Barcelona day 4: Wurz top in MP4-18

Alex Wurz's impressive lap-time from this morning remained unbeaten in testing at Barcelona today (Friday), with the McLaren ace ending the day a full 0.713s ahead of Ferrari's Luca Badoer, as the new MP4-18A finally began to show its potential

Barcelona day 4: Wurz top in MP4-18

The Austrian set his lap-time early in the day, although he didn't escape entirely without trouble, a mechanical problem halting his car later in the morning. Kimi Raikkonen joined Wurz in driving an MP4-18, but completed only 28 laps, after a mechanical failure in the morning and a spin in the afternoon.

Behind Wurz and Badoer, Ralf Schumacher was third fastest in his Williams, ahead of David Coulthard in an MP4-17D. Allan McNish was fifth for Renault, ahead of Olivier Panis.

The Toyota ace continued testing a revised aerodynamic package on the TF103, and was clearly impressed. "I had a very good feeling from the new aero package," Panis told autosport.com, "although obviously it's not fine-tuned yet. We've got to do some back-to-back analysis before the team can decided when to introduce it. I'd be happy to run with it as soon as possible, but we'll have to wait and see."

Jacques Villeneuve was the fastest of three BAR cars present, and spent the day working on tyres and set-up for Silverstone, although the Canadian described himself as "not quite convinced" about the Bridgestone tyres chosen for the British race.

Takuma Sato continued work on a new rear suspension package developed by Honda. "It made the car easier to deal with," he said. "It became a bit more driveable, and there were no unexpected sudden movements."

The third BAR driver, Anthony Davidson, worked on - in his own words - "tyres, tyres, tyres and tyres."

Marc Gene was ninth quickest for Williams, ahead of Jaguar's Antonio Pizzonia, with young Sauber test driver propping up the timesheets having completed 49 laps.

Alex Wurz McLaren-Mercedes M 1m17.611s* 59
Luca Badoer Ferrari B 1m18.324s 109
Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW M 1m18.414s 77
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes M 1m18.694s 129
Allan McNish Renault M 1m18.749s 87
Olivier Panis Toyota M 1m18.891s 83
Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes M 1m18.973s* 28
Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda B 1m19.013s 70
Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m19.422s 72
Takuma Sato BAR-Honda B 1m19.747s 70
Antonio Pizzonia Jaguar M 1m19.892s 92
Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda B 1m20.463s 96
Neel Jani Sauber-Petronas B 1m21.757s 49

B = Bridgestone
M = Michelin
* McLaren MP4-18A

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