Teams head to Spain as quest for speed continues
There is a three-week gap between the Bahrain and San Marino Grands Prix and certain teams will be only too grateful for the extra development time the longer-than-usual race interval allows them.
Ferrari still have plenty of work to do on the new F2005, which came away from Sakhir pointless, despite showing some promising pace in the hands of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. The world champions are expected to run a four-day programme from Tuesday at Barcelona, with Barrichello joined by official test drivers Luca Badoer and Marc Gene.
McLaren enjoyed their best result of the year with the MP4-20 in Bahrain and they are due to join the multi-team Barcelona session from Wednesday. Alex Wurz, who got his first taste of the car at Sakhir, is in action for three days. The Austrian will be partnered by Pedro de la Rosa on the first of those days and then by Kimi Raikkonen for the remainder.
Williams, who saw a promising race fade away from them at the weekend, are also scheduled to test for three days at the Circuit de Catalunya, with Mark Webber, Nick Heidfeld and Antonio Pizzonia all at the wheel of the FW27.
Renault, refusing to rest on their laurels after three wins from three this year, will field race drivers Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella, while Toyota, the blue teams main rivals so far in 2005, will have no fewer than four men in action, with Jarno Trulli, Ralf Schumacher, Ricardo Zonta and Olivier Panis all due in the TF105.
BAR and Sauber will also be in action in Barcelona, the former hoping to build on the promising race pace shown by Jenson Button and Takuma Sato in the 007 prior to their unfortunate double retirement in Bahrain.
At Sauber, Jacques Villeneuve, fresh from his best race with the team so far (despite being hit by David Coulthard in the dying laps), will be eager to get some more track time in the C24. He will be joined in Spain by team mate Felipe Massa, who gave the Swiss squad their first points of the year in Bahrain.
Note: all schedules are provisional and subject to change.