May 28th, 2002

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Jaguar to test Alonso on Thursday

F AlonsoThe Jaguar team have revealed that Renault test driver Fernando Alonso will drive for them at Silverstone this week. The talented Spaniard will act as a benchmark for Jaguar's two young test drivers James Courtney and Andre Lotterer.

All three will take the wheel of the Jaguar R3 during the three-day test after Renault approved Alonso's participation. The former Minardi star will appear at the Northamptonshire circuit on Thursday 30th May.

"Our objective here is to conduct a true assessment of James and Andre by comparing them to what I regard as one of the best new talents in Formula One™," said Jaguar Team Principal and CEO Niki Lauda in a press release.

"I am very interested to see how my two young drivers compare to Fernando who, for the first time, will drive a Jaguar Formula One car."

Meanwhile, Renault boss Flavio Briatore said both his driver and Jaguar would benefit from this week's session.

"When Niki asked for Fernando's services for this one-off test, I was happy to help," he said. "Fernando's proven skills will no doubt help Niki set a benchmark for his two drivers.

"It will also provide Fernando an opportunity to widen his experience. This somewhat unusual test will create a lot of interest, which is no bad thing for young drivers in Formula One."

Alonso impressed during his debut season with Minardi in 2002 before becoming Renault's official tester and his Formula One future has been the subject of much speculation.
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Extended long term sponsorship for McLaren

McLaren International and TAG Heuer yesterday (Monday) announced a long-term extension of their partnership. TAG Heuer will also use team driver David Coulthard in its latest advertising campaign 'What are you made of?'

"I'm proud to play such a prominent role in TAG Heuer's new advertising campaign and am pleased they have extended their relationship with the team," said Coulthard yesterday in a press release.

"I bought my first TAG Heuer watch in a duty free shop in Marseilles when I was 11, and today I have an extensive collection. I enjoyed doing the photographs for the campaign but still find it quite strange to see the portrait displayed prominently in magazines and on posters."

The campaign, which matches TAG Heuer models with various brand ambassadors, will be running for a total of eight months in more than 100 countries, and a mixture of lifestyle and business publications. One thousand posters will be erected as part of the campaign, including in New York and other capital cities around the world.

"We are proud of our long standing association with TAG Heuer," said Ron Dennis, chairman and CEO of the TAG McLaren Group. "We have been together for 15 years and with the latest contract extension TAG Heuer becomes one of our longest standing partners.

"Their use of the association, as illustrated by the latest advertising campaign featuring David, clearly demonstrates some of the mutual benefits offered by the partnership."

TAG Heuer's relationship with McLaren began in 1985 when the Heuer Company was acquired by the TAG (Techniques d'Avant-Garde) Group, which resulted in the name change from Heue' to TAG Heuer and an increased commitment to involve the brand in prestigious sports.

The partnership has seen the team take six Constructors' FIA Formula One World Championship™ titles and eight Drivers' FIA Formula One World Championship™ crowns.
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Trulli's Monaco result to be announced today (Tuesday)

The FIA will release the full results of the 2002 Monaco Grand Prix today, following the discovery of a possible irregularity on the electronics box of car number 14 (Jarno Trulli) in scrutineering after the race on Sunday.

A Renault statement explained that an electronic box had been taken from Trulli's car, which he had driven to fourth place for his first points of the year, to ensure that it complied with Article 8.2 of the FIA Technical Regulations.

Article 8 of the FIA Technical Regulations governs the use of electrical systems on cars, with article 8.2 referring to the use of start systems.

According to the FIA Technical Regulations this article states: "8.2.1: Any system, the purpose and/or effect of which is to detect when a race start signal is given, is not permitted. 8.2.2: Whichever driver input device is used to initiate the propulsion of the car during the start of a race, a verifiable signal must be provided which indicates it's instant of operation."

Renault's executive director of engineering Pat Symonds and technical director Mike Gascoyne have both spoken of their confidence that the legality of the system will be proven when it is tested at their Enstone-based factory today (Tuesday).

Trulli finished fourth in the Monaco Grand Prix after shooting from seventh on the grid to fifth before the first corner and then being promoted a place higher after the retirement of Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya. Renault's start systems have long been acknowledged to be extremely efficient, and fast starts are often made by both drivers.

The team's other racer, Jenson Button, stuttered at the Monaco start after jumping the lights, and in the process of bringing his car back to a halt trying to avoid a penalty he lost his launch control and dropped to the back of the grid. He eventually crashed out of the race at Ste Devote.
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Trulli's Monaco 4th place still stands!

Renault's Jarno Trulli was confident that his fourth place in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix would stand, even when he knew that his car was under investigation after the FIA found a seal to be missing from an electronic unit in scrutineering.

"I knew I would be OK as it was not the active box," he said. "I was told immediately and I was confident then. I had told you that Monaco may be the turning point, and it was the case. If I could finish the race, I knew I could score a point or two."

The FIA announced today that the unit complied with all regulations and so Trulli's first points-scoring finish of the season would be able to stand.

However, the Italian revealed that he had experienced some problems in the race, saying: "I was behind Heidfeld for more than twenty laps, but they never showed him any blue flag!

"I told the team and they spoke to Charlie (Whiting), but we were told that the gap to the front car has to be 0.8 seconds to be shown the blue flag in Monaco. Probably, I was 0.9 seconds behind him!"

Trulli eventually lapped the German Sauber driver to finish a lap down on race winner David Coulthard.
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Testing, Silverstone Day One

Giancarlo Fisichella topped the timesheets at a soggy Silverstone today (Tuesday) with a time of 1.31.620 that bettered his closest opponent, Andre Lotterer, by almost one second.

The day was marred by almost incessant rain, with most times set in damp conditions while drivers were on intermediate tyres in the morning. A drying track towards the very end of the afternoon allowed some drivers to improve their times as well.

G F JordanFisichella's car was powered by Honda's new more powerful spec two engine, introduced to conquer the plentiful demands made on power units at the Canadian GP in Montreal. BAR also had a modified engine to test at their session in Paul Ricard.

Most drivers concentrated on mechanical set-up and electronics for the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks' time, after the rain forced them to abandon plans to evaluate the dry tyres available for Montreal.

There were a number of red flags caused by the slippery track surface, with the most serious involving Toyota test driver Stephane Sarrazin who made contact with the barriers and damaged the front and rear wings of his car as well as the front suspension.

Testing continues tomorrow, when Arrows also join the fray.
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