Promise for Renault and Jaguar 04 Apr 2003
Friday's morning test session produced encouraging form not just for Renault, which has established a tradition of setting the pace in the first two Grands Prix, but also Jaguar, with Antonio Pizzonia and Mark Webber setting the second and third fastest times behind Jarno Trulli.
The Italian lapped in 1m 14.262s, the Brazilian in 1m 14.464s and the Australian 1m 14.492s.
Renault again focused on three different programmes, with Trulli, Fernando Alonso and Allan McNish, while Jaguar was anxious to confirm whether it had cured the fuel feed problem that hampered both cars in Malaysia.
"We figured that we knew what the problem was in Sepang," a team insider said. "It was something to do with a temperature-sensitive problem where none of the lift pumps in the fuel tank was 'wet', whereas under normal circumstances at least one of them should be. We tested a solution on the rig back at the factory after the race, and this morning proved we have got round the problem."
Ralph Firman was less lucky, stopping in the pit road with a mechanical problem on his Jordan Ford after 27 laps.
A rain storm 30 minutes from the end of the two-hour session interrupted things. Later Alonso spun wildly on the straight and ended up in a gravel bed, fortunately without damaging his Renault.