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Paul Ricard Day 2 - Pizzonia top 25 Mar 2004

(L to R): Former Jaguar driver Antonio Pizzonia (BRA) with Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Chief Operations Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Indianapolis, USA, 25 September 2003 Franck Montagny, Renault, Jerez testing, 8 January 2004 Anthony Davidson (GBR) BAR Test Driver.
Australian Grand Prix, Rd 1, Albert Park, Australia, 5 March 2004 Ricardo Zonta (BRA) Toyota Test Driver.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 19 March 2004

Williams test driver Antonio Pizzonia set the pace on the second day of testing at Paul Ricard on Wednesday. The Brazilian was just over two tenths of a second quicker than the BAR of Anthony Davidson around the French circuit.

In cool and windy conditions, Pizzonia completed 94 laps in the FW26, working on set-up in the morning and then tyre construction testing in the afternoon. He was joined by fellow Williams tester Marc Gene, also in an FW26, who was fourth fastest after just under 90 laps of tyre evaluation. Gene hands over to Ralf Schumacher on Thursday.

Both BAR drivers present racked up over 100 laps. Davidson, in the team’s hybrid ’04 Concept Car was marginally quicker than Takuma Sato, who was charged with shaking down a new 006 chassis. Jenson Button is due to take over from Davidson on Thursday.

Tuesday pacesetters McLaren finished fifth and sixth in the times, with Pedro de la Rosa edging Alexander Wurz, as the two test drivers continued development of the MP4-19.

Toyota again had Ricardo Zonta and Ryan Briscoe in action, the Brazilian and Australian going seventh and ninth respectively. Splitting them in the timesheets was the 2003 Renault R23 of Franck Montagny, whose programme focussed primarily on tyre development, testing compounds for Imola.

"This week will be the last outing for the R23 in our testing programme but unfortunately, high winds hampered Franck's work throughout the day," explained Renault’s Chief Test Engineer, Christian Silk.

Testing continues at Paul Ricard until Friday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Paul Ricard:
1. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:11.501
2. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:11.728
3. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:11.806
4. Marc Gene, Williams (Michelin), 1:12.060
5. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:12.126
6. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:12.317
7. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:12.740
8. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin), 1:12.989
9. Ryan Briscoe, Toyota (Michelin), 1:14.987