Barcelona 4: Renault on top

Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella continued their ultra-close battle on the final day of testing at Barcelona in Spain this week as the pair were left separated by just one hundredth of a second after another encouraging day for Renault

Barcelona 4: Renault on top

And although it was Alonso who came out on top this time, he enjoyed a pretty frustrating day's running as the team tried to continue its race distance evaluation to make sure it is in the best shape possible for the Australian Grand Prix.

As Fisichella completed a long run in the morning and went for another one in the afternoon, Alonso kept getting stopped by niggling mechanical problems that prevented much long running. However, he eventually got a series of laps under his belt and posted his quickest time, another lap record for Barcelona, during the middle of such a stint.

The message from recent testing has been that the Renault appears blindingly quick but has question marks about its overall reliability - something Alonso readily acknowledges.

Speaking to autosport.com he said: "We have done good times like last week and we have race simulations but we still lack in reliability. But it is getting better little by little and we will have it sorted out in time for Melbourne."

Renault was not the only team struggling with reliability, as Ralf Schumacher suffered two major problems in the revamped Toyota TF105. He was left stranded in the pit-lane with a gearbox failure in the morning and then was pitched into a spin in the early afternoon with an electronic problem.

"It was a difficult day due to some technical problems that we have had," said Schumacher. "But the car is still reasonable, we have done some work now, and we are just looking forward to going to Melbourne now."

The Jordan team continued its steady build-up to the campaign, with its Toyota-powered EJ15 looking pretty reliable. Euro F3000 champion Nicky Pastorelli also joined the team at the end of the day, ahead of a possible Friday testing role.



Fernando Alonso (Renault), 1m13.971s, 100 laps
Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault), 1m14.074s, 132 laps
Ralf Schumacher (Toyota), 1m16.518s, 51 laps
Narain Karthikeyan (Jordan), 1m16.999s, 83 laps
Tiago Monteiro (Jordan), 1m17.972s, 120 laps
Nicky Pastorelli (Jordan), 1m26.792s, 29 laps

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