Barcelona Day Two - one-two for Williams 21 Jan 2004
Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya topped the times as testing got underway in earnest at Barcelona on Tuesday. After running solo on Monday, Williams were joined by seven other teams at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Schumacher led the way with a best time of 1m 15.666s around the Spanish track, which is slightly shorter this season after the re-profiling of the La Caixa corner. The German, who completed over 80 laps in the FW26, focussed on suspension and damper settings, before switching to aero work. Team mate Montoya was less than two tenths down as he concentrated on mechanical set-up and tyre evaluations.
Fernando Alonso was the quickest Renault driver, the Spaniard going third fastest in the 2003 R23 as he worked on electronics. However, all eyes were on team mate Jarno Trulli, who gave the new R24 its track debut, completing 42 trouble-free laps on his way to the day's sixth best time. "Everything worked well straight away, and we spent the day ironing out the little glitches that come with any new car," said the Italian. "The car was well-balanced, and responded well to the set-up changes we tried."
The Ferraris of Rubens Barrichello and Luca Badoer were fourth and fifth respectively, the former making his first testing appearance this year as the world champions carried out a programme of tyre, electronics and engine development ahead of the launch of their new car, the 655, next week.
Felipe Massa was the sole Sauber representative, the Brazilian going ninth fastest in the new C23. "It was not quite an easy day," reported Massa. "In the morning we had to do some software adjustments which cost us valuable time. Then we had to change the engine and therefore there was not much time left for me to be out at the track. Nevertheless I'm confident with regard to tomorrow as we found a good set-up now."
Timo Glock made an eventful Formula One testing debut with Jordan, the German going off backwards into the barriers at the entry to the main straight. Despite not insignificant damage to the rear of the EJ13, he still went on to complete 54 laps, outpacing both Jaguar drivers to go 12th quickest. "It was an unbelievably great experience for me to drive a Formula One car here in Barcelona," said Glock. "The power and brakes are really strong compared to anything I have driven and the aerodynamics are obviously a big step up from F3 - you can drive through corners faster and brake later. It's my dream to race in F1 and I hope I can drive an F1 car again soon. Testing is the first step so we'll see what happens."
Mark Webber was another man to fall victim to the Barcelona barriers, the Jaguar driver going off at the final turn in last year's R4 machine. The Australian completed just a handful of laps and finished the day at the bottom of the timesheets, immediately below new team mate Christian Klien. The BARs of Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson and the Toyotas of Ricardo Zonta and Cristiano da Matta completed the Tuesday line-up.
Conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya were fine and dry, with air temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius and track temperatures of 14 degrees. Testing continues on Wednesday, when Bas Leinders will take over at Jordan and Nico Rosberg makes his testing return with Williams.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Barcelona:
1. Ralf Schumacher, Williams (Michelin), 1:15.666
2. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (Michelin), 1:15.834
3. Fernando Alonso, Renault (Michelin), 1:15.920
4. Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:15.989
5. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:16.991
6. Jarno Trulli, Renault (Michelin), 1:17.041
7. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:17.082
8. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:17.309
9. Felipe Massa, Sauber (Bridgestone), 1:17.776
10. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:17.965
11. Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.101
12. Timo Glock, Jordan (Bridgestone), 1:19.625
13. Christian Klien, Jaguar (Michelin), 1:19.781
14. Mark Webber, Jaguar (Michelin), 1:20.385
See also: Tuesday testing at Barcelona - in pictures