Wednesday September 19th, 2001
McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz topped the timesheets on the second day of testing at a wet Silverstone, where five Formula One teams are carrying out their preparations for the United States Grand Prix next week.
On another typical Silverstone day with temperatures reaching 15 degrees Celsius, Wurz, working for McLaren for the second consecutive day, finished the session ahead of Jean Alesi with the first of the Jordans.
The Frenchman, who was quickest on Tuesday, was more than half a second slower than the Austrian after completing 88 laps. Eddie Irvine was third quickest with the Jaguar.
Briton Justin Wilson finally made his Formula One debut with the Jordan team today. The F3000 champion replaced Formula One hopeful Narain Karthikeyan, and will continue testing with the Silverstone-based team also on Thursday. Wilson was impressive at the wheel of the EJ11 powered by the Honda engine, setting the fourth quickest time despite the tricky conditions on the British track.
"It was amazing, but a steep learning curve," said Wilson. "I had to get used to all sorts of things - even things you wouldn't normally think about such as the brakes and internals of the cockpit with the different buttons and switches and the clutch being operated by hand rather than foot.
"Towards the end of the day it was coming together though and I felt more confident, so was able to put in some good lap times. In an F3000 car, the car accelerates and then normally tails off towards the top end, but the Jordan Honda just keeps pulling away until the point where you brake, so you have to adjust your driving to that."
Wilson outpaced the only British American Racing car, driven by Frenchman Olivier Panis, who endured a tough session after suffering mechanical problems in the morning and spinning off the track in the afternoon.
Jaguar's Pedro de la Rosa, who scored his best ever result at the Italian Grand Prix last Sunday by finishing in fifth position, set the sixth quickest time ahead of both Benetton drivers Jenson Button and Mark Webber.
McLaren's David Coulthard was also present at the circuit, the Scot not completing any timed laps.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time
1. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:33.522
2. Alesi Jordan-Honda (B) 1:34.105
3. Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:34.340
4. Wilson Jordan-Honda (B) 1:34.700
5. Panis BAR-Honda (B) 1:35.242
6. De la Rosa Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:36.130
7. Button Benetton-Renault (M) 1:36.337
8. Webber Benetton-Renault (M) 1:36.957
9. Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes (B) No time
All Timing Unofficial
Published at 18:30:14 GMT