Sato takes top time Jerez 2003-03-14

BAR test driver Takuma Sato fought off Williams, McLaren and Toyota to set the fastest time at Jerez testing today, clocking a best of 1:18.711. In the BAR005, Sato ran the whole of BAR's three day test, which ended today, and worked on engine and...

BAR test driver Takuma Sato fought off Williams, McLaren and Toyota to set the fastest time at Jerez testing today, clocking a best of 1:18.711. In the BAR005, Sato ran the whole of BAR's three day test, which ended today, and worked on engine and tyre evaluation for next weekend's Malaysian GP.

Ralf Schumacher joined the test for Williams, replacing Marc Gene, and was second quickest, working on a tyre programme for Michelin along with set up. Although today was the conclusion of the team's three day test, an untimed tyre test for Michelin will take place tomorrow.

Oliver Panis took over from Cristiano da Matta for Toyota and was third fastest. The Frenchman had a busy day with suspension, engine braking and tyre work and was generally happy, although the engine expired toward the end of the session. Panis will conclude Toyota's test tomorrow.

The McLaren duo of Alex Wurz and stand-in Pedro de la Rosa were fourth and fifth respectively, Wurz happy with the progress made with the Michelin tyres. De la Rosa recovered from the back trouble the seat had given him at the start of the test and was enthusiastic about his McLaren experience.

"I've done lots of long runs today, and I have no problems with the seat now," he told Autosport. "It's such a good team and I now know what testing really means, because when you go testing with McLaren you really go testing!"

At the Fiorano track, Felipe Massa continued for Ferrari, working on Bridgestone tyres -- sometimes on an artificially watered track -- in an F2002 chassis. Massa set a best time of 57.066 and did a whopping 160 laps. Ferrari is apparently aiming to test the crap out of the poor boy to calm down his skittishness.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Marc Gene , Alexander Wurz , Felipe Massa , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams