The BMW WilliamsF1 Team completed a four day test session at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, today, the first test following the end of the 2004 season and the start of an extensive winter testing programme in preparation for next year.
Australian Mark Webber made his debut with the team driving the FW26 and spent the first day settling into his new environment before commencing work on set-up options as well as completing brake and tyre testing. Over the four days, Mark set impressively quick lap times and completed a total of 324 laps, 1,497 kilometres.
Antonio Pizzonia was also on duty for the team, carrying out development work on an interim FW26. Despite initial teething problems, Antonio completed 87 laps, 402 kilometres, over three days. The team will return to the test track on Tuesday 30th November for a three day test at Jerez.
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):
"We have just finished a successful first test with Mark Webber. It's great to have him on board the team. I have to say that Mark impressed me with his speed even on his first morning in the car, his consistency throughout the rest of the test, particularly on longer runs, was also impressive."
"He had some positive comments about the car and quickly got down to brake, set-up and tyre testing for us. Mark finished off the test today with a wet test for Michelin."
"Antonio was running in the interim car with the new gearbox and rear suspension. We had some initial teething problems that will take the next week, and into the Jerez test, to resolve."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"We've had a good first test this winter. The main focus was on Mark's first run in the car during which time he was able to get used to a new team, car and engine."
"The relationship has started well and we look forward to its continual development. From the engine side, we worked on starts, set-up and traction control. We also completed some tyre testing."
"This week was a really good week. I've enjoyed working with everyone on the team and I think I've fitted in well. Although we encountered some problems at the start of the test, we managed to work through them and resolve them fairly quickly."
"I'm happy with the car, and the work the guys at BMW do, and I know there's great potential within the team. I'm relieved that this first test is now out the way and we can start working really hard over the next few months."