Thursday September 6th, 2001
German driver Nick Heidfeld set a blistering pace at the Magny-Cours circuit on Thursday, on the second of three days of testing at the French circuit.
Sauber driver Heidfeld, who was only fourth quickest on Wednesday, was almost sixth tenths of a second faster than Juan Pablo Montoya in the Williams. Heidfeld, who continued working with his team in order to solve the transmission problems that hit the C20 at the Belgian Grand Prix, was also more than half a second quicker than the previous best time during testing in 2001, set by Marc Gene.
"The car felt much better today than yesterday, as the lap
times prove," said Heidfeld. "The handling and balance were really good, and we made some excellent progress."
Colombian Montoya and Gene himself were second and third quickest as the Williams team continued working after their disappointing performance at Spa, where they failed to score any points. The Spanish test driver was the busiest man today, completing 85 laps around the French track.
Briton Jenson Button was unable to shine in today's session and, after being second yesterday the Benetton driver was only fourth more than 1.5 seconds off the pace. Czech Tomas Enge, who made his Formula One debut with Prost on Wednesday, continued working for the French outfit, setting the slowest time again. However, Enge was only three tenths slower than Button.
Testing at Magny-Cours will finish on Friday.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time
1. Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas (B) 1:13.873
2. Montoya Williams-BMW (M) 1:14.412
3. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:14.969
4. Button Benetton-Renault (M) 1:15.275
5. Enge Prost-Acer (M) 1:15.584
All Timing Unofficial
Published at 16:22:56 GMT