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Poor weather hits weekend testing 23 Feb 2004

Ralf Schumacher (GER) Williams BMW FW26. Formula One Testing, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, 19-23 January 2004.

Heavy rain in both Spain and Italy forced several of the teams to either adapt or abandon their testing programmes over the weekend. At Valencia on Friday only two of the five teams present chose to run, while on Sunday Ferrari opted to switch from Mugello to Imola due to the inclement weather.

Only Williams and Toyota ventured on to the storm-hit Valencia circuit and then no driver completed even 30 laps. Quickest was Ralf Schumacher, ahead of Williams colleague Marc Gene. They were followed by Toyota's Ryan Briscoe and Ricardo Zonta. BAR, McLaren and Jaguar all chose not to run.

Meanwhile, at Mugello periodic rain affected Rubens Barrichello's progress in the F2004 on Saturday, though the Brazilian still completed 57 laps. However, conditions worsened on Sunday and Barrichello managed just 22 laps before the team decided to move their programme to Imola, beginning on Monday.

Imola and Silverstone will host this week's two multi-team tests, the last before the opening round of the 2004 Formula One season in Australia on March 7.

Unofficial Friday times from Valencia:
1. Ralf Schumacher, Williams (Michelin), 1:36.966
2. Marc Gene, Williams (Michelin), 1:38.828
3. Ryan Briscoe, Toyota (Michelin), 1:41.939
4. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:43.258