Barcelona Day Five - Williams head final day 06 Feb 2004
Just three cars were on track for this week's last day of testing at Barcelona on Friday. Williams test driver Antonio Pizzonia topped the times from team mate Juan Pablo Montoya. Toyota's Cristiano da Matta completed the line-up.
Despite morning fog again delaying the start of the session, Pizzonia managed to put in over 100 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya in what was the Williams team's fifth successive day at the track. He was narrowly quicker than his Colombian colleague.
For Toyota, Da Matta completed over 80 laps of the Spanish circuit in the TF104 to bring his total for the week to 336. "It has been an extremely productive week at Barcelona, quite possibly the most productive we have had so far," said the Brazilian.
"I am happy with the performance of the car, and impressed with the way in which we have improved over the course of the week. We have worked mainly on set-up work and tyre tests and we have made steps ahead in every area. The car is certainly reliable, which we showed again by completing more than one race distance on each of the four days I have run this week."
Also present at the circuit, though not driving, was da Matta's Toyota team mate Olivier Panis. The Frenchman had been kept in hospital overnight for observation following his accident on Thursday. "First of all I want to say that I am feeling pretty good after my crash yesterday," said Panis, before going on to explain how it happened.
"Basically, I was trying to go through turn three flat out, as I had already done in the morning, but as I tried to correct some oversteer, the rear went and that was it. I was taken to the hospital as a precaution and everything was absolutely fine. I left the hospital at lunchtime and came back to the track. I am really sorry for the team, but thank them for their support. I would also like to thank everyone at the circuit and the hospital for their efficient and professional work."
Next week's main test will be at Jerez, with Jordan, Jaguar, Ferrari and Renault among the teams expected. In addition, McLaren will again be in action at Barcelona, while Minardi are due to run at Misano in Italy.
Unofficial Friday times from Barcelona:
1. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:15.081
2. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (Michelin), 1:15.222
3. Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:16.052