Barcelona Day Two - Sato goes even quicker 04 Feb 2004
BAR topped the times for the second day in succession at Barcelona on Tuesday. After Jenson Button's unofficial lap record in the new 006 on Monday, this time team mate Takuma Sato went even quicker at the wheel of the team's hybrid 005 car.
With slightly better track conditions than Button had, and with different Michelin tyres, Sato recorded a best time of 1m 13.798s around the Spanish circuit, completing over 70 laps of development work. Button, meanwhile, was fifth fastest in the 006 after 26 laps. Both men will complete BAR's Barcelona programme on Wednesday.
Fernando Alonso was second quickest in the new Renault R24, edging out the Williams of Marc Gene and Ralf Schumacher. The Spaniard concentrated on set-up and testing small developments to the car's on-board systems. The team described the results as reassuring and said they have now largely completed their initial programme of establishing the car's basic cooling configuration. Franck Montagny was also on track for the French squad, running 63 laps in an R23 to check the effects of set-up changes on the latest Michelin tyres.
At Williams, Gene and Schumacher were again joined by Formula One hopeful Nelson Piquet Jr. While the two team regulars carried on with development of the FW26, the young Brazilian put in 67 laps in an FW25 to go tenth fastest, with the team describing his feedback to the engineers as excellent. He will test again with Williams on Thursday.
Rubens Barrichello took over Ferrari's tyre testing programme from Luca Badoer, the Brazilian going seventh fastest after 69 laps in the F2003-GA. Meanwhile, McLaren again had three cars on track, with Alexander Wurz the quickest in eighth place, Kimi Raikkonen the slowest in 14th.
Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta began Toyota's Barcelona programme, both at the wheel of the Japanese team's new TF104 car. The Frenchman and the Brazilian were ninth and 13th respectively in the timesheets.
Giancarlo Fisichella completed the Tuesday line-up for Sauber. The Italian managed just 29 laps due to gearbox trouble and ended the day in 12th place. "After we ran some aerodynamic scans in the morning to check the car with different downforce levels we experienced a transmission problem which forced us to interrupt our test," explained Chief Race Engineer Jacky Eeckelaert.
"Just before the end of the test day Giancarlo could go out for only a few laps again. As a consequence we will have to catch up tomorrow. Felipe (Massa) will conduct the Bridgestone tyre programme which was originally planned for today. We will also test new cooling configurations for hot races and work with Bridgestone on tyre constructions."
As on Tuesday, initial fog soon gave way to sunshine in Barcelona, making for excellent testing conditions, with track temperatures of up to 23 degrees Celsius.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Barcelona:
1. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:13.798
2. Fernando Alonso, Renault (Michelin), 1:14.680
3. Marc Gene, Williams (Michelin), 1:15.130
4. Ralf Schumacher, Williams (Michelin), 1:15.211
5. Jenson Button, BAR (Michelin), 1:15.464
6. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin), 1:15.608
7. Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:15.770
8. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:16.069
9. Olivier Panis, Toyota (Michelin), 1:16.294
10. Nelson Piquet Jr, Williams (Michelin), 1:16.431
11. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:16.875
12. Giancarlo Fisichella, Sauber (Bridgestone), 1:17.001
13. Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:17.190
14. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (Michelin), 1:17.315