Gene fastest at Barcelona

Gene fastest at Barcelona

Testing continued at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on January 24th, where six drivers from four teams were at work. In the V8 powered Ferrari F2004M chassis, tester Marc Gené topped the times with a best of 1:16.581. Felipe Massa will take...

Testing continued at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on January 24th, where six drivers from four teams were at work. In the V8 powered Ferrari F2004M chassis, tester Marc Gen? topped the times with a best of 1:16.581. Felipe Massa will take over for Ferrari on Wednesday.

Marc Gene.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Jacques Villeneuve was second fastest in the BMW Sauber F1.06, a second down on Gen?, and he worked on practice starts and general set up. Teammate Nick Heidfeld was fifth in the Sauber C24B chassis and also worked on simulated starts. Tetser Robert Kubica is scheduled to have his first try of the interim chassis tomorrow.

Juan Pablo Montoya had his first taste of the new McLaren MP4-21 and was third on the time sheet. Team test driver Gary Paffett was fourth fastest in the MP4-20 V10 and worked on tyres. An accident early in the afternoon curtailed his running; Paffett was unharmed and the car was repaired in time for a final 15 minute stint at the end of the day.

"We have had an encouraging day, it feels very similar to last year's car but a little bit better, but it is very early stages," said Montoya. "Our focus today was similar to yesterday with Pedro, just continuing to work through all the systems checks. We were able to cover over 400 kilometres, and continue getting valuable data for the team to work on."

Tester Robert Doornbos drove the Red Bull RB2 for the first time and rounded off the times in sixth while working on development of the car's control systems. "We acquired some good data on that front," said technical director Mark Smith.

"We also ran a totally different mechanical set-up on the car to the one we used at the last test and the way the car ran today was very encouraging. We have made a good step forward, but we still have a way to go."

At Mugello the new Ferrari 248 F1 had its track debut with Michael Schumacher behind the wheel. The German completed 41 laps with a best time of 1:21.904. Due to a poor weather forecast for Mugello, Ferrari has decided to switch testing of the new car to Barcelona from Thursday.

"It has already given positive results in the little testing that it has been possible to carry out here," Schumacher said of the 248. "Despite the fact that only a few laps were run, the car seemed well balanced and enjoyable to drive even though it is less powerful."

Circuit de Catalunya
Circuit length: 4.627 km
Lap record: 1:15.641 (Giancarlo Fisichella, 2005, Renault)
Best V8 time to date: 1:16.581 (Marc Gen?, Ferrari)

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