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Badoer leads day three at Barcelona 25 Jun 2004

(L to R): Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari Test Driver and Balbir Singh (IND) Ferrari Trainer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 3 April 2004

Ferrari’s Luca Badoer outpaced world champion Michael Schumacher to set the pace in testing at Barcelona on Thursday.

Badoer completed 103 laps of the Spanish circuit to set a best time of 1m 14.883s. Both he and Schumacher, who finished the day third fastest after 71 laps, continued the team’s tyre testing and car development programme.

Splitting the scarlet cars in the timesheets was the Renault of Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard also racked up over 100 laps as he concentrated on set-up and suspension work in the R24. Team mate Franck Montagny conducted a ride programme on his way to the day’s sixth quickest time.

"Once more, it was a productive day for the team,” reported Christian Silk, Renault’s Chief Test Engineer. “We ran both engines to their maximum mileage today without any problems, changed them and continued our programmes in the afternoon. In light of this, to complete nearly 200 laps is very reassuring.

“Both drivers conducted full programmes, and we drew interesting conclusions from their work. Our work for the new qualifying format was also promising, and Fernando was pleased with the car's handling in this configuration."

Jaguar had all three of their drivers in action, the quickest of which was Mark Webber in fourth spot. Team mate Christian Klien was forced to pull out of the test mid session, after a freak accident in which the Austrian cut his finger on the blades of a brake cooling fan he had picked up in the garage. He ended the day seventh, immediately ahead of Jaguar’s third driver Bjorn Wirdheim.

Wednesday’s pacesetters Sauber had Felipe Massa in the cockpit of the C23, taking over from Giancarlo Fisichella. The Brazilian was fifth fastest after 82 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya. The Swiss team focussed on Bridgestone tyre evaluation for Silverstone and other forthcoming races.

"Our test today went well and according to schedule,” reported Sauber race engineer Mike Krack. "For tomorrow we have planned some aerodynamic checks and the assessment of new dampers. The validation particularly of the collected Bridgestone tyre data is also on our schedule."

Sunny conditions again greeted the teams in Barcelona, with air and track temperatures reaching 29 and 43 degrees Celsius respectively. Testing at the circuit concludes on Friday.

Unofficial Thursday times from Barcelona:
1. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone) 1:14.883
2. Fernando Alonso, Renault (Michelin) 1:15.194
3. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (Bridgestone) 1:16.164
4. Mark Webber, Jaguar (Michelin), 1:16.332
5. Felipe Massa, Sauber (Bridgestone), 1:17.015
6. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin) 1:17.195
7. Christian Klien, Jaguar (Michelin) 1:17.233
8. Bjorn Wirdheim, Jaguar (Michelin) 1:18.046