Wurz takes over at Valencia 2003-01-29

McLaren test driver Alex Wurz took the top of the times at Valencia today, his fastest of 1:11.095 half a second quicker than the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher. David Coulthard returned to the track and was third fastest ahead of the second...

McLaren test driver Alex Wurz took the top of the times at Valencia today, his fastest of 1:11.095 half a second quicker than the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher. David Coulthard returned to the track and was third fastest ahead of the second Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello. It was Schumacher's first day of testing and he and Barrichello continued with a tyre and electronics programme.

Giancarlo Fisichella had another good day, fourth quickest in the new Jordan Ford EJ13. The Italian completed sixty-four laps despite a mechanical problem that caused him to come to a halt on track. BAR continued with Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button, the Canadian sixth and Button tenth. Not a great day for BAR, Villeneuve had technical problems and Button only ran 25 laps before being cut short by engine failure.

Olivier Panis and Christiano da Matta were on duty for Toyota, seventh and eleventh fastest respectively. Panis worked on evaluating mechanical parts while da Matta concentrated on set up. Both drivers used a new TF103 chassis.

Sauber also ran two new chassis, Heinz-Harald Frentzen ninth and Nick Heidfeld twelfth. Frentzen focused on mechanical set-up, tyres and dampers while Heidfeld complained of inconsistent weather conditions. The younger of the German drivers was unable to complete an aerodynamics programme due to engine problems.

The sole Minardi of Justin Wilson rounded off the times, his running curtailed initially by a lack of tyres. Minardi has let go its agreement with Michelin in favour of trying for a Bridgestone deal -- but as an agreement has yet to be signed, neither the abandoned Michelin or the in-talks Bridgestone were prepared to give the team tyres to use.

Wilson finally took to the track on Avon F3000 slick tyres, which obviously were not ideal, but stood up to the test reasonably well. In a PS01 chassis, Wilson was a commendable three seconds off the pace of other new cars despite the difficulties.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Justin Wilson , Alexander Wurz
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Minardi , Jordan