Jerez day one - Sauber first and last 09 Feb 2005
Felipe Massa was fastest and team mate Jacques Villeneuve slowest in Spanish testing on Tuesday in what proved to be a session of mixed fortunes for the eight teams present.
A damp track in the morning hampered the teams planned programmes and only a handful of the 17 drivers completed more than 60 laps. Massa set the benchmark as Sauber kicked off their three-day test with their 2005 machine, the C24. The Brazilian finished almost four seconds up on Villeneuve.
"In the morning the track was still damp from yesterday, that's why we ran with Michelin wet tyres and couldn't start our test programme until noon when we were finally able to switch to grooved tyres, confirmed Saubers chief race engineer Jacky Eeckelaert.
By then we concentrated with both cars on further set-up work and Felipe also completed the roll-out of our second chassis. Brake and Michelin tyre evaluations for Melbourne were originally planned, too, but those we had to postpone to tomorrow.
"Our overall target for this week is the final preparation for the Australian Grand Prix with a focus on brake and tyre tests as well as the assessment of the last version of the systems' software."
Toyota had a positive day with their new TF105, Jarno Trulli and Ricardo Zonta second and third quickest respectively, while the McLarens of Juan Pablo Montoya and Pedro de la Rosa were fourth and fifth. Montoya carried out systems and set-up work on a new MP4-20 chassis, sporting an unusual horn-like mid wing, while de la Rosa focussed on long runs and tyre testing in his first proper outing in the new car.
Nick Heidfeld was sixth in the times for Williams, the German completing almost 100 laps in a new FW27 chassis. Team mate Mark Webber was a couple of tenths slower as he concentrated on set-up and fuel-system checks, clocking up just under 80 laps once an early technical glitch on his car had been remedied.
Renault had Fernando Alonso, seventh, and Giancarlo Fisichella, 11th, on track in the new R25. Despite altering their programme due to track conditions, they racked up over 200 laps between them, the most of any team present.
With the circuit conditions preventing any useful set-up work, we shifted our programme to concentrate on accumulating mileage with the new car, commented Renaults chief test engineer. Fernando was very busy, completing 119 laps on our tyre endurance programme without any problems at all. Giancarlos day didnt run so cleanly, with a number of small problems delaying his work, but he was nevertheless pleased with the cars handling.
Ferrari had Luca Badoer and Rubens Barrichello at the wheel of an F2004 and an interim F2004 M respectively. Both men worked on a programme of tyre, set-up and engine testing, running just over 100 laps between them.
Red Bull began testing their RB1 machine in earnest following its track debut on Monday. Team leader David Coulthard was 12th fastest, immediately ahead of Austrian team mate Christian Klien.
BAR completed the Tuesday line-up with three drivers in action. The quickest was Anthony Davidson, 14th in the timesheets in the 007. Takuma Sato, also in the new car, was 15th, though his day ended early after a rear-wing failure sent him spinning off into the tyres at Turn one. The Japanese driver was unharmed, but the car was too badly damaged to continue.
Satos wasnt the only BAR accident of the day. Nelson Piquet Jr, testing for the team for the first time, went off under braking at the final corner in the older 006 machine, ending his day after 40 laps and a time that ultimately left him 16th in the order.
Testing continues at Jerez on Wednesday.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Jerez:
1. Felipe Massa, Sauber (Michelin), 1:17.506
2. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Michelin), 1:17.700
3. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.170
4. Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (Michelin), 1:18.240
5. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:18.548
6. Nick Heidfeld, Williams (Michelin), 1:18.743
7. Fernando Alonso, Renault (Michelin), 1:18.765
8. Mark Webber, Williams (Michelin), 1:18.922
9. Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:19.194
10. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:19.707
11. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:19.854
12. David Coulthard, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:19.969
13. Christian Klien, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:19.979
14. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:20.300
15. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:20.531
16. Nelson Piquet Jr, BAR (Michelin), 1:20.847
17. Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (Michelin), 1:21.302