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Vallelunga day three - Honda finish on top 19 May 2006

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda Racing F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6 , Spanish Grand Prix, Preparations, Barcelona, Spain, 11 May 2006

Rubens Barrichello topped the times at Vallelunga on Thursday as he joined the Honda team for their final day at the Italian circuit. Barrichello, who spent the day working on an aero and set-up programme in the RA106, went half a second quicker than team mate Jenson Button.

"Today was quite straightforward for us,” commented Barrichello. “We made a lot of changes to the car over the day, trying different things on the set-up. The main focus was chassis work but I also did some work on the tyres for Monaco and the results are looking positive. I'm looking forward to Monaco next weekend, it's a home race for me, and I think the car has the potential to qualify well which is crucial for the race."

At Williams, Mark Webber led the way from test driver Narain Karthikeyan, the two working on very different programmes, as test team manager Mike Condliffe explained.

“Narain started the day with back to back cooling options for oil and water before comparing different brake materials in the afternoon. Mark continued the work started yesterday on the set-up options for Monaco, including aero changes to affect the balance of the car. This was followed by the conclusion of tyre compound tests which will assist with the final choice for the race.”

Williams will have the track to themselves on Friday, with Webber and Karthikeyan again on duty.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Vallelunga:
1. Rubens Barrichello, Honda (Michelin), 1:01.467
2. Jenson Button, Honda (Michelin), 1:01.949
3. Mark Webber, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:02.628
4. Narain Karthikeyan, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:03.935

Elsewhere in Italy, Ferrari continued their Fiorano session, with Michael Schumacher completing 97 laps of Monaco Grand Prix preparation, with a best time of 57.173s. Felipe Massa is due to take over on Friday.