Irvine sets Silverstone pace.

Eddie Irvine joined the multi-team test at Silverstone today and promptly put his Jaguar R1 at the top of the time sheets. Day one pacesetter Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished in sixth place, after testing a significantly modified Jordan

Irvine sets Silverstone pace.

Irvine, who replaced Luciano Burti on testing duty, said after the French Grand Prix that Jaguar is the third best team on the F1 grid, despite its lack of tangible results, so he will doubtless be pleased to have gone faster than the Jordans in their own back yard.

However, Jordan was off the pace today due to the fact that it is working on major aerodynamic changes this week, including a revised undertray, sidepods and wing profile. The changes are so significant, in fact, that the chassis has been referred to as the EJ10-B. It will make its race debut at the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend.

Rain reduced the morning running and the circuit did not dry until 3pm, at which point Irvine finally took to the track. The Irishman's closest rivals were Jos Verstappen's Arrows in second and Alex Wurz's Benetton in third, 0.22s and 0.23s behind respectively.

Jacques Villeneuve began testing for British American Racing in a new BAR-Honda chassis dubbed 'Athena', which runs with new electronics and Honda-designed suspension. Honda's deal with BAR includes input on chassis development, as well as the supply of engines, and this was the first major outing for parts designed by the Japanese company. BAR will continue to test at Silverstone tomorrow, while a second test team will run at Estoril on Friday, along with Williams-BMW.

Ten of the 11 Formula 1 teams were testing today at four different circuits around Europe. The main test took place at Silverstone with five teams present while the duel between the top two teams, McLaren and Ferrari, continued at Ferrari's home track Mugello. Williams began a three-day test at Estoril with Jenson Button at the wheel, soon to be joined by BAR, and Giorgio Vinella made his debut as Minardi test driver at the Varano circuit after the Italian team missed the offical test at Magny-Cours due to their trucks being caught in an Italian strike.


Pos Driver Team Time Laps
E Irvine Jaguar 1m26.40s 41
J Verstappen Arrows-Supertec 1m26.62s 69
A Wurz Benetton-Playlife 1m26.63s 37
J Herbert Jaguar 1m226.81s 56
P Diniz Sauber-Petronas 1m27.00s 60
H H Frentzen Jordan-Mugen Honda 1m27.53s 69
J Villeneuve BAR-Honda 1m28.12s 20
A Pizzonia Benetton-Playlife 1m28.77s 54
P Lemarie BAR-Honda 1m29.31s 64

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