Testing update - Ferrari fastest at wet Jerez 05 Dec 2003
The Ferraris of Luca Badoer and Felipe Massa set the pace at a rain-swept Jerez circuit on Thursday. Most encouraging performance of the session, though, was Nick Heidfeld, who was third fastest on only his second day behind the wheel of a Jordan.
An initially damp circuit quickly became a very wet one and the consistent heavy rain meant that wet-weather set-up work was the order of the day. Heidfeld outpaced the Ferrari of Luciano Burti, as well as the Williams of Ralf Schumacher and Marc Gene.
There was little to split BAR's two 2004 drivers, with Jenson Button and Takuma Sato seventh and eighth quickest, separated by less than a tenth of a second. Behind them was Czech youngster Janek Janis, who put in over 50 laps in his second day in the Jordan.
The Jerez timesheets were completed by Nelsinho Piquet and Nico Rosberg who both finished their scheduled programme with Williams, having done close to 1000 km between them. According to Chief Operations Engineer Sam Michael, both drivers "did a good job and worked well with the team, as well as showing themselves to be technically competent."
Of his progress, Rosberg commented: "This week was great fun, it was a really unbelievable experience. Of course there was a lot of pressure, but I decided not to worry about that and just to do the best I could. I was particularly happy that I managed to understand the car and work out how it was behaving, and after that I managed to set a good pace."
Piquet, whose test this week was his very first in a Formula One car, added: "It was difficult with all the anticipation that my first day had a couple of interruptions and we lost maybe two hours. But otherwise it went really well, particularly today despite it being wet for some of the time, and I was quite satisfied with how I got on. I really appreciated the assistance I was given by the engineers who really helped me in my programme."
Unofficial Thursday times from Jerez:
1. Luca Badoer, Ferrari, 1:25.439
2. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:26.059
3. Nick Heidfeld, Jordan, 1:26.590
4. Luciano Burti, Ferrari, 1:26.666
5. Marc Gene, Williams, 1:26.957
6. Ralf Schumacher, Williams, 1:26.976
7. Jenson Button, BAR, 1:27.450
8. Takuma Sato, BAR, 1:27.470
9. Janek Janis, Jordan, 1:28.030
10. Nelsinho Piquet, Williams, 1:28.640
11. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:30.262