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Barcelona day one - Schumacher returns 19 Jan 2005

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004

Michael Schumacher topped the times at Barcelona on Tuesday as he made his first testing appearance of the year for Ferrari. The world champion, running an F2004 in standard trim, finished the session over 1.5 seconds ahead of Williams’ Mark Webber.

Fears that the new Barcelona track surface would be too slippery to use proved largely unfounded, though some drivers did complain that it was bumpier than before. That didn’t stop Schumacher putting in over 100 laps, however, as he worked on new components and tyre development.

Webber narrowly outpaced possible 2005 team mate Antonio Pizzonia as the pair put in close to 180 laps. Both complained that grip was initially poor and the team said they would not be able to start tyre testing in earnest until later in the week when more rubber has been laid down on the new surface.

Toyota had two new TF105 machines in action with Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher fourth and seventh fastest respectively. Splitting them were the Red Bull cars of David Coulthard and Vitantonio Liuzzi, the Austrian-owned squad beginning their first test under the guidance of new team boss Christian Horner.

Conditions at Barcelona were fine and sunny, with track temperature reaching 15 degrees Celsius. Work continues at the venue on Wednesday, with testing also due to commence at Valencia, where Renault, Sauber and BAR are among the teams expected on track.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Barcelona:
1. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:14.834
2. Mark Webber, Williams (Michelin), 1:17.125
3. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:17.370
4. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.371
5. David Coulthard, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:18.448
6. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:19.534
7. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (Michelin), 1:19.960