Gene still on top in Spain

Williams test driver Marc Gene was the fastest man of the splinter group Formula 1 test at the Barcelona track in Spain, for the second day running

Gene still on top in Spain

With the biggest test of the week taking place at Monza in Italy, Williams has decided to go its own way by fielding one car at the Circuit de Catalunya and another at Lurcy-Levis in France.

The Grove-based team is joined by Benetton in Spain, but Gene had the edge over both Jenson Button and test driver Mark Webber and the Spaniard was pleased with the progress made.

"Today we finished the programme as planned and so far the test has been very positive," said Gene. "We made some progress on the tyres and we are trying some developments. I have already seen some improvements in this area."

Gene concentrated on evaluating which Michelin tyres race drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan-Pablo Montoya will use at the British Grand Prix in 10 days' time.

Problems continued for the Benetton team with Webber setting the second fastest time in a 2000-spec car while Button struggled on to complete just 39 laps in his B201.

"Jenson continued testing in the B201 in what was a similar specification to the engine we used in France last weekend," explained Benetton's technical director Mike Gascoyne. "For tomorrow and Friday, his engine specification will be comparable to the one we used for qualifying at Magny-Cours. At the end of the day we also tested the launch control that we hope we'll be able to use at the British Grand Prix."

Petrobras Jr Formula 3000 ace Ricardo Sperafico continued to carry out straight line aerodynamic work in a second Williams FW23. The Brazilian enjoyed dry conditions all day, before the track was hit by thunder storms late in the afternoon.


Marc Gene, Williams-BMW (2001), M 1m21.804s 80 laps
Mark Webber, Benetton-Renault (2000), M 1m22.212s 77 laps
Jenson Button (2001), Benetton-Renault, M 1m22.287s 39 laps

Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer was back in action at Fiorano today (Wednesday) shaking down a version of last year's F1-2000 that will be used at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed. In the afternoon the Italian jumped back into this year's F2001 to work on electronic development ahead of next weekend's British Grand Prix and completed 12 practice starts. Badoer set a best time of 59.891s.

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