Barc 3: Massa on top for Sauber

Felipe Massa set the top time on the third day of F1 testing at Barcelona with Toyota drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher next best on a warm and mostly sunny day in Spain

Barc 3: Massa on top for Sauber

Valid form comparisons were almost impossible as the teams tried out cars with a varying number of 2005 parts on their cars with only Luca Badoer's Ferrari running in trim that would allow it onto the grid next year.

Massa was getting on with the business of gathering information on the Michelin tyres that Sauber has just switched to and making the appropriate set-up changes. "They're not as different as I thought they would be and as people said they would be," said the Brazilian, whose car carried only minor aerodynamic changes over 2004-spec.

Massa has now completed his work, and the single Sauber will be handed over to Jacques Villeneuve for tomorrow's programme.

Trulli and Schumacher also had very few changes to 2004 spec and were mostly concerned with tyre testing. Toyota technical boss Mike Gascoyne was at the test and pleased with his new recruits' work.

"They are gelling in very nicely," said Gascoyne. "I am really pleased that Ralf was pleased with the car and he gave us lots of feedback immediately. He has been very useful, but that's what we expected."

Mark Webber was fourth quickest for Williams-BMW but both he and - in particular - Antonio Pizzonia were hindered by problems. Webber was essentially learning the FW26, but lost time to electrical problems. Pizzonia lost time initially with a gearbox sensor fault and then fuel pick-up problems, but finally got going and put some miles on the new gearbox he was trying - about which the team was reluctant to reveal much.

F3000 champion Vitantonio Liuzzi was again impressive for Red Bull Racing - just over a tenth of a second slower than Webber - and put on a good show for visiting team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

A relaxed Christian Klien drove RBR's hybrid 2005 car and after overcoming brake problems was quite happy with progress.

Giancarlo Fisichella spent the day acclimatising to the Renault and Michelin tyres, while Renault tester Franck Montagny tried a 2005 aerodynamic package.

McLaren drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Alexander Wurz worked on new-for 2005 aerodynamic parts and tyre testing to notch up the eighth and ninth best times of the day, just ahead of Badoer's Ferrari. The Italian's work was interrupted by a big blow-up on his 2005-spec engine, which restricted him to 46 laps.

At BAR, Jenson Button and Enrique Bernoldi had swapped cars since yesterday, with Button now in the new 'concept' car. That too had big engine problems in the morning which kept the Briton down to 44 laps only. However he was most impressed with his first aquaintance with the team's new lighter, stiffer, carbon gearbox.

Button said: "It's nice to be back in the car, where I could be alone and finally concentrate on the job again." After admitting that he'd found his first day back in the car (on Wednesday) physically tiring, he added: "It's nice to be back in the car, but I'm also looking forward to Christmas."

Bernoldi racked up an impressive 114 laps as he carried out a tyre programme.

Felipe Massa (Sauber-Petronas) M, 1m14.661s, 71
Jarno Trulli (Toyota) M, 1m14.881s, 96
Ralf Schumacher (Toyota) M, 1m14.994s, 95
Mark Webber (Williams-BMW) M, 1m15.244s, 80
Vitantonio Liuzzi (Red Bull-Cosworth) M, 1m15.351s, 89
Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) M, 1m15.404s, 86
Antonio Pizzonia (Williams-BMW) M, 1m15.546s, 49
Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren-Mercedes) M, 1m15.828s, 55
Alex Wurz (McLaren-Mercedes) M, 1m15.871s, 106
Luca Badoer (Ferrari) B, 1m16.099s, 46
Christian Klien (Red Bull-Cosworth) M,1m16.256s 98
Marc Gene (Ferrari) B, 1m16.859s, 106
Enrique Bernoldi (BAR-Honda) M, 1m16.864s, 114
Jenson Button (BAR-Honda) M, 1m16.916s, 44
Franck Montagny (Renault) M, 1m17.497s, 31

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