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Mugello day two - BAR edge out Ferrari 28 Apr 2005

Takuma Sato (JPN) BAR.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Imola, Italy, 23 April 2005

Takuma Sato led a BAR one-two at the Italian circuit of Mugello on Wednesday, as testing continued in preparation for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 8. A total of three teams were in action, with the Honda-powered squad joining Ferrari and Minardi.

Sato was just a hundredth of a second quicker than team mate Anthony Davidson as both worked on developing the team’s 007 machine ahead of the Barcelona race. And in what was a closely-fought session, the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello was only another tenth behind.

Barrichello and Michael Schumacher took over the F2005 programme started by Ferrari testers Luca Badoer and Marc Gene on Tuesday, concentrating on tyre and aero work. The Brazilian clocked up 111 laps, while Schumacher, who finished the day just over a tenth down on his team mate, managed 127.

Minardi began a rare two-day test with three chassis - a pair of new PS05s for race drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher, and an older PS04B for official test driver, Chanoch Nissany, though under the current testing agreement only two cars were on track at any one time.

Unfortunately, the team’s day did not run quite to schedule, a variety of technical problems keeping the cars in the garage until late morning. Once on the circuit, however, the plan was to make up for lost time, but a collision between Albers and Nissany, following a misunderstanding about track position, resulted in both Minardi chassis having to be returned to the team's garage for repairs.

"It's difficult to hide the fact that we're disappointed by the crash between our two drivers, as it has put us behind with the scheduled test programme,” said Massimo Rivola, Minardi’s sporting director and team manager.

“On the positive side, Patrick was able to do some useful running and, as a result, we have made progress on improving reliability. In addition, we are grateful to Bridgestone for making available a number of different tyre compounds for evaluation at this test.”

Minardi continue testing at Mugello on Thursday, along with BAR and Ferrari, although their planned test with up-and-coming Chinese driver Marchy Lee Ying-Kin has now been postponed due to logistical reasons.

Elsewhere in Italy on Wednesday, Sauber were again running solo at Fiorano, with Felipe Massa at the wheel of the C24. The Brazilian completed 116 laps with a best time of 58.566s. Jacques Villeneuve takes over to complete the team’s three-day programme on Thursday.

"Today we finished the validation regarding the new rear which we had in Imola, and also assessed several cooling options for it,” explained Sauber race engineer Mike Krack. “We also gathered valuable data from damper tests. In addition, Felipe further evaluated the modified traction control programme which we used for the first time last weekend.”

Unofficial Wednesday times from Mugello:
1. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:20.646
2. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:20.756
3. Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:20.764
4. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:20.899
5. Patrick Friesacher, Minardi (Bridgestone), 1:25.623
6. Christijan Albers, Minardi (Bridgestone), 1:27.417
7. Chanoch Nissany, Minardi (Bridgestone), 1:39.519