Alonso Goes Quickest at Barcelona

Fernando Alonso had a lucky escape during the first day of testing at Barcelona in Spain on Tuesday when he suffered a rear wing failure at the end of the back straight

Alonso Goes Quickest at Barcelona

The World Championship leader, who was the fastest of the three drivers testing at the venue, was focusing on set-up and tyre evaluation work for his home Grand Prix next month when the rear wing failed late in the afternoon on the entry to La Caixa corner.

According to eye-witness reports the failure pitched Alonso off the track and into a series of spins, but he did not hit anything and was able to return to the pits unaided. His Renault team duly dispatched some mechanics to recover the wing.

The day also proved troublesome for Alonso's teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, who suffered mechanical problems despite setting the second fastest time.

Having arrived at the track late in the morning, with Renault beginning their test early so as not to be caught out by predicted bad weather later in the week, Fisichella was left stranded in the pits after a spin just after 11am.

He lost control at the Seat corner and stalled the engine, which meant being towed back into the pits. The cause of the spin was almost certainly mechanical, with the Italian then failing to complete many laps for the rest of the day.

The only other driver present was Ferrari's Marc Gene, in the F2004M. He suffered a mechanical failure in the afternoon, which left him stranded out on the track as he set the third fastest time.

Gene is hoping to get his hands on the new F2005, which the team are hoping will arrive at Barcelona tomorrow having returned from the Bahrain Grand Prix. Rubens Barrichello is due to continue work with the F2005 on Thursday, with Michael Schumacher set to take over on Friday.

Today's times:

 Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time Laps 1. Alonso Renault (M) 1:15.146 124 2. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:15.738 45 3. Gene Ferrari (B) 1:15.817 108 

All Timing Unofficial

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
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