Gene tops Barcelona test 2003-03-25

Five teams commenced testing today in the wake of the Malaysian Grand Prix, Williams test driver Marc Gene setting the fastest time at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. The Spaniard clocked a best of 1:17.288 over 48 laps while fellow Williams...

Five teams commenced testing today in the wake of the Malaysian Grand Prix, Williams test driver Marc Gene setting the fastest time at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. The Spaniard clocked a best of 1:17.288 over 48 laps while fellow Williams man Juan Pablo Montoya was fourth fastest, completing 62 laps.

“Today was the beginning of a four day test at the Circuit de Catalunya with Juan Pablo driving an FW25 and Marc in an FW24D," said test team manager Tim Newton. "It was a foggy start this morning but the sun quickly burnt the fog away and we had sunshine all day. We completed over 500kms on the track today with Juan focussing on car set-up work and Marc completing a tyre test for Michelin".

Second quickest was Pedro de la Rosa in his second test for McLaren. His first test before Malaysia was deemed by the team as a one off, as race drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard did not return to Europe to put in testing development. Presumably de la Rosa is only filling in again but it's rumoured that McLaren is intending to sign the ex-Jaguar driver to a full time test role. However, nothing has been confirmed.

Toyota's Cristiano da Matta was third on the time sheets, the team trying to sort out the fuel pressure problem experienced in the first two races. Da Matta also worked on suspension and set-up and will continue tomorrow before handing over to Olivier Panis.

Fifth and sixth were the Ferraris of Rubens Barrichello and tester Luca Badoer respectively. Barrichello ran the F2002 chassis on a Bridgestone tyre programme while Badoer risked his chances in the F2003-GA again, managing not to crash it this time. It was the first appearance for the new car at the Catalan circuit and Badoer worked on development.

Takuma Sato rounded off the times, the BAR test driver racking up the most laps of the day, 93, working on tyres and a new aerodynamic package development for the BAR005.

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