Button leads again at Barcelona

On the day that BAR Honda revealed the new team name for next season will be Honda Racing F1 Team, Jenson Button and test driver Anthony Davidson topped the times at the Barcelona test session. Using the V10 engine, Button's best was 1:14.145 and Davidson was just over a second behind. Suspension, aerodynamics and tyres were the focus for the pair, as well as work in the 2006 Concept car.

Jenson Button.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.

14 drivers from seven teams were on duty and third on the time sheet was Toyota tester Ricardo Zonta. Teammate Ralf Schumacher was ninth overall as the team continued work on the new TF106 chassis and the V8 engine.

Mark Webber was fourth fastest in the Cosworth V8-powered Williams and teammate Nico Rosberg was eighth on the last day of the team's test. "This week was a fantastic first test for the new Williams, Cosworth and Bridgestone partnership and it is a great credit to everybody in Grove and Northampton to have been able to conduct such a thorough first test together," said technical director Sam Michael.

"Although we experienced the normal teething problems, the mileage we've achieved and the progress we've made on set-up and understanding the tyres and how the car responds to the V8 has been really good."

McLaren was back on track after a break on Wednesday and had tester Pedro de la Rosa fifth and Juan Pablo Montoya seventh quickest. Both worked with the interim MP4-20B chassis and V8 engine. Montoya had a minor off but didn't damage the car. Gary Paffett, who was behind the wheel for the Woking squad on Monday, will join Montoya tomorrow.

Renault test driver Franck Montagny was sixth fastest and the team also had Robert Kubica and Giorgio Mondini on track. 2005 World Series by Renault champ Kubica was 10th on the time sheet and 2004 Renault V6 winner Mondini was 13th. Giancarlo Fisichella is scheduled to be present on Friday for the last day of the team's test at the circuit.

David Coulthard was the lead Red Bull in 11th and newly appointed test driver Robert Doornbos rounded off the times in 14th. American Scott Speed was the sole representative for Toro Rosso and was 12th. Both teams continued with the Cosworth V10 engines.

Ferrari was again working at two tracks; Felipe Massa at Valencia and tester Marc Gen? at Mugello. Massa continued tyre development in the F2005 and set a best of 1:12.168 over 29 laps, while Gen? focused on the F2004M with the V8 engine. He did 32 laps and clocked a fastest time of 1:26.789. Massa will remain at Valencia on Friday.