Webber leads at Barcelona test

Webber leads at Barcelona test

Winter testing continued on February 21st and three circuits were in use early in the week, with mixed weather conditions. Most of the track action was to be found at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, where work was delayed due to early frost.

Winter testing continued on February 21st and three circuits were in use early in the week, with mixed weather conditions. Most of the track action was to be found at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, where work was delayed due to early frost. Williams' Mark Webber led the way with a best of 1:17.676 and teammate Nico Rosberg rounded off the times in seventh.

Mark Webber.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Kimi Raikkonen was the quicker of the two McLarens at work in second, just over a tenth off Webber, and Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth. Both drove the MP4-21 and focused on tyres and set up, mostly over long runs. Montoya suffered a transmission problem early in the afternoon and due to wet weather McLaren opted to not send him out again.

Test driver Robert Doornbos was the sole Red Bull present and clocked the third fastest time. Putting more distance on the RB2-02 chassis was the programme but the team also decided not to run in the afternoon once the rain came down. David Coulthard and Christian Klien are scheduled to be on track on Wednesday.

"As we have done quite a bit of running in the wet already, we decided it was not really worth going out," said chief test engineer Ian Morgan. "Although we did do a couple of laps at the end of the day, just to check some new software."

MF1 had Tiago Monteiro behind the wheel of the M16 and he was fourth quickest overall. Despite the weather he ran a programme of race simulation, reliability and control systems work. He will be on track again tomorrow morning before handing the car over to teammate Christijan Albers.

"We had some really promising runs with the car this morning, which was encouraging, as I believe we ended up just over one second behind the quickest time of the day," Monteiro said of the period before the rain interfered. "In the end, we did about 60 laps -- which is very close to a race distance -- without any problems."

Super Aguri, in interim white livery, commenced the first test programme for the Honda-powered SA05 with Takuma Sato behind the wheel. Sato was sixth on the time sheet while running through systems checks and completed 10 laps. Unsurprisingly, the team's first day was not without its problems.

"This morning's running was cut short due to a small hydraulic problem which was soon rectified," said chief technical officer Mark Preston. "However, in the rain-drenched afternoon, Taku spun at the hairpin, with no damage to the car, while experimenting with new traction control software."

"This afternoon's running was cut short by a similar problem to the one we had this morning. We will now be working overnight and are hoping for a successful day's running tomorrow when we start our tyre programme for Bahrain."

At Imola Toro Rosso was at work with test driver Neel Jani on duty in the STR1. Like Barcelona, the track conditions were not ideal due to intermittent rain. However, it gave Jani the opportunity to test wet tyre options. Tomorrow, for the first time, two STR1 chassis will be at work with race drivers Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed.

"It was quite a useful day in a way, as Neel had never really handled an F1 car in the wet," said chief engineer Laurent Mekies. "He never made a mistake and drove on both the "wet" and "extreme wet" tyres and that will be a valuable experience for him if he encounters these conditions during the season."

Ferrari's extended test session in Bahrain, which began on February 13th, came to a close today. It was a rather problematic period for the new 248, which Michael Schumacher drove on the final day with a best time of 1:30.723. Felipe Massa worked in the F2004 in the morning and his best time was 1:29.958. Both drivers worked mainly on tyres.

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