Ralf tops times Barcelona 2003-03-27

Ralf Schumacher joined this week's test session at the Circuit de Catalunya today and set the fastest time for Williams, taking over from Juan Pablo Montoya. Ralf clocked a best of 1:15.352 over 59 laps and tester Marc Gene was eighth fastest of...

Ralf Schumacher joined this week's test session at the Circuit de Catalunya today and set the fastest time for Williams, taking over from Juan Pablo Montoya. Ralf clocked a best of 1:15.352 over 59 laps and tester Marc Gene was eighth fastest of the ten drivers on track.

“Marc has spent today working on tyres, while Ralf picked up on our job list of back-to-back testing of new chassis components, and we have arrived at some useful conclusions," said test team manager Tim Newton. "We’ve made some good headway on our ongoing chassis work, and the progress made is encouraging everyone to feel positive about Brazil.“

David Coulhard was joined by team mate Kimi Raikkonen, the McLaren pair second and sixth quickest respectively. Coulthard suffered hydraulics problems and had to change engines: "We had a bit of a hydraulic problem, so we didn't get as much running as we had hoped," he told Autosport. "We got lots of tyre data for the forthcoming races, but it's hard to tell for Brazil because the circuit characteristics are so different."

Olivier Panis was third for Toyota, taking over from Cristiano da Matta. Panis continued with set-up work for the Brazilian Grand Prix and also ran Michelin tyre tests. Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta has been at the Paul Ricard circuit in France this week and will conclude his test tomorrow.

Ferrari was fourth and fifth, Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher respectively. Barrichello had his first taste of the F2003-GA, working on set-up and running distance work in the afternoon despite having a problem in the morning. Schumacher worked on Bridgestone tyres in the F2002.

Jenson Button was the faster of the two BARs on track, seventh to Jacques Villeneuve's tenth, and bottom, time. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was the sole Sauber running, ninth fastest. The German set a whopping 111 laps and tested tyres and aerodynamics. Nick Heidfeld will take over tomorrow.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Rubens Barrichello , Olivier Panis , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Ricardo Zonta , Marc Gene , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams