Silverstone Day Two - Sato takes charge 03 Jun 2004
After transmission problems left him bottom of the timesheets on Tuesday, BARs Takuma Sato reversed the trend on Wednesday, topping the times at Silverstone, despite gearbox difficulties again curtailing the teams programme.
Sato managed 72 laps during the morning session, working on Michelin tyre choices for the forthcoming British Grand Prix and setting the days best time of 1m 18.090s. However, the Japanese driver did not run in the afternoon, as the team did not have the necessary parts to fix the gearbox fault on his 006.
Second fastest, after completing almost twice as many laps as Sato, was Toyotas Cristiano da Matta, with Michael Schumacher third for Ferrari. The world champion ran 76 laps in the morning before handing over to team mate Rubens Barrichello, who went fifth quickest in the afternoon after 34 laps. Both men had a programme of tyre testing and set-up work in preparation for Julys British Grand Prix.
It was another promising day for McLarens revised MP4-19B, Kimi Raikkonen finishing fourth fastest ahead of Barrichello. The Finn completed a further 66 laps in the updated machine, and the Finn was ultimately less than half a second of Satos leading pace.
Juan Pablo Montoya was sixth on the list for Williams, three places up on team tester Antonio Pizzonia, as both men carried out tyre and set-up work. Between them in the times were the Renaults of Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso, who managed over 200 laps between them, concentrating on tyres, with short performance runs in the morning and longer endurance work in the afternoon.
"A very positive day for us, particularly on the engine side as we reached our targets with the engine evolutions planned for Canada, reported Renaults Chief Test Engineer, Christian Silk. The rest of the day was dedicated to testing tyre compounds, and we found some interesting improvements."
Christian Klien was 11th fastest for Jaguar, between the Jordans of Nick Heidfeld and Giorgio Pantano, who joined the test on Wednesday. Jordan worked on set-up and tyres, plus some aero work in preparation for Canada.
Following Tuesdays rain, things improved dramatically for Wednesdays session with warm and sunny weather all day. Testing continues at Silverstone on Thursday.
Unofficial Wednesday times from Silverstone:
1. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:18.090
2. Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.142
3. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:18.273
4. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (Michelin), 1:18.454
5. Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:18.492
6. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (Michelin), 1:18.646
7. Jarno Trulli, Renault (Michelin), 1:19.102
8. Fernando Alonso, Renault (Michelin), 1:19.155
9. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:19.292
10. Nick Heidfeld, Jordan (Bridgestone), 1:19.450
11. Christian Klien, Jaguar (Michelin), 1:20.571
12. Giorgio Pantano, Jordan (Bridgestone), 1:21.330