Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Sato storms Saturday practice 08 May 2004

Takuma Sato (JPN) BAR Honda 005.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, 7 May 2004 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, 8 May 2004 Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, 7 May 2004 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Renault R24.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, 7 May 2004 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, 8 May 2004

BAR on top, but this time it's not Button

BAR's Takuma Sato was the first man to dip below the 1m 15s barrier in Barcelona this morning, as the Honda-powered team stayed on target ahead of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The first practice was another almost incident-free session, only Gianmaria Bruni going off in Turn 8 in his Minardi upsetting the rhythm. In that one Jenson Button again annexed the fastest time, with1m 15.984s for BAR, but again the times behind him were close as Renault’s Jarno Trulli banged in a 1m 16.015s with Juan Pablo Montoya right behind him on 1m 16.048s. The Williams team dialed in both cars well, for Ralf Schumacher was next of 1m 16.233s just ahead of brother Michael on 1m 16.519s. Sato completed the top six with a 1m 16.685s.

When the second session started Kimi Raikkonen immediately kicked off with 1m 15.983s, and David Coulthard jumped up to 1m 16.196s to make a temporary McLaren one-two. They were soon deposed when Mark Webber wound the Jaguar round in 1m 15.895s, but before long Schumacher’s Ferrari hit 1m 15.025s. This rather redefined things, especially as Button’s response was ‘only’ a 1m 15.627s. If Ferrari’s speed concerned BAR, so did Montoya’s 1m 15.232s and Trulli’s 1m 15.457s. But not for long, as Sato moved the goalposts again with a staggering 1m 14.836s.

The track had been slightly damp at the start of the morning’s practice, but now it had begun to reach its peak and conditions were pretty much perfect as the times fell. Coulthard improved to 1m 15.768s for seventh ahead of Renault’s Fernando Alonso on 1m 15.874s, while Webber’s time held up for ninth overall in front of Toyota’s Cristiano da Matta, who pipped Raikkonen’s previous time by equaling Webber.

Ralf Schumacher should have gone quicker than 1m 16.308s, but was baulked right at the end on his quick lap, and Jaguar’s Christian Klien and Jordan’s Nick Heidfeld were the final runners in the 1m 16s with 1m 16.648s and 1m 16.746s respectively.

Neither Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 17.145s) nor Felipe Massa (1m 17.282s) were very happy with the grip of their Saubers, and Jordan’s Giorgio Pantano only managed 1m 17.665s after a spin in Turn 10 early in the second session. Toyota’s Olivier Panis was less fortunate and pulled off terminally with a mechanical problem in Turn 3 soon after the session began.

This time, Zsolt Baumgartner was the faster Minardi pilot with 1m 20.449s compared to Gianmaria Bruni’s 1m 21.005s.