Fourteen drivers from eight teams took to the Circuit de Catalunya today and Williams made it a one-two at the top of the times with Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya respectively. Both drivers were behind the wheel of an FW26 chassis and ...
Fourteen drivers from eight teams took to the Circuit de Catalunya today and Williams made it a one-two at the top of the times with Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya respectively. Both drivers were behind the wheel of an FW26 chassis and Schumacher lowered the lap record, which had been set again only yesterday by Williams tester Marc Gené. Schumacher worked on suspension, aerodynamics and dampers while Montoya focused on mechanical set up and tyres.
Renault's Fernando Alonso was third quickest in the interim R23-05 while Jarno Trulli was sixth on the time sheet in the new R24. Alonso tested electronic systems of the R24 in the older chassis and Trulli ran the new car for the first time. The R24 was reliable and the indications were that it performed satisfactorily, although a suspected hydraulic failure stopped Trulli in the afternoon.
The Ferrari duo of Rubens Barrichello and test driver Luca Badoer were fourth and fifth respectively, Barrichello back to testing duties for the first time since the end of last season. Using three F2003-GA chassis between them, the technical programme for the drivers focused on tyres, electronics and engine developments.
BAR had Takuma Sato and tester Anthony Davidson on duty, seventh and eighth, running tyre tests in the '04 Concept Car, while Felipe Massa was the sole Sauber on track. Swapping Ferrari test duties for the wheel of the new Sauber C23, in preparation for his role of race driver with the Swiss team in 2004, Massa suffered from a few software gremlins in the morning. Bridgestone tyre tests followed in the afternoon although Massa lost track time due to a routine engine change.
Toyota had two cars on track, test driver Ricardo Zonta 10th and Cristiano da Matta 11th. Zonta drove the interim chassis but da Matta only had 15 laps in the new TF04, stuck by a software problem. Jaguar also had a brace of drivers at work, Christian Klien at the wheel of the R5 and Mark Webber the R4, 13th and 14th respectively. Webber crashed at the last corner due to suspension failure, squashing the front end but he was unharmed.
Euro F3 driver Timo Glock was trying out for Jordan and set the twelfth fastest time of the day, despite crashing at the start of the main straight. The damaged car caught fire but Glock was unharmed. Repairs were carried out and he continued for another few laps before the end of the session. Glock was happy with his first run in an F1 car, saying it was an unbelievable experience.
McLaren was flying solo at Valencia, test drivers Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa both driving an MP4-19 chassis. Wurz completed 64 laps and de la Rosa 65 but the team did not specify times.