The BMW WilliamsF1 Team concluded a three day test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today, continuing the intense winter testing program for the team. BMW WilliamsF1 Team drivers, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher as well as official test driver Marc Gené conducted the tests.
Dirk Müller and Nico Rosberg also joined the test team as a reward for their respective achievements in European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) and Formula BMW ADAC Championship in Germany. It was an historic occasion when Nico took to the track in an WilliamsF1 BMW FW24, both as the youngest ever F1 driver and also following in the footsteps of his father, Keke Rosberg, a Williams driver from 1982 -- 1985, who won the Drivers World Championship title in 1982.
Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
"In Barcelona this week we covered a lot of ground. Marc spent all his time running the new engine and gearbox package. He has also been working on development suspension and brakes for the 2003 car. Juan Pablo concentrated on traction control and an intensive tyre program with Michelin to continue our compound and construction development aimed at next year. It is yielding good results already. Ralf started on day two and has worked solidly on traction control, suspension geometry and brakes."
"Dirk Müller and Nico Rosberg had runs on the first day and they both did a fantastic job considering they had never driven an F1 car before. Barcelona is not the kindest circuit for a driver to experience F1 for the first time because of the high speed corners. Although both were excited, they displayed maturity in their application."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"From a BMW perspective the Barcelona test has been very successful. We have recorded a lot of mileage and have made progress in all areas of development. Whilst two of the cars were on duty with chassis and tyre tests, a third FW24 was entirely dedicated to the purpose of running tests on the new BMW P83 engine and the 2003 gearbox. With the engine we have made good progress in terms of mechanical tests under track conditions and also have been able to improve the engine's set-up. During this progress we also identified some weak points."