Valencia Day Two - Raikkonen even quicker 20 Feb 2004
Lap times tumbled further at in testing Valencia on Thursday. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen led the way, the Finn becoming the first man to dip below the 1m 09s barrier around the Spanish circuit. However, Jaguar's Mark Webber also bettered the previous unofficial lap record, set just a day earlier by Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya.
In the new Jaguar R5, Webber completed a mammoth 127 laps on the way to his best time, which was less than a tenth of a second shy of Raikkonen's record pace. In contrast, team mate Christian Klien set the day's slowest time, but completed a trouble-free race simulation during 124 laps.
At Williams, Ralf Schumacher took over from test driver Marc Gene and went third fastest, edging out team mate and Wednesday pacesetter Montoya. A damp track in the morning allowed both drivers to get in some wet-weather running, while Montoya successfully completed a race simulation in the afternoon.
BAR again had three cars in action, with Jenson Button, Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson all focussing on general set-up and Michelin tyre work. Sato and Button were sixth and seventh fastest respectively in the new 006, while Davidson in the older '04 concept car was ninth.
Ricardo Zonta was the quicker of the two Toyota drivers present, setting the day's eighth best time in the TF104. Team mate and fellow Brazilian Cristiano da Matta was tenth for the Japanese squad.
Testing continues at Valencia on Friday, when wet weather is forecast.
Unofficial Thursday times from Valencia:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (Michelin), 1:08.998
2. Mark Webber, Jaguar (Michelin), 1:09.096
3. Ralf Schumacher, Williams (Michelin), 1:09.404
4. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (Michelin), 1:09.435
5. David Coulthard, McLaren (Michelin), 1:09.487
6. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:09.613
7. Jenson Button, BAR (Michelin), 1:09.714
8. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:10.092
9. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:10.280
10. Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:10.733
11. Christian Klien, Jaguar (Michelin), 1:11.323