Testing update - MP4-19 fastest at Valencia 28 Nov 2003
McLaren completed their first week of testing their 2004 car in style on Thursday, as David Coulthard moved to the top of the Valencia timesheets after putting another 70 laps on the new MP4-19. McLaren's third driver, Alexander Wurz, was eighth in the MP4-17D.
Jarno Trulli was second quickest for Renault, less than half a second down on Coulthard, with the Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya third. Trulli focused on tyre testing, while team test driver Franck Montagny (seventh fastest) continued work on rear suspension modifications for 2004 as well as work on damper characteristics.
Justin Wilson made an impressive return to the Jaguar cockpit to go fourth, outpacing 2003 team mate Mark Webber, and bettering the two Williams of Ralf Schumacher and Marc Gene. Toyota's Ryan Briscoe completed the Valencia timesheets.
Williams, McLaren, Renault and Toyota are all expected to stay on at the Spanish circuit with a single car each for a wet-weather tyre test with Michelin on Friday.
Unofficial Thursday times from Valencia:
1. David Coulthard, McLaren, 1:10.018
2. Jarno Trulli, Renault, 1:10.416
3. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams, 1:10.474
4. Justin Wilson, Jaguar, 1:10.504
5. Ralf Schumacher, Williams, 1:10.615
6. Marc Gene, Williams, 1:10.999
7. Franck Montagny, Renault, 1:11.031
8. Alexander Wurz, McLaren, 1:11.152
9. Ryan Briscoe, Toyota, 1:11.928
10. Mark Webber, Jaguar, 1:12.122
In this week's final day of testing at Barcelona, Ferrari's Luca Badoer yet again topped the times, as rain hit the Spanish circuit in the morning, before conditions dried out in the afternoon.
Luciano Burti crashed his Ferrari F2003-GA into the pit-wall just 16 laps into his morning session, but emerged unscathed, despite tearing both the front and rear wings from the car. The damage meant the Brazilian was unable to continue and he ended the day fifth quickest.
Jenson Button was second fastest in the BAR '04 Concept car, as the Honda-powered team completed their first week of testing on French rubber. "This was the first time we had run the 2004 engine and rear-end package together and we also had our first outings on Michelin tyres," confirmed Technical Director Geoffrey Willis.
"It was to be expected that there would be initial teething problems with all of these new elements being brought together, so the fact that we were able to complete over 400 km fault free on the first full day (421 km in total) with a completely new engine, gearbox, suspension and hydraulics is very impressive and a tribute to all the hard work and attention that has gone in to design, manufacture and build."
Finally, at Sauber, Giancarlo Fisichella covered another 66 laps in the C22 to bring his first test programme with the Swiss team to a close. "In the morning the track was wet which enabled us to run a wet tyre programme for Bridgestone," explained Chief Race Engineer Jacky Eeckelaert. "We continued tyre testing in the afternoon and also used the new power steering which will be fitted to the 2004 car."
Unofficial Thursday times from Barcelona:
1. Luca Badoer, Ferrari, 1:17.302
2. Jenson Button, BAR, 1:17.495
3. Giancarlo Fisichella, Sauber, 1:17.747
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:17.780
5. Luciano Burti, Ferrari, 1:17.790
6. Takuma Sato, BAR, 1:18.054