Jerez Test Day One - new Williams fastest 08 Jan 2004
2004's first multi-team team test session began at Jerez on Wednesday and it was an excellent start to the year for Williams, whose new FW26 car topped the times in the hands of Juan Pablo Montoya.
Although only concentrating on initial set-up of the new car, Montoya was over a second faster than the second-placed Toyota of Ricardo Zonta. And despite a couple of teething problems with the FW26, the Colombian completed over 50 laps of the Spanish circuit. Williams tester Marc Gene was third fastest in an FW25B as he tested tyres.
Renault had Jarno Trulli and Franck Montagny in action, both men putting in close to 100 laps, as they went fourth and fifth quickest respectively. Montagny concentrated on final confirmation of the suspension settings of the team's forthcoming new R24 car, while Trulli evaluated its brakes system. Both drivers' cars (R23s) had elements of the R24 drive train, all of which were checked for reliability. The team will switch their emphasis to tyre testing on Thursday.
Ferrari had two drivers and three F2003-GA chassis at Jerez. Felipe Massa, again on loan from Sauber, narrowly outpaced Luca Badoer, both men completing 59 laps as part of an electronics and tyre programme.
The second Toyota of Olivier Panis completed the Wednesday timesheets at Jerez, where conditions were sunny in the morning and more cloudy in the afternoon, with track temperatures peaking at around 20 degrees Celsius.
Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (Michelin), 1:16.630
2. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:17.994
3. Marc Gene, Williams (Michelin), 1:18.045
4. Jarno Trulli, Renault (Michelin), 1:18.098
5. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin), 1:18.427
6. Felipe Massa, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:18.996
7. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:19.182
8. Olivier Panis, Toyota (Michelin), 1:19.368
Testing continues at Jerez on Thursday.
See also: Wednesday testing at Jerez - in pictures