information on last week's testing at Estoril:
The three days they were here (Tues, Wed and Thurs) proved "encouraging".
They concentrated mainly on developing the engine, for which Alain Prost
did most of the driving (Coulthard was fog-bound in Italy and only
arrived on the Wednesday). Prost said he was pleased with the work
they'd done but admitted there was "still a lot left to do". He left
Estoril on Wednesday afternoon following software-related problems with
the gear box. Coulthard and Magnussen then took over, with the engine and
rear suspension the focus of attention. Rain on Friday brought testing to
a stop and McLaren went home.
Although "sorry" that the new car is not yet ready, the Williams team
left Estoril on Thursday confident that a lot had been accomplished. They
are also extremely pleased with the new RS8 engine.
Jacques Villeneuve concentrated on aerodynamic tests on the Monday and
was faster than Damon Hill, the latter working on the gear box. Hill went
off quite spectacularly the next day in Curva 2 when part of the front
suspension broke. He was doing 238 km/h at the time. Villeneuve drove the
RS7 on the Wednesday, with Hill in the RS8: both cars performed
"admirably". Only Jean-Cristophe Boullion stayed around for Thursday's
testing. He actually proved faster than Villeneuve...
Jordan arrived Thursday (so did the rain), when their new M196 was
unveiled. Similar in appearance to the Benetton (front suspension),
changes include greater protection around the***pit and power-steering.
The most striking aspect of the car, though, appears to be the
versatility of the new chassis (more sensitive, better adaptability).
Not all went as well as expected: Thursday morning, Brundle only managed
six laps before the gear box developed a problem; Thursday afternoon,
Barrichello only did 10 laps. Hydraulic problems the next day meant he
could only do 4 laps. Brundle managed to get out on the Saturday morning,
but the rain caused him to spin off and damage the rear suspension fairly
badly. End of tests.
The Week's Times
Villeneuve: 1:21.74 (54)
Hill: 1:22.13 (33)
Villeneuve: 1:22.10 (30)
Hill: 1:23.34 (8)
Prost: 1:24.25 (45)
Hill: 1:20.77 (60) - Fastest lap all week
Villeneuve: 1:20.98 (69)
Coulthard: 1:23.28 (26)
Prost: 1:23.34 (31)
Boullion: 1:20.96 (49)
Coulthard: 1:23.31 (70)
Magnussen: 1:23.56 (32)
Brundle: 1:26.24 (6)
Barrichello: 1:26.82 (10)
Barrichello: 1:41.0 (4)
Coulthard: (no times)
Magnussen: (no times)
If "Volante" is to be believed, there will be *nine* teams testing here
*in* a couple of weeks *for* a couple of weeks: Minardi, McLaren,
Williams, Ferrari, Sauber, Jordan, Benetton, Ligier and Arrows. With
only 7 weeks till the Aussie GP, this is definitely a fortnight not to be