Button's turn for lap record at Barcelona

Button's turn for lap record at Barcelona

Another day, another lap record. This time it was Jenson Button who took the honours, undercutting Ralf Schumacher's best time of yesterday by over a second. In the BAR Concept car, Button clocked 1:14.588 at the Circuit de Catalunya, 1.042 faster...

Another day, another lap record. This time it was Jenson Button who took the honours, undercutting Ralf Schumacher's best time of yesterday by over a second. In the BAR Concept car, Button clocked 1:14.588 at the Circuit de Catalunya, 1.042 faster than the previous effort of the Williams FW26. Closest man to Button was Michael Schumacher, returning to work after a protracted winter break, but even Ferrari's champion was eight tenths shy of Jenson's time.

Jenson Button.
Photo by LAT Photographic.
"Today the programme was tyre testing, so we were mainly doing long runs," Button told Autosport. "We did lots of long runs, but only one quick lap. It was the first quick lap we've done in the hybrid car, and we were reasonably happy with it! The car was not nervous at all. It was all right. In the afternoon we did lots of long runs without interruption, so we're very happy."

Takuma Sato was also on track for BAR, tenth on the time sheet. Luca Badoer was the other Ferrari in action, fifth fastest, he and Schumacher continuing with an engine, tyre and aerodynamics programme.

Fernando Alonso held station in third quickest, the slot he has occupied all week. Today he was behind the wheel of the Renault R24, the best result for the new chassis of this test so far. Team test driver Franck Montagny drove the interim chassis and was 12th of the 16 drivers on track. Alonso ran the first full race distance for the R24 while Montagny practiced starts and worked on tyres.

Ralf Schumacher, who set two consecutive lap records this week, was relegated to fourth on the list but was still the best of the three Williams on track. Tester Marc Gen? was sixth and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya seventh. Ralf, working on set up and tyres, and Montoya, running a race distance, took the wheel of the FW26, while Gen? worked on the FW25A carrying out simulated starts.

Olivier Panis was eighth fastest in the Toyota TF104 and team test driver Ryan Briscoe 15th in the 2003 chassis. Giancarlo Fisichella took over from Felipe Massa for Sauber and clocked the ninth best time. The Italian was hampered by a fuel supply problem in the morning but still managed 66 laps working on set up and tyres.

Mark Webber returned to the track after his crash on Tuesday and was 11th quickest, teammate Cristian Klien 14th. Nick Heidfeld was on duty in the afternoon for Jordan and was 13th, following on from Timo Glock who ran the morning session and was bottom of the times. Heidfeld, who completes Jordan's test tomorrow, worked on tyres while Glock continued to familiarize himself with the car.

McLaren continued its private test at Valencia with David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen taking driving duties. There the lap record also fell, Coulthard's MP4-19 setting an unconfirmed 1:09.697, breaking his own record set last year.

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