Valencia Day One - Montoya sets record pace 19 Feb 2004
Juan Pablo Montoya set a new unofficial lap record at Valencia on Wednesday, as this week's multi-team test at the Spanish circuit got underway. Montoya's time of 1m 09.104s was just over three tenths faster than the second-placed BAR of Jenson Button.
The Colombian was working on a varied programme in the Williams FW26, including set-up, tyre construction testing, brake cooling and traction control. Meanwhile, colleague Marc Gene spent most of the day focussed on Michelin tyre compound development and finished ninth.
The BAR 006 continued to show promising pace, with Button's second place backed up by team mate Takuma Sato's fourth spot. Between them the duo put in over 160 laps of the Spanish circuit. Test driver Anthony Davidson, in the team's '04 Concept car, added another 72 on his way to the day's eighth best time.
Jaguar had a positive day with the R5, Christian Klien and Mark Webber going third and fifth respectively, with both men completing well over 100 laps. Their programme included aerodynamic and set-up work.
Kimi Raikkonen was sixth fastest for McLaren, following the team's solo test at the circuit on Tuesday. The Finn experienced a dramatic moment when his car momentarily caught fire during a practice pit stop. Team mate David Coulthard was tenth.
Also joining the session on Wednesday were Toyota, who had Cristiano da Matta and test driver Ricardo Zonta in action, both at the wheel of the latest TF104. Of the two Brazilians, Zonta was the quicker in seventh, with da Matta 11th.
Conditions were uncharacteristically cool at Valencia on Wednesday, with air temperatures reaching no higher than 15 degrees Celsius. Testing continues on Thursday.
Unofficial Wednesday times from Valencia:
1. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (Michelin), 1:09.104
2. Jenson Button, BAR (Michelin), 1:09.476
3. Christian Klien, Jaguar (Michelin), 1:09.510
4. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:09.888
5. Mark Webber, Jaguar (Michelin), 1:09.890
6. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (Michelin), 1:10.218
7. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:10.246
8. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:10.295
9. Marc Gene, Williams (Michelin), 1:10.300
10. David Coulthard, McLaren (Michelin), 1:10.407
11. Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:10.523