Ferrari blitz first Barcelona practice 07 May 2004
Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello dominate session one in Spain, ahead of BAR's third driver Anthony Davidson.
This mornings first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix was a relatively uneventful session. BARs Anthony Davidson and Renaults Jarno Trulli each ran wide at one stage on to the tarmac run-off area, but that was pretty much it in the way of incidents.
Conditions throughout the session were perfect, with track temperatures between 27 and 32 degrees Celsius and a light wind, though the track needed cleaning by the slower cars during the first half.
Davidson, whose BAR 006 wore a special new Friday livery, set the pace initially after lapping in 1m 16.616s, comfortably quicker than Michael Schumachers 1m 17.762s pole position time from the 2003 race. That is a further indication of the effect of the battle between Michelin and Bridgestone, given that the new two-element rear wing regulations this year have taken away some seven percent of the cars downforce.
With 20 minutes to go Schumacher reduced the fastest time to 1m 15.658s in the Ferrari F2004 and was soon joined by team mate Rubens Barrichello on 1m 16.033s.
BAR left it until the final 15 minutes to send out Jenson Button and Takuma Sato. When he finally came out Button warmed up with fifth-fastest 1m 17.060s and Sato backed him with 1m 17.481s for eighth.
There was a boost for Toyota when Ricardo Zonta put his TF104 fourth on 1m 16.639s, and Williams Ralf Schumacher sat the other side of Button with 1m 17.165s. Juan Pablo Montoya spent his morning wrestling with his FW26 and managed only 1m 17.635s for 11th.
Renaults Fernando Alonso was naturally the focal point of his countrymens attention and delivered 1m 17.429s for seventh ahead of Sato, who was followed by Olivier Panis (1m 17.489s) in the Toyota and McLarens Kimi Raikkonen (1m 17.563s).
Behind Montoya came the Jaguar of Mark Webber (1m 17.763s) and McLarens David Coulthard rounded out the runners in the 1m 17s with 1m 17.973s for 13th.
Trullis morning yielded 1m 18.341s for 14th, followed by Cristiano da Matta in the third Toyota on 1m 18.362s. Bjorn Wirdheim and Christian Klien were again closely matched in their Jaguars, the Swede lapping in 1m 18.603s, the Austrian 1m 18.615s. Timo Glock was the fastest Jordan, running a different programme to Nick Heidfeld and Giorgio Pantano. The younger German lapped in 1m 18.655s, his team mates in 1m 19.128s and 1m 19.925s respectively. Between them sat the two Saubers, with Felipe Massa just edging out Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 18.760s to 1m 18.886s.
Bringing up the rear were the three Minardis, with Bas Leinders splitting his race partners on this occasion. Gianmaria Bruni lapped in 1m 20.858s, Leinders in 1m 21.053s, and Zsolt Baumgartner in 1m 21.535s.