Nine Teams in Action at Barcelona - Day Two

Formula One testing continued for the second consecutive day at the Barcelona circuit, where no less than 14 drivers and all the teams but Minardi were in action today.

Nine Teams in Action at Barcelona - Day Two

Formula One testing continued for the second consecutive day at the Barcelona circuit, where no less than 14 drivers and all the teams but Minardi were in action today.

German Ralf Schumacher, the winner of the last two Grands Prix at the Nurburgring and Magny-Cours, continued to show his excellent form by posting the fastest time in today's session, being the only driver capable of running below the 1:18 bracket at the Spanish circuit.

The Williams driver replaced Estonian Mark Asmer at the wheel of the second FW25, while Spaniard Marc Gene was in action for the second day running, completing a good day for the Grove-based outfit with the second quickest time of today's session, which took place with around 30 degrees on track.

The McLaren team worked with three drivers today, with Finn Kimi Raikkonen joining test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Alexander Wurz. Raikkonen drove the MP4-17D chassis the British squad have raced so far this season, while the two testers worked with the new MP4-18.

Raikkonen was more than a second faster than de la Rosa and Wurz, who finished close to the bottom of the times as the new McLaren continued with its unimpressive testing results.

Championship leaders Ferrari tested with only one F2003-GA, driven by Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, who replaced teammate Luca Badoer after the Italian was at Barcelona yesterday. Barrichello was fourth quickest, nearly a second off Ralf's pace.

Sauber's Nick Heidfeld also joined the Barcelona test today, taking over from teammate Heinz-Harald Frentzen as the Swiss squad conducted a race simulation with the new specification of the Petronas engine. The German driver also tested tyre compounds for the German Grand Prix.

"Due to some rain during the day we were forced to interrupt the programme twice since the engine calibration is only possible under dry conditions, but nevertheless we were able to complete the test," said Jacky Eeckelaert, Sauber's head of engineering. "Now the data must be analysed and if the results are positive, then we will use the C specification version as soon as possible.

"We have also combined the long runs with an evaluation of the right tyre composition for the Hockenheim race in August. Tomorrow we will test some new aerodynamic parts and check the mechanical set-up of the car."

The BAR team began today an intensive three-day programme at Barcelona, with racing driver Jenson Button joined by testers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson. Button was the fastest of the BAR trio, while Briton Davidson finished at the bottom of the times after a massive 115 laps.

Toyota driver Cristiano da Matta finished as eighth fastest after a good day of work for the Japanese squad.

"I must say we had quite a good day in spite of the adverse weather," said da Matta. "The most difficult is that the track was never really wet or dry. Therefore it was difficult to get consistent runs with changing track conditions. However we managed to do a lot of our tyre casing programme in collaboration with Michelin, in preparations for the summer races.

"We also did some mechanical set-up work in order to optimise the car's balance with the new tyre constructions. All in all, these two days were reasonably good for me, even if, because of today's circumstances, I leave quite a lot of work to Olivier for the next two days."

The Renault, Jordan and Jaguar teams were also working at the Barcelona track with one driver each. Renault's test driver Allan McNish, the busiest man today, completed more than two Grand Prix distances with the R23, setting the ninth fastest time ahead of Australian Mark Webber, who began Jaguar's preparations for the British Grand Prix today.

"As this is the final testing session before the summer ban, we concentrated on tyre development, working on long runs with high fuel loads," explained Renault's director of engineering Pat Symonds.

"More than anything, I think we tested Allan today, who had to complete more than two and a half race distances! We also began validating the new aerodynamic package, which performed as well as expected."

Briton Ralph Firman finished 11th with the only Jordan on track.

"We did some general set-up work and some tyre testing for Bridgestone, some brake testing and aerodynamic work," said Jordan's Gary Anderson, director of race and test engineering, at the end of the day.

"We lost a bit of time due to a front suspension pick-up point problem and by the time it was repaired it had started to rain. We tested some wet weather tyres with beneficial results."

Testing at Barcelona will continue tomorrow.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time Laps 1. R.Schumacher Williams-BMW (M) 1:17.908 98 2. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:18.383 92 3. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:18.836 83 4. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:18.838 81 5. Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas (B) 1:18.861 86 6. Button BAR-Honda (B) 1:18.993 91 7. Sato BAR-Honda (B) 1:19.201 75 8. da Matta Toyota (B) 1:19.311 80 9. McNish Renault (M) 1:19.540 146 10. Webber Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:19.736 86 11. Firman Jordan-Ford (B) 1:19.740 63 12. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:19.954 38 13. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:20.217 32 14. Davidson BAR-Honda (B) 1:20.568 115 All Timing Unofficial

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