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Coulthard flies at Barcelona

NEWS STORY
20/01/2005

David Coulthard, in the Red Bull, was the surprise pacesetter at Barcelona on the third day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Conditions were ideal, with bright sunshine and temperatures reaching 19 degrees C.

The Scot, who was partnered by Christian Klien, posted the second fastest lap of the week. However, the day was marred for the Milton Keynes team by a horrendous crash involving Klien, whose brakes failed at the end of the ultra-fast pit straight.

When the Austrian applied the brakes on the approach to the first corner, nothing happened, and despite his best efforts to scrub off speed the car went nose first into the barriers. Thankfully the former Jaguar driver was uninjured, but sat out the remainder of the session.

Second quickest was WilliamsF1 hopeful Antonio Pizzonia, who was joined by Nick Heidfeld as WilliamsF1 team continues its evaluations of the two drivers before deciding who will partner Mark Webber in Melbourne and beyond.

As a result of the team working on the technical problems that plagued it on Wednesday, it didn't begin testing until midday, with both drivers focussing on set-ups. As the session progressed, Antonio concentrated on tyre compound evaluations while Nick looked at tyre constructions.

The Brazilian ended the session 0.724s ahead of the German.

Olivier Panis was the quickest of the Toyota drivers on duty. The Frenchman, at the wheel of the TF104B, outpaced both Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher as he worked on tyre evaluations and set-ups. The German, who at one point went off at the Nissan corner, was the slowest of the lot for the third consecutive day.

Seventh quickest, and 1.2s off the pace, was Rubens Barrichello, back in an F1 cockpit for the first time in 2005.

Driving an F2004, the Brazilian continued with the development of new electronic solutions, new components and Bridgestone tyres that Michael Schumacher had been working on for the first two days of the test.

Testing continues tomorrow.

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