Jerez Day Three - BAR move ahead 25 Jun 2004
Takuma Sato was the fastest man around the Jerez circuit in Spain on Thursday as four of the Formula One teams continued their preparations for the French Grand Prix.
The BAR driver carried out tyre work with suppliers Michelin in the morning, before transmission problems on the 006 hampered his running. He nevertheless clocked the days best time. Team mate Jenson Button was fourth fastest, taking over the second car from Wednesday runner Anthony Davidson.
McLaren had another positive day with Kimi Raikkonen second fastest in the revised MP4-19B after completing 117 laps, the most of any driver present. Team mate David Coulthard also put in over 100 laps to finish fifth in the timesheets, boosting speculation that the team will debut the updated car at the next round in France.
Marc Gene was the fastest Williams runner in second spot, the Spaniard concentrating on tyre work with Michelin. Testing colleague Antonio Pizzonia was sixth quickest, the Brazilian continuing component development work on the FW26.
Toyota completed the Thursday timesheets at Jerez, with race driver Cristiano da Matta and Australian tester Ryan Briscoe seventh and eighth respectively in the TF104.
Conditions at Jerez on Thursday were very warm, with track temperatures in excess of 55 degrees Celsius. Testing at the circuit is due to conclude on Friday.
Unofficial Thursday times from Jerez:
1. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:17.416
2. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (Michelin), 1:17.682
3. Marc Gene, Williams (Michelin), 1:18.115
4. Jenson Button, BAR (Michelin), 1:18.375
5. David Coulthard, McLaren (Michelin), 1:18.469
6. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:18.809
7. Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:19.016
8. Ryan Briscoe, Toyota (Michelin), 1:19.676