Barcelona day one - Renault start early 06 Apr 2005
Formula One testing resumed on Tuesday, less than 48 hours after the Bahrain Grand Prix, in the rather cooler climes of Barcelona in Spain. Renault and Ferrari were the two teams in action.
Renault had been due to start their three-day programme on Wednesday, but decided to bring it forward due to poor weather forecasts for later in the week. Race drivers Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella were both on track in the triple race-winning R25, carrying out a tyre development programme with Michelin.
Alonso, who also completed some set-up work, ran 123 laps to lead the times, finishing around half a second up on his team mate. However, as at Sakhir, Fisichella was hampered by engine problems and only managed 46 laps.
The team made a great effort to run today: the drivers have both come directly from Bahrain, and Fernando from a long hard race in testing conditions, said Renaults chief test engineer Christian Silk.
However, we were ready to run this morning and Fernando had a pretty trouble-free day, particularly this morning when he got through a lot of tyre testing. The car was handling well, and he found a good balance immediately. Fisico's day was disrupted by a persistent mechanical problem, which we will endeavour to fix overnight in order to allow him further running tomorrow.
Ferrari began their week of testing with a sole F2004 M in action. Spanish driver Marc Gene was the man at the wheel, conducting 109 laps of a Bridgestone tyre development programme.
Weather conditions at Barcelona were dry, but variable on Tuesday, with track temperature peaking at 27 degrees Celsius. Testing continues at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday, with McLaren, BAR, Williams and Sauber expected to join the session.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Barcelona:
1. Fernando Alonso, Renault (Michelin), 1:15.128
2. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:15.739
3. Marc Gene, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:15.868