Barc 4: Zonta ahead for Toyota

Toyota's Ricardo Zonta headed the time sheets at the end of the fourth day's Formula 1 testing in Barcelona, after putting in a marathon 143-lap stint as the Japanese manufacturer's only representative on-track today

Barc 4: Zonta ahead  for Toyota

Jacques Villeneuve took the wheel of a Sauber-Petronas for the first time and settled in well with his new team to set the third best time of the day as he acclimatised to car and team.

Zonta carried on the good work where Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher had left off, pounding round testing tyres and electronic systems and pipped Williams-BMW's Antonio Pizzonia to the best time of the day.

Pizzonia - and team-mate Mark Webber - had a series of gearbox problems. Pizzonia was using a new 2005-spec 'box and Webber an old 2004 unit, but both ground to a halt twice and neither completed many laps. Webber was sixth quickest.

Fourth and fifth best behind Villeneuve were the two McLarens. Juan Pablo Montoya carried on from yesterday's work, while Pedro de la Rosa took over the car that Alex Wurz had been using.

De la Rosa said he'd had an almost perfect day and was very impressed with the way the car - running 2005 downforce levels - had come on since he last drove - and disliked - it. "I was really surprised," he said. "Today the car was really good." The Spaniard was fractionally quicker than his Colombian team-mate.

Red Bull Racing's young hopefuls Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi kept up the good work with seventh and ninth best times, Klien the quicker today. Liuzzi again impressed the team, and today's rumour suggests that they might even be tending towards taking a gamble and signing the Italian up as a race driver, despite his lack of experience.

Ferrari was down to one car today after a crack was last night found in the chassis used so far by Luca Badoer. It was not immediately repairable, so Badoer's test was over. Marc Gene was very happy with his progress testing aero parts and still finding life as a Ferrari driver something of a culture-shock. "It's amazing the attention I'm getting, just because I'm wearing red," he commented.

BAR had three drivers on duty today. Jenson Button continued work in the new concept car, racking up miles on the rear-end which, mechanically, is entirely to 2005-spec. He ran into an engine problem in the morning which required a change - as did the 2004 unit in the car driven by Takuma Sato.

Team sources reported that the problems were the same on both engines - even though one was to 2005-spec and the other 2004. A faulty patch of parts is suspected, and the problem is likely to continue into next week's Jerez test before it can be sorted.

Sato is nursing an old shoulder injury and the team did not want to work him too hard, so Enrique Bernoldi took the car over in the afternoon.

Ricardo Zonta (Toyota) M, 1m14.935s, 143
Antonio Pizzonia (Williams-BMW) M, 1m15.174s, 58
Jacques Villeneuve (Sauber-Petronas) M, 1m15.219s, 74
Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren-Mercedes) M, 1m15.419s, 85
Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren-Mercedes) M, 1m15.502s, 55
Mark Webber (Williams-BMW) M, 1m15.513s, 33
Christian Klien (Red Bull-Cosworth) M,1m15.532s, 56
Marc Gene (Ferrari) B, 1m15.652s, 116
Vitantonio Liuzzi (Red Bull-Cosworth) M, 1m15.661s, 86
Franck Montagny (Renault) M, 1m16.435s, 97
Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) M, 1m16.571s 104
Takuma Sato (BAR-Honda) M, 1m16.736s, 54
Jenson Button (BAR-Honda) M, 1m16.738s, 86
Enrique Bernoldi (BAR-Honda) M, 1m20.066s, 44

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