Pre-season testing complete 25 Feb 2005
Valencia on Thursday saw the final Formula One test before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix meeting gets underway in Melbourne next week. Three teams were present to complete their preparations, with BARs Jenson Button leading the times.
In changeable conditions Button ran through an aero programme in the 007. "It's been a difficult test this week because of the weather which has been very cold and drizzly, said the British driver. We did not do any running yesterday as we felt it was too cold to get meaningful results. Today was a big improvement and we covered 92 laps doing some very useful wet testing.
We got good data from key evaluations which we needed to complete before the first race next weekend. It was a positive end to our pre-season preparations and we're all looking forward to getting to Melbourne."
Williams Nick Heidfeld was second fastest as his 68 laps brought the teams total testing distance for the winter up to 25,370 kilometres. The majority of (this weeks) test was spent signing off last minute items in time for Melbourne, explained technical director Sam Michael. Today marked the end of a hard, three month testing period before the first race of 2005.
The team spent a lot of that time checking systems, improving reliability and adding performance to the car. With two new drivers and a new car for this year, we are all looking forward to the first race in Melbourne next week. The test team have been working extremely hard, with support from the factory, to do all of the preparation work necessary for the start of the season.
Completing the timesheets, over two seconds down on Button, was Toyotas Jarno Trulli, taking over the TF105 from team mate Ralf Schumacher. Trulli put in 33 laps as the Japanese squad rounded off their programme.
Unofficial Thursday times from Valencia:
1. Jenson Button, BAR (Michelin), 1:20.298
2. Nick Heidfeld, Williams (Michelin), 1:21.606
3. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Michelin), 1:22.300