Impossible in today’s Formula One was possible in the past of Formula One. There was a time that any time could test on any time he liked. To improve their cars, to give youngsters their first taste of Formula One, or simply to cash. Because testing was all about talent and money back in the days. Most of the drivers that tested are long forgotten or never arrived in the Formula One. As there isn’t really a database around, just bits and pieces, I started these overviews. Here are the test-drivers of 2001.
Luckily, there are a lot of test times available from the late 1990s and early 2000s. AtlasF1 is one of those sites that kept the testing times and published them on a special page dedicated to testing.
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
Ferrari, the team to beat, after they won the drivers and Constructors championship in 2000. In 2001, the team appeared with the F2001 as their new challenger. Powered by their own V10 engine and Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello as their drivers the team was ready for the new season.
Michael Schumacher: Tested with the Ferrari F2001.
Rubens Barrichello: Tested with the Ferrari F2001.
Luca Badoer: Tested with the Ferrari F2001 several times on Mugello and Fiorano.
Fabrizio Giovanardi: Tested with the Ferrari F2001 the 9th and 10th of July on Vairano with the F2001.
while the team was mostly testing with their new challenger, in early season they also used the F2000 to test upgrades.
Fabrizio Giovanardi: Tested with the Ferrari F2000 the 1st of February on Vairano. He replaced Luca Badoer for the test. Completing 38 laps.
West McLaren Mercedes
McLaren was after Ferrari the dominating team in 2000 finishing second in the constructors championship they knew it was the max for them. For 2001, McLaren appeared with the MP4/16 on the grid. Fitted with the Mercedes V10 engine, their drivers Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard were ready to fight Ferrari. It would be Mika’s last season in the F1.
Mika Häkkinen: Tested with the McLaren MP4/16.
David Coulthard: Tested with the McLaren MP4/16.
Alexander Wurz: Tested with the McLaren MP4/16.
Gary Paffet: Tested with the McLaren MP4/16 on Jerez for winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award in 1999. Test happened the 1st of February.
Giorgio Pantano: Tested with the McLaren MP4/16 the 1st of February on Jerez.
Darren Turner: Tested with the McLaren MP4/16 the 1st of February on Jerez.
Marcel Fässler: Tested with the McLaren MP4/16 The 18th of September on Silverstone. Sadly, it were only a few installation laps due to the weather conditions. The 4th of October he would test again this time on Barcelona with the MP4/16.
BMW Williams F1 Team
Back on their way to the top, it is how you can describe Williams their road to success in the early 2000s. For 2001, the team came with the Williams FW23 powered by the BMW V10 engine. With Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wheel there was no reason not to be competitive in the season.
Ralf Schumacher: Tested with the Williams FW23.
Juan Pablo Montoya: Tested with the Williams FW23.
Marc Gené: Tested with the Williams FW23.
Antonio Pizzionia: Tested in October 2001 a couple of days with the FW23.
Ricardo Sperafico: Seems to have tested the FW23.
Mild Seven Benetton Renault
The once dominant Benetton was in 2001 one of the teams that drove around without a soul and a heart it seems. The car looked plain, and so looked the team during the season. Renault purchased the team to debut as Renault in the Formula One a year later. The Benetton B201 was powered Renault V10 engine. With Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button behind the wheel.
Giancarlo Fisichella: Tested with the Benetton B201.
Jenson Button: Tested with the Benetton B201.
Mark Webber: Tested with the Benetton B201.
Fernando Alonso: Tested with the Benetton B201.
Lucky Strike BAR Honda
Enter the Formula One with an enormous budget in 1999, the team only scored their first points in 2000. For 2001, the team came with the BAR003 powered by the Honda V10 engine. While scoring fewer points Villeneuve would eventually finish twice on the podium. Olivier Panis replaced Ricardo Zonta.
Jacques Villeneuve: Tested with the BAR003.
Olivier Panis: Tested with the BAR003.
Anthony Davidson: Tested with the BAR003.
Darren Manning: Tested with the BAR003.
Patrick Lemarié: Tested with the BAR003.
Takuma Sato: Tested for the first time with the BAR003 on Jerez the 19th of January.
Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda
Only two years before Jordan was one of the top teams on the grid. Frentzen came close to win the championship in 1999. All signs were on green and the future looked bright. 2001 was almost the complete opposite of the heydays. Their successor was the EJ11, which was powered by the same Honda V10 engine as BAR had. There were a couple of driver changes in 2001.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Tested the Jordan EJ11, and drove the first 11 races.
Ricardo Zonta: Tested the Jordan EJ11, and drove in Canada (replacing Frentzen) and Germany.
Jarno Trulli: Tested the Jordan EJ11, and drove in all races.
Jean Alesi: Tested the Jordan EJ11, replaced Frentzen the last few races of the season.
Justin Wilson: Tested the Jordan EJ11 the 20th of September at Silverstone. He completed 82 laps.
Narain Kartikeyan: Tested the Jordan EJ11 the 18th of September on Silverstone.
Andrew-Gilbert Scott: Tested the Jordan EJ11 the 22nd of August on Silverstone.
Mário Haberfeld: Made a surprise test for Jordan the 22nd of February on Silverstone.
Orange Arrows Asiatech
Shown some good results in 2000 with Pedro and Jos behind the wheel of the A21, the Arrows team had a promising 2001 season. The team came with the Arrows A22 as their successor powered by the Asiatech V10 engine. Sadly, the season would become a disappointment.
Jos Verstappen: Tested with the Arrows A22.
Enrique Bernoldi: Tested with the Arrows A22.
Johnny Herbert: Tested with the Arrows A22.
Red Bull Sauber Petronas
Like every year the Sauber team did what it always did scoring points and be a decent team on the grid. In 2001, they took a risk with hiring Kimi Räikkönen, at that time the youngest F1 driver. Nick Heidfeld was his teammate. Sauber’s successor was the C20 powered by the Petronas Engine (a batched Ferrari engine).
Kimi Räikkönen: Tested with the Sauber C20.
Nick Heidfeld: Tested with the Sauber C20.
Felipe Massa: Tested with the Sauber C20.
Marcel Fässler: Was to test with the Sauber C20.
Jaguar Racing F1 Team
Their first season in the Formula One was not what they expected scoring only four points the team was looking for more success in 2001. The Jaguar team appeared with the Jaguar R2 powered by the Cosworth V10 engine as their successor. Also at Jaguar, some driver chances happened during the season.
Eddie Irvine: Tested with the Jaguar R2, he drove all the races for the team.
Luciano Burti: Tested with the Jaguar R2, he drove the first four races for the team.
Pedro de la Rosa: Tested with the Jaguar R2, he replaced Burti for the rest of the season.
Tomas Scheckter: Tested with the Jaguar R2 the 31st of January on Barcelona.
André Lotterer: Tested with the Jaguar R2 the 16th of February on Jerez.
James Courtney: Tested with the Jaguar R2 the 17th of July on Monza.
Christian Danner: Did the shakedown of the Jaguar R2 on Silverstone the 25th of January.
Narain Kartikeyan: Was the first Indian driver to test a Formula One car. He tested the Jaguar R2 the 14th of June on Silverstone.
Jaguar Racing F1 Team
While Burti did a short shakedown with the Jaguar R2 in January 2001. The team also used the Jaguar 1RB for filming purposes.
Christian Danner: “Tested” with the Jaguar R1B, he spun in the rain.
Eddie Irvine: Tested with the Jaguar R1B, for filming purpose.
European Minardi F1
It was a wonder that Minardi appeared on the grid in 2001. The situation at Minardi was horrible; there was a lack of financial backing while the debts were rising. Eventually Paul Stoddart purchased the Minardi team and within weeks the Minardi PS01 was completed. While there was not much time left the car was tested and during the season an evolution of the PS01, the PS01B would appear on the grid. The European V10 engine powered the car.
The Minardi PS01 was built within weeks, and therefore did not seen proper pre-season testing. Eventually during the season, the car would be updated.
Fernando Alonso: Tested with the PS01.
Tarso Marques: Tested with the PS01.
Alex Yoong: Tested with the PS01.
Andrea Piccini: Tested the fourth and fifth of July on Mugello with the PS01. His best time was a 1:31,227s. A month later, he tested again on Mugello with the PS01.
Christijan Albers: Tested for the first time with the PS01 the 18th of April 2001 on Mugello. Alonso and Marques tested that week as well on Mugello.
Paul Stoddart: Drove/Tested with the PS01 during the Minardi day the 31th of October on Imola.
From the Belgium Grand Prix on Minardi appeared with the modified PS01B on the grid. The car was an improvement of the PS01.
Fernando Alonso: Tested with the PS01B.
Tarso Marques: Tested with the PS01B.
Alex Yoong: Tested with the PS01B after the Belgium Grand Prix on Mugello. Probably also to get in touch with the car as he would replace Marques for the last three races.
Andrea Piccini: Tested with the PS01B after the Belgium Grand Prix on Mugello.
David Saelens: Not really a test, though a first taste of F1. David drove a Minardi PS01B during the Minardi days held at Misano in early November.
What to say about Prost Grand Prix. In 2000, they had a terrible season, an underpowered engine that didn’t work together with the Prost AP03. The team scored no points and finished as last in the championship. For 2001, the team came with the AP04, which was powered by the Acer V10 engine (badged Ferrari). Also at Prost, a couple of driver changes happened.
Jean Alesi: Tested with the AP04, he drove the first twelve races of the season.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Tested with the AP04, he replaced Alesi for the last four races.
Gastón Mazzacane: Tested with the AP04, he drove the first four races of the season.
Luciano Burti: Tested with the AP04, and replaced Mazzacane.
Tomáš Enge: Tested with the AP04, and replaced Burti for the last three races of the season.
Pedro de la Rosa: Tested for the first time with the Prost AP04 the 11th and 13th of February on Estoril.
Stéphane Sarrazin: Tested with the Prost AP04 in June on Silverstone.
Jonathan Cochet: Was contracted in April as one of the test drivers for Prost. He tested a couple of times with the AP04.
Oriol Servia: Tested with the Prost AP04.
Toyota AM01 / Toyota TF101
Originally the Toyota test car was named the Toyota AM01, later it became the TF101. Toyota was to debut in 2002 as team and used two seasons to test their car.
Mika Salo: Tested intensively with the car.
Allan McNish: Tested intensively with the car.
This is a not sure type of entry for the test overview. The Arrows AX3 was a promotion tool for the Arrows team. People could hire the car to be driven around on a track. However, also this car needed to be tested on the circuit.
Stephen Watson: The South African was seen driving around, alone, with the AX3 on Snetterton somewhere in July.