F1

Massa leads the way at Barcelona

Massa leads the way at Barcelona

The testing action continued apace at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday and it was Sauber's Felipe Massa who was fastest at the end of the day. Once again there were 15 drivers at work and Massa's best of 1:14.655 was two tenths...

The testing action continued apace at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday and it was Sauber's Felipe Massa who was fastest at the end of the day. Once again there were 15 drivers at work and Massa's best of 1:14.655 was two tenths quicker than the pair of Toyotas. Sauber is satisfied with the switch to Michelin tyres.

Felipe Massa.
Photo by Bridgestone Corporation.

"We mainly concentrated on gathering many data and adjusting the set-up of the C23 to the requirements of the new tyres," said team boss Peter Sauber. "Based on this knowledge we can say that the car and the tyres fit together very well, which is anything but natural. We are convinced that the new C24 will profit from this combination."

Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher were second and third fastest respectively, with barely a tenth between the two Toyotas. Mark Webber was fourth for Williams and did some tyre work as he carried on familiarising himself with the car. Antonio Pizzonia focused on set up and gearbox evaluation and was seventh fastest.

Vitantonio Liuzzi was fifth for Red Bull, while the second silver and blue car of Christian Klien was 11th. Giancarlo Fisichella's Renault was sixth on the time sheet and he completed 85 laps while continuing to adapt his set up. The Italian also conducted some tyre work. Team tester Franck Montagny rounded off the times, his day limited to 31 laps while running an electronics programme.

Juan Pablo Montoya, fastest man yesterday, was eighth today for McLaren and tester Alex Wurz was ninth. Montoya suffered a mechanical failure late in the day but the team said it was a minor problem. The Colombian will continue tomorrow with Pedro de la Rosa taking over from Wurz.

Luca Badoer was the faster of the two Ferrari's on track, 10th, and Marc Gen? was 12th. The pair continued with work on tyres, electronics and new components testing and will do the same tomorrow. At Fiorano Andrea Bertolini also worked on components for Ferrari and covered 107 laps, with a best time of 57.594

Enrique Bernoldi and Jenson Button were again on duty for BAR at Barcelona and were 13th and 14th respectively. Bernoldi worked on aerodynamics and tyres while Button took his turn in the Concept Car. Takuma Sato will join the test tomorrow.

At Misano Minardi continued its test, today with DTM star Christijan Albers and Pastor Maldonado behind the wheel. Albers is no stranger to Minardi but it was Maldonado's first time in an F1 car. The young Venezuelan was impressed.

"I just didn't expect such power," he said. "This year, I have been driving a much smaller, less powerful car in Formula Renault 2000, and I have also tested an F3000 car, but the F1 car is something completely different. It's amazing!"

Minardi worked on its F1x2 programme yesterday and will do so again tomorrow, with Nicolas Kiesa, Jos Verstappen and Zsolt Baumgartner amongst those on driving duties.

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