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Raikkonen tops wet final day in Spain 11 Apr 2005

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren Mercedes MP4/20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, First Qualifying, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 2 April 2005 (L to R): Hisao Suganuma (JPN) Bridgestone talks with Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari Test Driver. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, 7-8 April 2005. World © McNeil/Sutton Felipe Massa (BRA) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 1 April 2005 Enrique Bernoldi (BRA) BAR Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, First Qualifying, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 2 April 2005 Alex Wurz (AUT) McLaren Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 31 March 2005

McLaren finished one-two in Barcelona on Friday as the weather forced the teams to change their programmes at the Circuit de Catalunya. Rain had not been expected until the afternoon, but arrived late morning leaving a wet or damp track for the remainder of the session, which was subsequently extended by an hour.

Kimi Raikkonen clocked the fastest time as he and team mate Alexander Wurz shifted their focus to an intermediate and wet-weather Michelin tyre programme for the forthcoming San Marino Grand Prix. Both completed just under 70 laps, the Finn in the MP4-20, the Austrian in the older MP4-19B. A transmission problem on Raikkonen’s car ended his day slightly early.

Felipe Massa moved up the timesheets, going third fastest for Sauber after 96 laps in the C24. “Luckily we got a test extension and thanks to that we were able to do some data verifications in dry conditions,” said race engineer Giampaolo Dall'Ara. “We found some conclusions for the aerodynamics at Imola and have completed our race preparation for the San Marino Grand Prix, but unfortunately we were not in the position to finish a few issues for the race in Barcelona.”

There was little to separate the Williams as Nick Heidfeld and Antonio Pizzonia went fourth and fifth quickest respectively. "We worked through a comprehensive test on tyre compounds, aerodynamic parts, traction control and general setup,” said technical director Sam Michael of the team’s week in Spain.

“The Barcelona circuit has clearly changed in terms of lap time degradation over longer runs, so we spent all of the test working in this area. The tyre wear that we have is far from the limit, as it has been in the first three races with the FW27 and we are working with Michelin to exploit this further. On the final day the weather was predominantly wet, so we undertook some wet tyre testing for Michelin and also some electronic and fuel system tests."

Michael Schumacher returned to the test track and was the fastest Ferrari in sixth place. The world champion put in just 30 laps in the F2005, while Luca Badoer managed 24 in the F2004 M to finish ninth in the times.

Splitting the scarlet cars were the BARs of Takuma Sato and Enrique Bernoldi, both drivers running through an intermediate wet tyre programme. Bernoldi ran for a total of 65 laps, taking his Honda engine past its target mileage before it finally failed. He did not run again having completed his day's objectives. By late afternoon, the track had dried sufficiently to move onto grooved tyres and Sato carried out an aerodynamic evaluation, completing a total of 129 laps.

"It was a very good test this week,” said Sato. “We did a lot of working for the aerodynamics and tyres. Mainly I did tyre work on my first day and it's good to see we made some progress with our performance and we are up on the top of the timesheets. Today unfortunately it was raining but we did some encouraging wet tyre testing. It was a bit of a mixture as we had dry runs as well so we tried some different set-ups. It was a very positive test and we need to carry this on to next week at Paul Ricard."

Completing the timesheets was the Red Bull of Vitantonio Liuzzi, the Italian getting what is likely to be his final test before he makes his Formula One race debut at the San Marino Grand Prix. Liuzzi put in over 60 laps in the RB01, as well as carrying out some practice pit stops.

With a three-week break between the Bahrain and Imola rounds of the championship, testing resumes again this week. On Tuesday Ferrari will be at Mugello with Michael Schumacher and Luca Badoer and at Fiorano with Rubens Barrichello. Toyota, BAR, Williams, Renault and Jordan are then among the teams expected at Paul Ricard from Wednesday.

Unofficial Friday times from Barcelona:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (Michelin), 1:15.388
2. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:15.535
3. Felipe Massa, Sauber (Michelin), 1:16.582
4. Nick Heidfeld, Williams (Michelin), 1:16.584
5. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:16.624
6. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:16.877
7. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:17.341
8. Enrique Bernoldi, BAR (Michelin), 1:17.455
9. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:18.050
10. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:18.151