Rain Hinders Teams at Paul Ricard

Day two of testing at Paul Ricard had the test teams present wishing they hadn't signed up to a limitation of testing, as the constant rain put paid to most of their programmes

Rain Hinders Teams at Paul Ricard

Clouds loomed over the region right from the start of the day, but the circuit notified the teams that their weather forecast advised there would be no rain until after 1.00pm. Unfortunately a look at the local television forecast would have been more useful, stating as it did that inclement weather would arrive far earlier.

And so it proved - at 10.00 it started spitting, and within half an hour the circuit was drenched with water, leaving the teams with little useful work to do. The two McLaren drivers and Renault's Heikki Kovalainen put in a few runs in the rain, to test their intermediates and to gain time on understanding the car respectively.

Jenson Button's return to testing was less than auspicious - he had a new Honda engine to test, along with an aerodynamic programme to establish wing levels for Bahrain, but a lack of running meant little was achieved on the day by either Button or teammate Anthony Davidson, who was in the old car to work on tyres.

McLaren probably achieved the most out of the teams present - as they had two old cars they had less to lose, and ran the largest number of laps. Most of the runners were trying to establish the right tyre to take to Bahrain, which meant that the day was largely wasted.

"The weather conditions were challenging today," McLaren tester Alex Wurz, "however during the wet weather we successfully completed intermediate tyre testing, and when the track dried out I was able to concentrate my programme on further development of the Michelin dry tyres."

The fastest times were all set in the initially dry period first thing in the morning except for Ricardo Zonta, who made use of a 30-minute dry period around 3.00pm to set his time. Zonta was running in an old chassis, but curiously was the only driver testing a new casing for Michelin, which is being developed for later in the season.

Kovalainen was probably the most disappointed driver on the day, as he had been planning to run a lot of laps to better come to terms with the car. Teammate Franck Montagny seemed to also be in the wars - he stopped on track with a problem on the car.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli stopped on track later in the day; when the car was brought back to the pits it was discovered that he had damaged the chassis while running over a kerb, and the team subsequently packed up and left as they were unable to effect sufficient repairs at the track.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time     Laps
 1. Zonta          Toyota               (M)  1:03.848   69
 2. de la Rosa     McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:04.496   93
 3. Wurz           McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:04.593  107
 4. Montagny       Renault              (M)  1:04.695   71
 5. Kovalainen     Renault              (M)  1:04.843  101
 6. Davidson       BAR-Honda            (M)  1:05.180   44
 7. Button         BAR-Honda            (M)  1:06.434   74
 8. Trulli         Toyota               (M)  1:06.725   40
All Timing Unofficial
shares
comments
Bridgestone: Ferrari to do Better
Previous article

Bridgestone: Ferrari to do Better

Next article

Coulthard: Villeneuve Could Leave

Coulthard: Villeneuve Could Leave
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022