Formula one, 2001 season British Grand Prix at Silverstone: Away from the track the jpoc report

After the French Grand Prix, all of the teams headed off to carry out their pre Silverstone testing. Because Silverstone was off limits in the immediate build up to the race, the testing was to take place all over the place. It was no surprise to hear that perennially cash strapped Minardi would not be testing but Prost were in the same boat as they pared costs in an alleged bid to scrape together enough cash to pay for their Ferrari engines.

There was little of much interest in the test sessions. Eddie Irvine sat them out. This was put down to a recurrence of his recent neck injury. It's all a ploy Eddie just likes attreactive physiotherapists. Jaguar put their test driver Lotterer on standby for the Silverstone race in case their main man really was in too much pain to drive. In a bid to prove that the pain in the neck was real, Eddie started slagging off as many former winners of the F1 driver's champions whose names he could remember. He got as far back as Prost, Hill, Villeneuve and Hakkinen whom he claimed had all won second class championships because they had done so in Adrian Newey designed cars which made winning easy.

The main reason for the lack of interest was that nobody really had anything interesting to test. Pretty well everyone was just carrying out tyre evaluation ahead of the Silverstone race.

One exception to this was Benetton who were planning to use their launch control system for the first time since the systems were re-legalised at the fifth race of 2001. They also hoped to get a better showing from the revised version of the Renault engine which made its debut at the French race.

Ferrari also had some engine news for the British Grand Prix. They would use their new engine in a race for the first time. It had been used to good effect in qualifying at the previous three races. when it had won two pole positions for Michael Schumacher. Nobody issues firm figures but informed speculation has BMW on 865bhp, the new Ferrari engine on 840, it's predecessor on 820 and the Mercedes badged Ilmor unit trailing on a mere "how do they even keep up when the safety car is out" 810bhp.

In the end, European-Minardi did make it out to Mugello for a short test session but it was perhaps more about giving a run to some of their junior drivers who drive for the Minardi F3000 team. One of these was Alex Yoong, a Malaysian, tipped by the Malaysian government for a drive with the team at the Hungarian race.

The whole 2001 season All the races and the behind the scenes games
British GP at Silverstone July 15th Off track developments
British GP at Silverstone July 15th Practice and qualifying
British GP at Silverstone July 15th The starting grid
British GP at Silverstone July 15th Race report
British GP at Silverstone July 15th Results
British GP at Silverstone July 15th Championship standings after the race
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