Barcelona day 4: Schuey close to record

Michael Schumacher set the second fastest time of winter testing at Barcelona today, his 1m15.103s best was just a tenth off his own personal record set two weeks ago, as Ferrari once again stamped its authority on the session

Barcelona day 4: Schuey close to record

Both Schumacher and team-mate Rubens Barrichello accomplished low fuel runs as the Italian team spent the day concentrating on Bridgestone tyre development and electronics work. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was an impressive third as the Sauber team continued to rack up the miles on the so-far reliable C22.

"We gathered more data today and made some good progress," said Frentzen. "Generally the balance of the car is good and I understand the car more. But this year the midfield is going to be pretty strong and close and we have to find every bit of speed out of the car if we are going to be competitive."

Juan Pablo Montoya continued to dial-in the WilliamsF1 BMW FW25 and although the car went quicker today, the Colombian's best lap was posted during a low fuel run and there is still no indication of the pace required to challenge Ferrari. "The car is better but I can't say more than that," said Montoya. "I was happy yesterday but I am happier today."

Olivier Panis was fifth quickest and pleased with his days work on the new Toyota which has been on or near the pace everywhere since it broke cover in early January. In fact it looked so good on track that it prompted Frentzen to say: "There are only two stable-looking cars on the track - the Ferrari and the Toyota. Especially through the quick bends."

McLaren-Mercedes were on the first of a three-day race weekend simulation and the team has flown over the entire race crew, pitlane information bank and one of the four race trucks for the occasion. Neither car was near the ultimate pace but both David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen were concentrating on race set-ups and the Scot suffered an engine problem in the morning.

Jaguar packed up and left after a discovering damage that was beyond immediate repair on the new R4's monocoque, while Renault also left claiming that it had completed its programme despite having been expected to stay on for today.

Michael Schumacher Ferrari B 1m15.103s 105
Rubens Barrichello Ferrari B 1m15.408s 54
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Petronas B 1m16.336s 111*
Juan Pablo Montoya WilliamsF1 BMW M 1m16.630s 71*
Olivier Panis Toyota B 1m16.945s 61*
Marc Gené WilliamsF1 BMW M 1m17.234s 74
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes M 1m17.293s 30
Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes M 1m17.985s 40
Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth M 1m18.667s 27*

B = Bridgestone
M = Michelin
* denotes 2003 car

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