Red Bull top, but McLaren's the quickest V8 car
Red Bulls Christian Klien finished fastest in the weeks second day of testing at Barcelona on Tuesday. Klien, at the wheel of the V10-powered RB1, was a tenth of a second quicker than the V8 McLaren of fellow Austrian Alexander Wurz.
While Klien set the pace, it was the first day in the Red Bull office for newly-signed third driver Robert Doornbos, the Dutchman also using Cosworth V10 power as the team prepare for their transition to Ferrari V8s for 2006. Doornbos ran 54 laps, the quickest around three seconds down on Klien, to finish seventh in the times.
At McLaren, Wurz completed his planned programmes for the day with an interim MP4-20B. He was joined by fellow tester Pedro de la Rosa, also in the MP4-20B, who carried out a Michelin tyre programme on his way to fourth in the timesheets. Between them they racked up close to 140 laps. McLaren take a break on Wednesday, but will resume testing in Barcelona on Thursday.
Ricardo Zonta and Jarno Trulli put the first laps on Toyotas 2006 machine, the TF106, with the Japanese team running on Bridgestone rubber for the first time. Zonta was the quicker of the two, finishing third after close to 60 laps. Trulli was fifth, completing 82.
Scuderia Toro Rosso, formerly Minardi, made their first official test appearance. With the Red Bull-owned teams 2006 chassis and livery still to be determined, Vitantonio Liuzzi ran 325 kilometres in a Red Bull RB1, using Michelin tyres and a restricted Cosworth V10. The car, which featured a distinctive gold nosecone and airbox, took the Italian to sixth in the times. Liuzzi will continue with the team on Wednesday before handing over to Scott Speed on Thursday.
It was also a day of Williams debuts. The team ran their FW27C machine with a Cosworth V8 and Bridgestone tyres for the first time. It also featured a new interim livery - midnight blue with white detailing, similar to that seen on Frank Williams Racing cars of the late 1960s and early 70s. The men at the wheel were race driver Nico Rosberg and newly-crowned World Touring Car Champion, Andy Priaulx, who will be assisting the team until they nominate an official test driver for 2006. They finished the day seventh and ninth respectively.
Nick Heidfeld completed the Tuesday line-up. The German was ninth after 26 laps on his second day in the BMW V8-powered Sauber C24B. The teams programme focussed on engine data acquisition in the morning. However, as on Monday, their afternoon running was hit by technical problems, this time a leak in the engines fuel rail.
Conditions were again sunny and dry in Barcelona, with track temperature peaking at 15 degrees Celsius. The test continues on Wednesday, when BAR and Renault are expected to join the session.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Barcelona:
1. Christian Klien, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:17.567
2. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:17.757
3. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:17.821
4. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:18.067
5. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:18.641
6. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (Michelin), 1:19.756
7. Nico Rosberg, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:20.456
8. Robert Doornbos, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:20.701
9. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:21.036
10. Andy Priaulx, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:25.055