Renault Pair Fly Again at Barcelona - Final Day

The Renault F1 team completed another impressive testing session today, as the Barcelona test came to an end for this week.

Renault Pair Fly Again at Barcelona - Final Day

The Renault F1 team completed another impressive testing session today, as the Barcelona test came to an end for this week.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso became only the second man to lap the Spanish track in less than 74 seconds after posting a best time of 1:13.971. Alonso's time was less than two tenths slower than Takuma Sato's unofficial track record, set last year in the BAR-Honda.

Renault's strong day was completed by Giancarlo Fisichella's performance, the Italian covering a massive 130 laps to finish just a tenth behind his Spanish teammate.

"Today was the best day's running of our winter test programme," said Renault's chief test engineer Christian Silk. "Both drivers completed race distances with the car, and performance on the long stints continued to be extremely encouraging; indeed, the laptimes were backed up with excellent feedback from both Fernando and Giancarlo.

"The mechanics also deserve recognition for their work this week: we extended our running by a day at short notice, and not only did they adapt fantastically well to ready the cars, but they continued working flat out until our final runs of the day.

"They have done an excellent job this week and throughout the winter. We have had a very positive test, and the elements are falling into place for Melbourne; we will sign off the final items during our running next week at Silverstone."

German Ralf Schumacher was again the only Toyota driver on track, working with the revised TF105 car.

Schumacher, however, did not enjoy a very productive day and, after succumbing to apparent mechanical problems in the morning, completed just 51 laps to finish over 2.5 seconds off Alonso's pace.

"The new aerodynamic package obviously improves the car massively," said Schumacher at the end of the test. "We can't give an exact figure of how much it has improved because the conditions here have been difficult and people's lap times have been all over the place.

"It is also hard to compare laptimes with the last time we were in Barcelona because the circuit was brand new. But it always helps to have more downforce and this is quite an improvement.

"We still have work to do but we are reasonably happy with the package so far. Late on Friday I spun due to an electrical problem and we decided to stop the test because there was not enough time to fix it and to do any more meaningful work."

Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro completed Jordan's programme at the Spanish circuit, the Indian driver outpacing his Portuguese teammate by over half a second. Both men drove the team's Toyota-powered EJ15 car which made his debut last week.

Dutch driver Nicky Pastorelli made an unexpected debut with Jordan, testing the EJ15 in Karthikeyan's helmet. Pastorelli, who won the 2004 Euro 3000 Championship, made his Formula One debut with the Minardi team in January.

The Dutch driver, who is in talks with Jordan over a third driver role for 2005, covered 29 laps and finished over seven seconds behind the other Jordan drivers.

Formula One testing returns to Spain next Monday at Valencia.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time Laps 1. Alonso Renault (M) 1:13.971 100 2. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:14.074 132 3. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:16.518 51 4. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:16.999 83 5. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:17.560 120 6. Pastorelli Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:24.731 29 All Timing Unofficial

View today's Full Laptimes from the Barcelona track

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