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Poor weather again hits testing 24 Feb 2005

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari F2004M. Formula One Testing, Valencia, Spain, 21 February 2005. World © McNeil/Sutton

Next week they will be enjoying the Australian summer. On Wednesday, snow at Silverstone and rain in Valencia made the teams’ final preparations for Melbourne somewhat difficult.

Renault chose to abandon their programme at the British Grand Prix circuit, which was covered in snow, while in Spain only four drivers recorded times on the constantly wet track, with only two of those completing more than 20 laps.

Leading those times was rain master Michael Schumacher, who went almost two seconds faster than team mate Rubens Barrichello in the F2004 M. Not surprisingly their focus was wet-tyre development work with Bridgestone. Schumacher ran 60 laps, Barrichello 14.

Pedro de la Rosa clocked up just 16 laps for McLaren as he went third fastest. In contrast, Williams’ Nick Heidfeld shrugged off the conditions and ran 61 laps, testing rain tyres and carrying out systems checks on the FW27. He nevertheless ended the day over two seconds off de la Rosa’s pace.

BAR and Toyota were also present, though Jenson Button and Ralf Schumacher, as well as McLaren’s Alexander Wurz, did not record times.

Testing continues at Valencia on Thursday with current forecasts predicting showers with occasional sunshine.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Valencia:
1. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:21.763
2. Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:23.642
3. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:24.313
4. Nick Heidfeld, Williams (Michelin), 1:26.582