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Testing at Bahrain 14 Feb 2006

Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari Test Driver Formula One Testing, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, 19-23 January 2004.

Ferrari, Honda and Scuderia Toro Rosso are the only three teams who have taken advantage of the opportunity to test at Bahrain’s Sakhir Circuit this week ahead of the 2006 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on March 12 which opens the 2006 world championship.

Ferrari have two cars on hand. Tester Luca Badoer drove an F2004 with a restricted V10 engine, while race driver Felipe Massa handled a new 248 F1 in full 2006 specification.

Badoer ended the day 0.7s ahead of Massa, after completing 77 laps to the Brazilian’s 51. Both men said they were happy with the test so far, as temperatures reached 23 degrees C, and will continue the test today.

American Scott Speed drove Scuderia Toro Rosso’s old RB1 chassis, not the new STR1.

"The car ran well and it has been very useful to evaluate downforce levels and work out what level to use in the race," commented chief engineer, Laurent Mekies.

In the afternoon, Speed began a simulated race distance, including a 'live' pit stop with full fuel rig use. "Considering that we have several new guys on the team, who have not worked together before, the pit stop went well," continued Mekies. "Unfortunately, Scott was unable to complete the race distance as the session was red flagged when another car stopped on track." Tonio Liuzzi will take over testing duties today.

Toro Rosso used the RB1 as there was no time to get the STR 1 out to Bahrain after its inaugural test in Jerez last week. The new car will test again in Imola next week.

Meanwhile for Honda, regular test driver Anthony Davidson was joined by fellow Brit, James Rossiter, as the two prepared to put the new Honda RA106 through its paces, completing over 180 laps between them. Race drivers Jenson Button and Ruben Barrichello are due to run at today’s test.

Monday unofficial testing times
1. Luca Badoer, Ferrari F2004 (Bridgestone), 1: 32.297s
2. Anthony Davidson, Honda RA106, 1: 32.571s
3. James Rossiter, Honda RA106, 1: 32.864s
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari 248 F1, 1: 32.952s
5. Scott Speed, Toro Rosso RB1 (Michelin), 1: 34.280s