Montoya tops Barcelona test 2003-01-13

Five drivers from only two teams took to the Circuit de Catalunya today to kick off the next winter testing session. Williams fielded three cars, drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher along with tester Marc Gene. Montoya set the fastest...

Five drivers from only two teams took to the Circuit de Catalunya today to kick off the next winter testing session. Williams fielded three cars, drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher along with tester Marc Gene. Montoya set the fastest time of the day, 1:17.793, over half a second faster than Gene, but Schumacher only had five laps and was nearly two seconds off the pace at the bottom of the times.

"We had a very cold start today as the overnight temperature had been down as low as -5°C," said Williams test team manager Tim Newton. "We completed our installation lap at 9 am but then had to wait for the track to warm up before getting underway in earnest. We completed our task list which included some tyre work, systems set-up and the continuation of last week's engine programme."

Sauber was the other team present, finally getting the new C22 out on track after last week's shakedown was postponed due to snow. Nick Heidfeld took to the wheel of the 2003 chassis while Heinz-Harald Frentzen ran last year's C21. Frentzen was the faster of the two in third although Heidfeld was only a second off his team-mate's pace.

Sauber technical director Willy Rampf said the C22's first outing was to complete a full systems check and start optimising the gearbox and suspension. The car was reliable over the 61 laps Heidfeld completed and the young German said his first impressions were favourable. Frentzen, meanwhile, had to be patient and wait for his chance in the new car and occupied himself testing development parts on last year's chassis.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Sauber , Williams