Barcelona day 1: Ferrari heads the field

Ferrari topped the timesheets in testing at a damp Barcelona circuit today (Tuesday), with Rubens Barrichello setting the pace ahead of team-mate Michael Schumacher

Barcelona day 1: Ferrari heads the field

The German set the second fastest time despite crashing on the fourth corner of his installation lap this morning. He was forced to sit in the pits for three hours whilst mechanics fixed his car. Overnight rain and oil had made conditions difficult, and all today's lap-times were down on those achieved last week.

"I'm very happy to be back," said Schumacher. "I'm like a child getting a new toy, though of course for me it's an old toy. I came back with a bang, and that's how it's going to be this season. It was slippery, wet and cold and they were difficult conditions."

Jordan, Jaguar and BAR were all running their 2003 cars at the test, although like Ferrari each hit trouble at some point during the day.

Jacques Villeneuve had his first taste of the BAR Honda 005 and was impressed, despite some visibility problems. "We didn't do many laps today, but the car is definitely quick and easy to drive," he said. "The problem is that it's impossible to see the track! We sit much lower in the car than before because of the HANS device, which means I can't see the exit of the corners. The car is very stable in high-speed corners and more nimble. It's definitely an improvement."

After launching the R4 on the Internet this morning, Jaguar began testing their new machine straight away. Mark Webber drove the new car, whilst Antonio Pizzonia drove an old car fitted with Cosworth's 2003 engine.

"We did a good job today," said Webber. "I'm happy with the car. Both the team and I are trying to understand it, but there's obviously a long way to go. It'll be interesting to see how Antonio gets on with it tomorrow."

Rubens Barrichello Ferrari B 1m17.616s 54
Michael Schumacher Ferrari B 1m18.132s 43
Mark Webber Jaguar M 1m19.340s 44*
Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda B 1m19.712s 31
Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda B 1m19.748s 14*
Luca Badoer Ferrari B 1m19.777s 49
Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Ford B 1m20.791s 16*
Antonio Pizzonia Jaguar M 1m20.875s 64

McLaren, Williams and Sauber were all in action at Valencia today. McLaren test-driver Alex Wurz set the fastest time, ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya.

Alex Wurz McLaren-Mercedes M 1m12.732s 28
Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW M 1m13.347s 57
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Petronas B 1m13.385s 70*
Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m13.738s 91

B = Bridgestone
M = Michelin
* denotes 2003 car

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