Renault's new V10 takes first steps at Silverstone

Renault's ground-breaking new wide-angle V10 made its debut at a wet and windy Silverstone today, but as Benetton struggled to put miles on the new unit, Jaguar Racing led the way.

Renault's new V10 takes first steps at Silverstone

On the day the Formula 1 winter testing ban came to an end, the Milton Keynes-based team hit the ground running, fielding three cars, two drivers and a full test team (Friday) for its first official test on Michelin tyres.

As well as the Jaguar and Benetton teams, Jordan and Arrows were also present to shake down a mixture of new engines and interim chassis before development proper begins at the Jerez circuit in Spain on Monday.

The newly restructured Jaguar outfit had test driver Tomas Scheckter and Brazilian Luciano Burti, who will partner Eddie Irvine next year, on hand. Scheckter's running was cut short by a spin at Becketts half an hour after the pitlane opened, but not before the young South African had posted the fastest registered time of the day.

Burti spent much of the day carrying out back-to-back comparisons between this year's R1 and the interim R1B chassis, which has an entirely new rear end, including engine, gearbox and suspension.

Benetton's running was restricted by teething problems with its all-new 111-degree V-angle Renault engine. After newly-signed test driver Mark Webber completed just one lap midway through the morning session, the B200B did not reappear from the Benetton garage until after lunch.

The afternoon session proved to be more successful for the Enstone-based outfit and under the supervision of the team's new technical director, Mike Gascoyne, Webber completed four runs and managed a flying lap minutes before the pitlane closed at 1600 (GMT).

Both Benetton and Jaguar ran on Michelin tyres, but comparisons between the French rubber and the Bridgestones used by Jordan-Honda and Arrows were made all the more difficult by the torrid conditions.

Having completed just a handful of installation laps with the AMT-powered interim A21, Arrows packed up before lunch (see separate story) to head straight to Jerez.

Heavy rain began to fall just before 1500 (GMT) and new test driver Ricardo Zonta completed one final run before Jordan called it a day. New team manager David Brown was at the Northamptonshire track to oversee proceedings in his first appearance for the Silverstone-based team.


T Scheckter Jaguar 1m48.00s
L Burti Jaguar 1m50.35s

NB. No times available for Benetton, Arrows or Jordan

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