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Day Three at Barcelona - Massa sets the pace 26 Nov 2004

Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Red Bull Racing. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, 24 November 2004.

Winter testing continued at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday, with Sauber driver Felipe Massa ending the day on top with a best time of 1:14.661. The Brazilian completed more than 65 laps in his C23-02, as the team continued to acclimatise to their new Michelin tyres.

Team Principal Peter Sauber was pleased with the results. "We can say that the car and tyres fit together very well, which is anything but natural. We are convinced that the new C24 will profit from this combination."

Massa was the sole Sauber driver testing at Barcelona on Thursday, and Jacques Villeneuve will make his debut for the team when testing continues on Friday.

The Toyota duo of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher followed Massa on the time sheets with both also going under 1:15.

Mark Webber carried on his familiarisation work in the Williams FW26, completing 85 laps for a best time of 1:15.236. After technical problems on Wednesday curtailed his track time, Webber's team-mate Antonio Pizzonia was able to complete more than 40 laps, working on both set-up and gearbox settings. His best of 1:15.546 was good enough for seventh fastest.

Like Webber, Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella also continued to settle in to a new team. After completing 85 laps in his R24 the Italian had set a fastest time of 1:15.404. Frenchman Franck Montagny drove the other Renault, with the nature of his programme limiting his mileage to 31 laps.

Red Bull again sent Vitantonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien out onto the track, with both drivers completing in excess of 80 laps. F3000 champion Liuzzi set the fifth fastest time of the day with a 1:15.351, with Klien back in eleventh place after his best of 1:16.256.

After his team debut on Wednesday, Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya had his second day of testing for McLaren. He and Austrian test partner Alexander Wurz finished the day less than half a second apart in the time sheets, good enough for eighth and ninth places respectively.

Ferrari's Luca Badoer rounded out the top ten drivers, with a best time of 1:16.095. In conjunction with team-mate Marc Gene, Badoer worked principally on a programme of tyres and electronics for the World Champions.

It was a mixed day for BAR, with Jenson Button able to complete only five laps in the morning due to technical difficulties. He faired better in the afternoon and was able to set a best time of 1:16.916. Enrique Bernoldi completed more than 100 laps in his car, on his final day at the track before Takuma Sato completes the test tomorrow.

Testing at Barcelona concludes on Friday.

Unofficial Thursday times from Barcelona:

1. Felipe Massa, Sauber (Michelin), 1:14.661
2. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Michelin), 1:14.881
3. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (Michelin), 1:14.996
4. Mark Webber, Williams (Michelin), 1:15.236
5. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:15.351
6. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:15.404
7. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:15.546
8. Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (Michelin), 1:15.828
9. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin) 1:15.871
10. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:16.095
11. Christian Klien, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:16.256
12. Enrique Bernoldi, BAR (Michelin), 1:16.353
13. Marc Gene, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:16.839
14. Jenson Button, BAR (Michelin), 1:16.916
15. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin), 1:17.497