Button takes over at Barcelona

The testing action continued at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on November 30th, where 12 drivers from seven teams were on track. Jenson Button, running the restricted V10 engine, topped the times for BAR Honda with a best of 1:14.111. Team tester Anthony Davidson was also at work and clocked 10th on the time sheet with the V8.

Jenson Button.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Renault test driver Franck Montagny was second fastest, over a second off Button, and the French squad had development driver Jose Maria Lopez seventh on the time sheet. Both cars ran the restricted V10 in the R25 chassis: Renault decided not to use an interim car over the winter and the V8 engine won't take to the track until January.

The Toyota duo of Jarno Trulli and tester Ricardo Zonta were third and fourth respectively in the new TF106 (V8) and they were followed by the BMW Sauber (V8) of Nick Heidfeld in fifth. The German had a productive day of 71 laps and worked on tyres and engine data acquisition to conclude the team's three-day test.

"This was a successful first joint test," said BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen. "It was important that we could run the BMW P86 engine in the Sauber chassis at this early stage, in order to integrate all technical systems. This is the beginning of the testing season, and there is naturally a lot of work to be done."

Red Bull and Toro Rosso once again employed their restricted V10 engines. David Coulthard and Christian Klien were sixth and eighth respectively for the former and Tonio Liuzzi was ninth for the latter. Scott Speed is scheduled to take over from Liuzzi at Toro Rosso on Thursday.

Mark Webber joined teammate Nico Rosberg at Williams and the pair rounded off the times in 11th and 12th respectively. Webber worked on the Cosworth V8 engine and Bridgestone tyres, which the team has just returned to using, while Rosberg focused on system checks. Both drove the FW27C chassis and will continue on Thursday.

"It was a productive day for Mark who managed to cover a race distance mileage in his first day with the V8, and also start some setup work on the Bridgestone tyres," said technical director Sam Michael. "Nico spent the entire day working through system checks and mapping. We had faults on the hydraulic and pneumatic systems on Nico's car that were corrected."

Ferrari resumed its winter schedule at two tracks, with Felipe Massa working at Valencia and test driver Marc Gen? in action at Mugello. Massa focused on tyres in the F2005 and set a best time of 1:13.165 over 95 laps. On a wet track, Gen? ran the V8 engine in the F2004M and set a best of 1:32.627 over 39 laps. They continue at their respective circuits tomorrow.