Barcelona day 5: Alonso sets pace

Fernando Alonso has set the pace at Barcelona (Friday), with six cars in action on the final day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya

Barcelona day 5: Alonso sets pace

Alonso was conducting tyre testing for Michelin, and set a best time of 1m16.920, 0.3s clear of Williams tester Marc Gene.

Takuma Sato set the third fastest time in the BAR-Honda 005. The team revealed that they had not changed the set-up since Jenson Button tested it earlier this week, allowing them to obtain consistent comments from the three drivers who have run in the car.

"My impression of the car is very good," said Sato. "The car is very stable, traction is better and it is very good in high-speed corners. It has improved so much to drive. Power-wise, the engine is similar, but it is definitely much better than where Honda started last year."

Sato also played down notions that the 005 is difficult to see out of, after both Button and Anthony Davidson had reported problems with visibility. He said: "For me it was like heaven - you don't know what the Jordan was like. I'm lying down so much in this car, but visibility is no problem. In the Jordan, I couldn't see."

Juan Pablo Montoya tested a hybrid version of the 2002 Williams, which features revised aerodynamics alongside BMW's new engine. However, his running was limited by problems with the powerplant.

Antonio Pizzonia tested Jaguar's interim car for the final time, although he was slowed by a water leak problem. "It is getting better," he said. "It's definitely better than when I drove it for the first time in December. We had a small weater leak problem, but the engine is looking very promising. We will have the new car ready to test next week, so I'm looking forward to that."

Fernando Alonso Renault M 1m16.920s 79
Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m17.296s 103
Takuma Sato BAR-Honda B 1m17.749s 44*
Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW M 1m17.877s 43
Antonio Pizzonia Jaguar M 1m18.717s 86
Jarno Trulli Renault M 1m18.910s 62

B = Bridgestone
M = Michelin
* denotes 2003 car

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