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Valencia Day 5 (full report) [18 May 2002|05:53pm]
[ mood | blah ]

Renault and Williams were the only runners at Valencia on Saturday as they conducted a private, wet-weather session with tyre suppliers Michelin.

The test ran from 08.30 local time until 16.00. The track was artificially dampened for fifteen minutes, with the cars then given fifteen minutes to put in around five timed laps using various intermediate tyre compounds.

With high ambient temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius, the circuit was dampened again at the end of each fifteen-minute run and the process repeated. This pattern continued throughout the day, with Renault's Jenson Button and Williams drivers Marc Gene and Ralf Schumacher conducting the programme.

Renault test driver Fernando Alonso was also on track from around 12.00 as he carried out additional electronics work for the team.

Williams tester Gene had an unexpected surprise when team mechanics presented him with a 'trophy' to thank him for all his hard work at Valencia this week. It was made from pieces of broken exhaust system - remains of the car he crashed at Silverstone earlier this year.

This week's testing at Valencia is now complete.

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Happy Birthday Heinz-Harald Frentzen! [18 May 2002|06:02pm]
[ mood | nostalgic ]

Baby Frentzen


Arrows driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen celebrates his 35th birthday today (Saturday). Frentzen is enjoying a resurgence in form with the British team this year after enduring a difficult 2001 season.

Frentzen parted company with the Jordan team just ahead of his home Grand Prix last July. He switched to Prost for the remainder of the season, before the team went into administration. He was signed by Arrows in February and took the team's first point of 2002 with sixth place in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Frentzen's F1™ career began with Sauber in 1994, before a three-season stint at Williams. He took his maiden Grand Prix win at San Marino in 1997 and went on to finish second in the drivers' championship after compatriot Michael Schumacher was disqualified.

He made the podium just once in 1998 and Williams let him go at the end of the season. However, a switch to Jordan to replace a discontented Ralf Schumacher proved to be a good move for Frentzen.

With Jordan number one Damon Hill experiencing a dip in performance Frentzen came into his own and won two Grands Prix, in France and Italy, helping the team to secure their best ever finish in the constructors' championship.

However, reliability problems plagued his and Jordan's 2000 campaign and 2001 continued in a similar fashion. Frentzen was frequently out-qualified by younger team mate Jarno Trulli and just two days before the German Grand Prix he announced that Eddie Jordan had dispensed with his services.

He replaced Jos Verstappen at Arrows in February of this year and has extracted impressive pace from this season's A23 car. As the team continues to improve he looks certain to score more points before the end of 2002.

H-H F 1999
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