Rain washes out last day at Barcelona

The last day of the week's Barcelona test was washed out by rain and only Honda and Renault ventured out onto the Circuit de Catalunya to put in a few laps. Honda tester Anthony Davidson set the best time in the wet conditions, 1:25.542, and Jenson Button was some five seconds off his teammate.

Anthony Davidson.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.

Both drivers continued with the V10 engine and worked in the 2006 Concept car. Honda confirmed today that its 2006 challenger, the RA106, will have its first run at this circuit on January 25th.

Giancarlo Fisichella's one day of scheduled testing before the end of the year was a bit of a washout but the Renault man clocked a time just fractionally behind Button. He drove with the restricted V10 engine for the first time. Tester Franck Montagny did not drive due to the weather.

"We ran as we could because we wanted Giancarlo to acclimatize himself to the car and especially to the new power output," said chief test engineer Christian Silk. "It helped him to have feelings of the engine changes and he got some understanding of the different chassis set-ups."

Renault announced today that the new R26 is scheduled to take to the test track at Jerez on January 10th and will be officially launched in Monaco on January 31st.

Toyota decided to abandon the day when the weather showed no sign of improvement after lunch. "Sometimes the conditions allow you to test wet tyres but there was too much surface water today," said Ralf Schumacher. "There was a real danger of aquaplaning and so we had to do the sensible thing and end the programme early."

Although the Toyota TF106 has been on the test track this week, the official launch will take place at the team's manufacturing facility in France on January 14th.

McLaren also opted not to send either of its drivers, Juan Pablo Montoya and Gary Paffett, out on track. On previous days the team had focused on the V8 Mercedes engine in the interim MP4-20B chassis, and also on tyres.

Ferrari had better weather at Valencia, where Felipe Massa concluded the team's test week working on tyres in the F2005. The Brazilian set a best time of 1:04.720 and completed 117 laps.

Testing action resumes next week at Jerez de la Frontera.