Alonso leads at Barcelona test

Alonso leads at Barcelona test

Drivers were back on the test track on February 15th for the penultimate session of the winter before the start of the 2005 season. 13 drivers from seven teams were at work at Barcelona's circuit de Catalunya where Renault's Fernando Alonso topped...

Drivers were back on the test track on February 15th for the penultimate session of the winter before the start of the 2005 season. 13 drivers from seven teams were at work at Barcelona's circuit de Catalunya where Renault's Fernando Alonso topped the times with a 1:14.986. Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella was fifth fastest and the pair worked on distance runs.

Fernando Alonso the new Renault R25.
Photo by LAT Photographic.

Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest for McLaren despite a big accident in the afternoon. The team thinks it may have been caused by 'a foreign body' becoming stuck in between the brake calliper and the inside of the wheel rim. Raikkonen was shaken but intact after the heavy crash, although his car was badly damaged. Test driver Pedro de la Rosa will fill in for the Finn tomorrow.

"I don't really know what happened," said Raikkonen. "It was quite a big impact and I'm a bit shaken up and have hurt my thumb. I'm not going to be able to continue testing tomorrow which is not ideal but hopefully Pedro will be able to complete the programme."

Juan Pablo Montoya was also on track for McLaren and was fourth on the time sheet. A small clutch problem hampered his running but he completed most of his scheduled programme for the day. "I'm pleased that Kimi is okay as it was quite a big impact," he commented on his teammate's accident.

Tester Ricardo Zonta was the faster of the two Toyotas on track, third, and Jarno Trulli was ninth. The team is running a heavily updated version of the TF105 this week in an effort to improve on the somewhat lacklustre test times the Cologne squad has set so far this winter.

"There is a new undertray, new rear bodywork, new brake ducts, new drums, a new nose, a new front-wing, new plates and new turning vanes," said technical director Mike Gascoyne, according to Autosport. "So apart from the monocoque everything else is new."

David Coulthard was the leading Red Bull driver in sixth and fellow driver Vitantonio Liuzzi was just a couple of tenths behind in seventh. Mark Webber clocked eighth for Williams and team tester Antonio Pizzonia was eleventh. "Mark and Antonio were testing for the team today, our first day in Barcelona with the FW27," said test team manager Tim Newton.

"Since this was Antonio's first outing in the new car, he spent the day getting used to his surroundings and concentrating on set-up work. Mark, meanwhile, also focussed on set-up options as well as completing some tyre testing. Mark will be joined by Nick tomorrow."

Michael Schumacher was the sole Ferrari on track and the reigning champion was 10th quickest. He worked on set up of the interim F2004M and carried out tyre tests. Jordan had both its race drivers on duty, Narain Karthikeyan 12th and Tiago Monteiro rounded off the times in 13th.

"I did 80 laps today which is the most I ever did in one day in a Formula One car," said Karthikeyan. "It was pretty exciting. But I also understand that I have to learn very much in a very short time. And I am prepared for it."

Meanwhile, BAR started a solo test programme at Valencia. Jenson Button was behind the wheel of the 007 while Takuma Sato drove the '05 concept car and the pair worked on aerodynamics, set up and tyres. Button's best time of the day was 1:11.540.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams , Jordan