Montoya fastest for McLaren in testing

Montoya fastest for McLaren in testing

Juan Pablo Montoya made a flying start to his career at McLaren when he topped the testing times at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday. It was the first busy day of winter work at the circuit, with 15 drivers on track. Montoya's best was...

Juan Pablo Montoya made a flying start to his career at McLaren when he topped the testing times at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday. It was the first busy day of winter work at the circuit, with 15 drivers on track. Montoya's best was 1:14.203 over 52 laps and team tester Alex Wurz was also on duty, 11th quickest.

Juan Pablo Montoya.
Photo by BMW PressClub.

"Its been an exciting day today and the first time I actually went out of the garage in a West McLaren Mercedes Formula One car was special," said Montoya. "I know a lot of the guys in the team already and am really looking forward to working with everybody."

Montoya's former teammate Ralf Schumacher debuted for Toyota and was second fastest, four tenths down on the Colombian. Jarno Trulli was also at work for the Cologne squad and posted eighth on the time sheet by the end of the day.

Felipe Massa kicked off Sauber's week with third quickest and it was the team's first run on Michelin tyres. "We defined a new suspension set-up and adjusted the C23 accordingly," said chief race engineer Jacky Eeckelaert in regard to the new rubber.

"Already at Hinwil we ran simulations on the basis of Michelin tyre data and developed a good foundation for our work today. Overall we were able to deliver good test results and are happy with today's outcome."

Christian Klien made a good start for Red Bull Racing with fourth fastest, just under a second down on Montoya. Klien was joined on track by Vitantonio Liuzzi and the F3000 champion, who is a favourite for a race seat next season, was ninth on the time sheet.

Mark Webber put in a couple of installation laps yesterday but today was his first real effort behind the wheel of the Williams. The Australian was fifth fastest and spent some time acclimatising to the car before working on set up. Antonio Pizzonia was 14th after only half a dozen laps, due to technical problems.

The Ferrari test driver pair of Marc Gen? and Luca Badoer were sixth and seventh respectively. Tyres and electronics were the programme for the day and they will continue tomorrow, while Andrea Bertolini will work for the Scuderia at Fiorano.

Giancarlo Fisichella put in his first appearance for Renault at Barcelona and was 10th quickest. The Italian suffered electrical problems initially but managed some productive track-time in the afternoon. Renault test driver Franck Montagny worked on tyre, brake and system developments and was 13th.

Despite his difficult start, Fisichella was generally happy with the day. "The car is not yet balanced how I want it for my driving style, but we are going in the right direction and it is getting more comfortable," he said. "It was a good start to the week."

Jenson Button and tester Enrique Bernoldi were on track for BAR, 12th and 15th respectively. The cars ran in black and silver livery with Bernoldi in the 'Concept Car', which Button will drive later in the week. Takuma Sato will join the action on Friday.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Red Bull Racing , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams