Sato takes over at Barcelona

Sato takes over at Barcelona

Yesterday it was Jenson Button who broke the lap record at the Circuit de Catalunya and today it was BAR teammate Takuma Sato who took the honours. Sato's fastest of 1:13.797, in the interim car, was just seven hundredths quicker than Button's ...

Yesterday it was Jenson Button who broke the lap record at the Circuit de Catalunya and today it was BAR teammate Takuma Sato who took the honours. Sato's fastest of 1:13.797, in the interim car, was just seven hundredths quicker than Button's previous best in the new 006. Jenson himself was fifth on the timesheet today.

Takuma Sato.
Photo by LAT Photographic.
Renault's Fernando Alonso was second fastest, eight tenths down on Sato in the new R24. Alonso worked on set up, systems and engine and the team was pleased with the progress made. Test driver Franck Montagny, in the interim R23-05, was sixth and focused on set up changes and tyres.

A pair of Williams' followed Alonso, Marc Gen? third and Ralf Schumacher fourth. The team also had Nelson Piquet Junior back on testing duties and he was tenth of the 14 drivers on track. Gen? and Ralf drove the FW26 for set up work while Piquet was behind the wheel of the FW25 doing mechanical tests.

Rubens Barrichello was the sole Ferrari on track, seventh, and the team preferred to keep the new F2004 to themselves, Barrichello driving the F2003-GA. The Brazilian worked on tyre testing. Michael Schumacher will put the F2004 through its paces at Imola, starting tomorrow.

Test driver Alex Wurz was the best of the trio of McLarens present, eighth quickest and racking up 83 laps. Pedro de la Rosa managed only 13 laps, 11th, while Kimi Raikkonen's 18 laps put him at the bottom of the time sheet. The MP4-19 cars were apparently heavily fueled, and worked on tyres, although de la Rosa was interrupted by mechanical problems.

Toyota had both race drivers present in, Olivier Panis 9th and Cristiano da Matta 13th, each at the wheel of a new TF104 chassis. Giancarlo Fisichella was on duty for Sauber but his programme was hampered by a gearbox failure. The Italian worked on aerodynamics before the gremlins struck and was 12th. Felipe Massa takes over for Sauber tomorrow.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Olivier Panis , Kimi Raikkonen , Franck Montagny , Fernando Alonso , Alexander Wurz , Felipe Massa , Nelson Piquet
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams