of 1m23.46s.

The weather at Silverstone was very disruptive with Jaguar, BAR and Arrows all being frustrated by thick fog and ice on the track. Johnny Herbert and Eddie Irvine ran only 18 and 12 laps apiece on the National Circuit. BAR proved that its second chassis was reliable with Darren Manning running 67 laps. Arrows ran its new car briefly with Pedro de la Rosa driving while Jordan was also briefly in action, shaking down the EJ10 in its new livery before the other teams arrived.

Benetton spent five days running the B200 up and down the runways at Lurcy-Levis with FIA Formula 1 Safety Car driver Oliver Gavin called in to do the work, while Prost briefly shook down the new AP03 at nearby Magny-Cours.

At Fiorano, Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer did two days of running with an old F399, completing 117 laps as he did development work. Also in action was Minardi which ran Marc Gene and Gastone Mazzacane, the pair doing 40 laps apiece with an old M01.