You can’t imagine it now though there was a time a lot of drivers tested in the Formula One. Or teams tested in between races to test new aerodynamics or new engines. Or just to cash extra money by letting unknown drivers, who will never arrive, experience the Formula 1.
As many of these drivers are long forgotten, and there isn’t a real overview of the test drivers, its all bits and pieces. It though well why not? Here are the drivers who tested with a F1 car in 1998.
Was Williams the team to beat in 1997, in 1998 it would be all different. McLaren and Ferrari were the teams to beat. The team appeared with the Williams FW20 on the grid powered by the Mecachrome V10 engines. Which were batched Renault engines. Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen were the drivers.
Jacques Villeneuve: Tested with the Williams FW20.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Tested with the Williams FW20.
Ralf Schumacher: Tested with the Williams FW20.
Juan-Pablo Montoya: Tested with the Williams FW19 and the Williams FW20 (Jerez).
Max Wilson: Tested with the Williams FW20 at Magny-Cours.
Aluizio Coelho: Tested with the Williams FW20 at a wet Silverstone.
Michael Doohan: Tested with the Williams FW20 at Barcelona.
Tommi Mäkinen: Tested with the Williams FW20 at Barcelona.
Alex Zanardi: Tested with the Williams FW20 at the end of the season.
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
Ferrari was back in 1998 after several years of struggling. The team had a solid base with the best people available in the Formula One. The team appeared with the F300 on the grid powered by the Ferrari V10 engine. Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine were the drivers.
Michael Schumacher: Tested with the Ferrari F300. Tested the F300 also in early season with the black livery at Fiorano.
Eddie Irvine: Tested with the Ferrari F300.
Luca Badoer: Tested with the Ferrari F300.
Nicola Larini: Tested in early season with the Ferrari F300 in black livery.
Mild Seven Benetton Playlife
After Schumacher left the Benetton team, the team went from a top team to a sub-top team. In 1998, the team appeared with two youngsters in their Benetton B198 Alexander Wurz and Giancarlo Fisichella. The car was powered by the Playlife V10 engine, which was the rebadged Renault engine.
Alexander Wurz: Tested with the Benetton B198.
Giancarlo Fisichella: Tested with the Benetton B198.
Oliver Gavin: Tested with the Benetton B198 at Santa Pod, the team had some new updates for the British Grand Prix, which had to be tested.
Jos Verstappen: Tested with the Benetton B198 at Silverstone.
West McLaren Mercedes
The team to beat in 1998. After the team signed the deal with Mercedes in 1995, McLaren became one of the teams to beat. David Coulthard and Mika Häkkinen drove with the MP4/13 during the season. Mika would become the world champion.
David Coulthard: Tested with the McLaren MP4/13.
Mika Häkkinen: Tested with the McLaren MP4/13.
Ricardo Zonta: Tested with the McLaren MP4/13 at Silverstone.
Nick Heidfeld: Tested with the McLaren MP4/13 at Barcelona.
Jenson Button: Tested with the McLaren MP4/13 at Silverstone.
Niki Lauda: Tested the McLaren 2-seater at Silverstone.
Benson & Hedges Jordan
Jordan Grand Prix became a neat sub team in 1998 especially after mid-season. The team appeared with the Jordan 198 on the grid. Powered by the Mugen-Honda engine. Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher were the drivers for the team.
Damon Hill: Tested with the Jordan 198.
Ralf Schumacher: Tested with the Jordan 198.
Pedro de la Rosa: Tested with the Jordan 198.
Jeremy Clarkson: Is said to tested with the Jordan 198 at Silverstone. This was for his The Most Outrageous Jeremy Clarkson Video In The World…Ever!, Documentary.
Andrew Gilbert-Scott: Tested with the Jordan 198 at Silverstone the same time Jeremy Clarkson was there, so could be Scott that have tested it.
Stephane Samson: F1 Racing Journalist Samson tested the Jordan 197 at Silverstone.
Juichi Wakisaka: Tested with the Jordan 198.
Gauloises Prost Peugeot
While the dark blue livery was beautiful to look at, the Prost AP01, the first real Prost F1 car, was far from reliable on the tracks. Nor was it that quick or spectacular. The AP01 was powered by the Peugeot V10 engine while Oliver Panis and Jarno Trulli were the drivers. The sixth place during the Belgium Grand Prix was their best result.
Olivier Panis: Tested with the AP01.
Jarno Trulli: Tested with the AP01.
Stephane Sarrazin: Tested with the AP01.
Red Bull Sauber Petronas
In 1998 Sauber was also one of the sub-top teams in the Formula One, with their usual podium finish during the season they ended on a decent sixth place in the championship. The Sauber C17, powered by the Petronas V10, and driven by ace Jean Alesi and Johnny Herbert.
Jean Alesi: Tested with the Sauber C17.
Johnny Herbert: Tested with the Sauber C17.
Jorg Müller: Tested with the Sauber C17.
Pedro Diniz: Is said to have tested the Sauber C17 in late season.
Danka Zepter Arrows
The Arrows team appeared with the beautifully designed Arrows A19 on the grid in 1998. Sadly, due to lack of financing there wasn’t enough money to test and improve the car properly. Pedro Diniz and Mika Salo were the drivers. Wil the Arrows V10, old Hart engines, powered the car.
Pedro Diniz: Tested with the Arrows A19.
Mika Salo: Tested with the Arrows A19.
Emmanuel Collard: Did some shakedown laps at Santa Pod prior the British Grand Prix.
Stephen Watson: Tested with the Arrows A19.
Pedro de la Rosa: Is said to have tested the Arrows A19 in late season.
HSBC Stewart Ford
The newcomer that failed so far to make a good impression in the Formula One. For 1998 the Stewart team appeared with the SF02 on the grid powered by the Ford Zetec-R V10 engine. Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen were the driver for the team. While Jos Verstappen would replace Magnussen after the French Grand Prix.
Rubens Barrichello: Tested with the Stewart SF02.
Jan Magnussen: Tested with the Stewart SF02.
Jos Verstappen: Tested with the Stewart SF02.
Luciano Burti: Tested with the Stewart SF02.
Mário Haberfeld: Tested with the Stewart SF02 the 7th of October 1998 at Silverstone.
Tyrrell wasn’t Tyrrell anymore in 1998, the team was purchased by BAT and was in transition to become British American Racing in 1999. The team appeared with the 026 on the grid. While powered by the Ford Zetec-R. Tyrrell was the only team in 1998 to have a couple of DNQ during races. Ricardo Rosset and Toranosuke Takagi were the drivers.
Ricardo Rosset: Tested with the Tyrrell 026.
Toranosuke Takagi: Tested with the Tyrrell 026.
Patrick Lemarié: Tested with the Tyrrell 026 in September at Silverstone.
Tom Kristensen: Tested with the Tyrrell 026 in June at Monza.
Jean-Christophe Bouillon: Tested with the Tyrrell 026 a Silverstone.
Mike Gascoyne: Tested with the Tyrrell 025 at Donington.
Fondmetal Minardi Team
Another year that the small Italian team appeared with a decent car on the grid though had no money to improve it. Which resulted in no points in 1998. The team appeared with the Minardi M198 on the grid. While it was powered by the same engine as Tyrrell had. Shinji Nakano and Esteban Tuero were the drivers.
Shinji Nakano: Tested with the Minardi M198.
Esteban Tuero: Tested with the Minardi M198.
Donny Crevels: For winning the Italian Formula 3 championship in 1998, he was offered a test with the Minardi M198. He tested the car at Barcelona.
Marc Gené: Tested the Minardi M198 at Barcelona.
Laurent Redon: Tested with the Minardi M198.
British American Racing
The new BAR team, which used to be the Tyrrell team, would debut in 1999 on the grid. The team had their brand new BAR001 completed in 1998. At the end of the season the team started testing with their car. Jacques Villeneuve was attracted as their first driver, while Ricardo Zonta was the other driver.
Jacques Villeneuve: Tested with the BAR001 from 15 until 17 December at Jerez.
Ricardo Zonta: Tested with the BAR001 from 15 until 17 December at Jerez.
In 1998 Honda constructed their own Formula One car the RA099 which was intended to test in 1999. To make their debut as team in 2000, though some say there were plans to debut already in 1999. While many believe the car was only tested in 1999. The car was tested by Jos Verstappen in late December at Vairano. The car was constructed by Dallara.
Jos Verstappen: Tested the RA099 at Vairano, with the White red livery.