Villeneuve tops Barcelona testing

Testing at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya kicked off on January 23rd with just four cars from two teams at work. Jacques Villeneuve topped the times for BMW Sauber, setting a best of 1:17.230 in the new F1.06. He focused on set up while teammate...

Testing at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya kicked off on January 23rd with just four cars from two teams at work. Jacques Villeneuve topped the times for BMW Sauber, setting a best of 1:17.230 in the new F1.06. He focused on set up while teammate Nick Heidfeld practiced starts and worked on tyres in the Sauber C24B chassis, and was fourth fastest.

Gary Paffett was the faster of the two McLaren test drivers at work, second quickest and eight tenths down on Villeneuve. Driving the interim MP4-20 chassis, Paffett worked on tyres. Meanwhile, Pedro de la Rosa was behind the wheel of the new MP4-21 for its track debut, a day earlier than scheduled.

De la Rosa completed 19 laps during the shakedown and focused on initial systems checks. In the early afternoon the car stopped on track due to an oil pressure problem and spent most of the afternoon in the garage while the team ran a full check. De la Rosa returned to the track late on for another run. Juan Pablo Montoya will have his first drive of the new car on Tuesday.

"Today's first test session with the MP4-21 has provided us with some useful feedback," said de la Rosa. "Unfortunately we had a problem with the oil pressure, which was why I stopped out on track shortly before lunchtime. However this is why we test, to work out any such problems and I think that considering it was a shakedown everything went well."

Ferrari, Red Bull, Honda, Renault, Toyota and Toro Rosso are all expected to join the test action at Barcelona this week.

Circuit de Catalunya
Circuit length: 4.627 km
Lap record: 1:15.641 (Giancarlo Fisichella, 2005, Renault)
Best V8 time to date: 1:16.647 (Ricardo Zonta, Toyota)

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso