Another productive week of testing was wrapped up this afternoon by the Bridgestone teams running at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in Spain. And it is evident that both the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and Sauber Petronas teams...
Another productive week of testing was wrapped up this afternoon by the Bridgestone teams running at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in Spain. And it is evident that both the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and Sauber Petronas teams are quickly getting to grips with their tyre programmes.
Michael Schumacher has been setting consistently quick lap times in the F2003-GA, smashing the lap record yesterday for the 4.005km circuit, albeit briefly. After taking over from Felipe Massa, Giancarlo Fisichella continued to familiarize himself with the new C-23 today, setting a competitive fourth fastest time ahead of the Williams of Gene. The European Minardi Cosworth team, meanwhile, ran for the first time this year in the PS03 with both Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner taking turns behind the wheel.
Bridgestone's tyre test programme has been gaining momentum in the last couple of weeks under the watchful eyes of Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Motorsport's Head of Tyre Development and Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport's Technical Manager.
Commented Hirohide Hamashima; "We have recently tested many different constructions and shapes and are very pleased with the progress made so far. Valencia has not traditionally been a good circuit for Bridgestone but this week's results suggest we may have changed that. We have been looking really quite competitive. Based on average lap times, we are in the region of one to one and a half seconds quicker than our rivals."
This was backed up by Bridgestone Motorsport's Technical Manager, Hisao Suganuma who said: "We have had some very positive results this week in Valencia, which have given us great encouragement. It is early yet but we are certainly heading in the right direction. The task ahead of us now in the next five weeks is to finalise our Melbourne tyre specification."
Testing resumes next week with Ferrari and Sauber both relocating to the Circuit de Catalunya (Barcelona). Ferrari is expected to undertake four days of testing from 2nd 5th February whilst Sauber will run from 2nd - 4th February. Jordan, meanwhile, will return to the UK where they will continue their test programme on 2nd, 4th and 5th February at Silverstone.