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de la Rosa sets the pace in Spain (With Pictures)

NEWS STORY
06/04/2005

Bahrain hero Pedro de la Rosa set the pace on the second day of testing at Barcelona, as BAR, WilliamsF1, Toyota, Sauber, Red Bull and McLaren joined Renault and Ferrari, who began testing here on Monday.

Following on from his superb performance in Bahrain, and mindful of the fact that Juan Pablo Montoya might not be fit in time for the San Marino Grand Prix, the Spaniard served notice to his employers, and fellow McLaren tester Alexander Wurz, that he is hungry to build up upon his Sakhir showing.

Pedro, driving the MP4-19B, concentrated on simulations of the first qualifying session of a grand prix weekend, an area in which Kimi Raikkonen feels the team is losing out. He tried various set-ups before switching to tyre work in the afternoon and focusing on short runs.

Wurz, at the wheel of the MP4-20, only his second time in the 2005 car, completed a series of short runs concentrating on Michelin tyre development.

According to the Woking outfit, the primary objective this week is to focus on performance runs, with both drivers completing short runs and simulated race distances. The team will also be testing a number of new aerodynamic components, in addition to running new brake discs and carrying out damper work.

"Today was only my second run in the MP4-20 so it took time to acclimatise," said the Austrian. "While I feel there are a few modifications which need to be made to the car, it was a positive test today."

"This morning we were running low fuel to simulate the first qualifying session over the race weekend," added de la Rosa. "Today we all worked on different set-ups and a tyre programme, it was a good day."

Demonstrating the pace he has shown in Friday morning free practice, both in 2004 and this year, was Ricardo Zonta. The Brazilian was joined by Olivier Panis, as the Japanese manufacturer attended a test with a brace of TF105s for the first time. Unfortunately, the Frenchman's programme came to a premature end as a result of an engine failure, however his Brazilian teammate was able to begin evaluating a new aero package due to be used at Imola.

Fernando Alonso was third quickest, but there was further misery for his Italian teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella, who suffered an engine failure, among other problems.

"We continued to accumulate mileage today, and particularly on Fernando's car," said Christian Silk. "Both drivers' programmes were focused on preparing for the Grand Prix and we made good progress in this direction."

WilliamsF1 had Nick Heidfeld and Antonio Pizzonia on duty, both drivers working on set-ups in the morning and tyre testing in the afternoon. Both drivers had offs during the course of the day, Pizzonia hitting the barriers, but thankfully with no serious damage to the FW27.

Anthony Davidson was the quicker of the two BAR drivers on duty, the youngster charged with shaking down a brand new 007. Teammate Jenson Button completed 109 laps as he carried out initial work with a new aerodynamic package.

Marc Gene, at the wheel of an F2004 M, continued with a Bridgestone tyre development test programme. Tomorrow, Luca Badoer will be on duty in an F2004 M, while Rubens Barrichello will drive an F2005.

David Coulthard had been having a fairly uneventful, almost uninspiring, day until he span off shortly before the scheduled end of the session, causing the day's events to end a little earlier than planned. The Scot completed 111 laps finishing 1.99s off the pace.

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