Teams stick to Barcelona plans

Ferrari, Williams and Toyota have decided to stick to their original plans of testing at Barcelona this week for the time being, despite major problems with the asphalt already causing some of their rivals to change their programmes

Teams stick to Barcelona plans

The newly laid asphalt at the Circuit de Catalunya has not fully settled yet and oil has seeped through the surface - leading to very difficult track conditions.

The surface was so bad that, with lap-times almost 20 seconds off the ideal, BAR decided to switch its effort to Valencia after its car launch on Sunday, while Sauber abandoned its switch from Valencia to Barcelona.

And although it appeared last night that Williams, Ferrari and Toyota would also be abandoning the test, there now appears to be a change of heart. The teams are likely to see how running at Barcelona goes on Tuesday before making a decision about the rest of the week.

A Toyota spokesman said: "Although the recent resurfacing of the track has greatly reduced grip levels we will have to race there for the Spanish GP in May and the track will rubber in over time.

"We believe it is better to get on with our work as early as possible. We will however reassess the situation once we see how things are progressing."

The problem the teams face with switching their efforts to Valencia is that McLaren has booked exclusive use of the track later this week - meaning another venue will need to be found if its rivals are not to lose vital running with their new cars.

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