Tuesday testing - three teams, three tracks 27 Apr 2005
Preparations for the Spanish Grand Prix got underway on Tuesday with Sauber, Williams and Ferrari all testing at different venues throughout Europe.
Sauber began a three-day session at Ferraris Fiorano circuit in Italy. Felipe Massa was at the wheel of the C24, the Brazilian putting in 125 laps as track temperatures reached 36 degrees Celsius. His best time was a 57.870s.
"Thanks to good weather conditions we were able to run quite a lot of laps today, and the fact that we used the track exclusively also helped, explained Mike Krack, senior Sauber race engineer.
In the morning we evaluated several front wings and made a selection for the forthcoming races. Later during the day we ran a data validation concerning the new rear we brought to Imola last weekend. We also worked on the set-up for Monaco as well as tested brakes and suspensions for this Grand Prix.
Massa continues work for Sauber on Wednesday when he is due to evaluate different wheel rims as well as carrying out damper and software checks. Jacques Villeneuve will take over for the Swiss team on Thursday.
At nearby Mugello, Ferrari began work with official test drivers Luca Badoer and Marc Gene, the latter making his first appearance at the wheel of the F2005. The days programmes centred on Bridgestone tyre and aerodynamic testing.
With track temperatures in the low 30s, Badoer set the pace as the Italian completed 93 laps (16 on the tracks short layout) with a best time of 1m 22.416s. From 46 laps (10 short), Genes quickest was a 1m 23.653s.
The world champions continue testing at Mugello on Wednesday, this time with Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello on track. Joining them will be Minardi, who are due to run race drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher, Israeli tester Chanoch Nissany, as well as giving a first test to Chinese star Marchy Lee Ying-Kin.
Heavy rain at Silverstone hampered the start of Williams three-day test, though the BMW-powered team still managed to get in a reasonable amount of dry running with drivers Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia, both men focussing on set-up work and systems checks on the FW27.
Webber was the quicker of the two, clocking a best of 1m 23.901s after 69 laps of the British Grand Prix circuit. Pizzonias fastest was 1m 24.903s after 42 laps. The team are hoping for better weather on Wednesday when new test driver Nico Rosberg makes his official debut, a day later than originally expected.