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News Update - 13/Feb/1997

Jordan Succesful in Testing, Hill Almost Happy, Panis Crashes...

Sauber launched their new car on the 12th of February in a novel, if slow and awkward way. Instead of the usual noisy throng of journalists packed into a hall the venue was instead virtual.... Follow the link to the story >>



The Benson and HedgesTotal Jordan Peugeot team today successfully completed its four day test of the Jordan Peugeot 197 in Jerez Spain. The dramatically coloured yellow and black car completed a total of 129 laps with the driving split between Giancarlo Fisichella (Friday. Saturday. Sunday and Ralf Schumacher (Monday).

With Ralf Schumacher suffering from flu, Giancarlo Fisichella took to the wheel on Friday 7th February, reversing the scheduled testing order. His first impressions of the car were good. "The car has good downforce and grip, he commented "and overall it feels very promising" Unfortunately time lost with seat fittings and solving an electronic problem, and the day’s testing finished earlier than planned due to a lower wing problem. A total of 17 laps were completed.

On Saturday 8th Feb testing continued with Fisichella under windy and dusty conditions. The team concentrated on improving oil pick-up for the engine, running maximum and minimum oil levels and on obtaining data for Peugeot. The rear wing problem persisted, so that testing was limited to short laps. And a total of 20 were completed, with a fastest time of 1.23.30.

Sunday 9th Feb proved to be a very productive day of testing. Changes to the seat and pedals to make Fisichella more comfortable, together with a modified rear wing sent from the UK to solve the problems experienced in the previous days, meant that 47 laps were completed in a best time of 1.21.85 (with the ear running with reasonable amounts of fuel). Work was also completed on the active differential.

Today, Monday 10th Feb Ralf Schumacher completed 45 laps under warm (65 decrees F) and less breezy Conditions. During the morning session, in accordance with Peugeot engine testing, an excess of a race distance was completed with no problems, with Schumacher setting best time of 1.21 64. The engine The engine was changed over lunchtime but unfortunately problems were experienced with the second engine and only five laps were completed in the afternoon. Ralf Schumacher, however, was very pleased with his day at the track, saying he felt confident about the car and that he fully agreed with the comments made last week by Fisichella.


Times for Monday 10th February

Berger (Benetton Renault) 1.21.01

Alesi (Benetton Renault) 1.21.16

Villeneuve (Williams Renault) 1.21.25

Schumacher (Jordan Peugeot) 1.21 64



World Champion Damon Hill completed a full day testing at Barcelona today and whilst he was not thrilled with the power of the rebuilt and modified Yamaha, it was a comparatively successful session compared to recent times. Yesterday he suffered more engine problems and has been consistently outclassed in his Arrows A18, having suffered from numerous technical hitches.



Olivier Panis suffered a severe tyre wall shunt at 130 mph yesterday whilst testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. The car broke away on the right hander leading into the Pit straight. Slowed by the gravel the impact was still severe but Panis was able to walk away uninjured.


Chris Richardson e-mail: zoom@yeahright-no-sorry.com


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