Barcelona, day 4: Heidfeld on top

A delighted Nick Heidfeld ended the fourth day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya at the head of the timesheets after setting a stunning pace in the Sauber C21

Barcelona, day 4: Heidfeld on top

Heidfeld's best lap of 1m17.891s was quicker than either Ferrari driver managed yesterday (Wednesday) and compares favourably to the record-breaking time set by Alex Wurz in the McLaren last week. The German's best was set on used tyres, although he was understood to be running in qualifying set-up.

"I think there's still more to come," he beamed. "We're still working on the set-up. I can't wait for the next test, I'm very happy with the car."

Team-mate Felipe Massa completed a Sauber one-two, although the Brazilian was 0.8s down.

"I feel that I have learned a great deal this week," said Massa. "Today I had my first experience of running an F1 car in qualifying trim, and I am pleased that I managed to improve my times."

Marc Gene was third quickest in the 2001-spec Williams, ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya in the FW24.

"It's getting better," said the Colombian. "But I hope there's more to come. We're just not there yet and we need to do a lot more running."

Toyota enjoyed its strongest test to date, with Allan McNish at last out-pacing team-mate Mika Salo to set the fifth best time. It was the first time the Scot had used new tyres and he was pleased to have got so close to the Williams' pace.

Jarno Trulli ended his first day's running in the Renault R202 with favourable impressions, but countryman Giancarlo Fisichella was less enamoured with the new Jordan EJ12. Fernando Alonso completed his first full testing day of the year, but the Spaniard propped up the timesheets in last year's Benetton with a time of 1m21.440s.

Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas* B 1m17.891s 73
Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas* B 1m18.605s 67
Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m19.233s 63
Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW* M 1m19.680s 64
Allan McNish Toyota* M 1m19.831s 72
Mika Salo Toyota* M 1m20.245s 34
Takuma Sato Jordan-Honda B 1m20.351s 69
Antonio Pizzonia Williams-BMW M 1m20.557s 65
Jarno Trulli Renault* M 1m20.834s 44
Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Honda* B 1m21.091s 36
Fernando Alonso Renault M 1m21.440s 50

M = Michelin
B = Bridgestone
* denotes 2002 car

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