BARs dominate at Mugello


BAR dominated proceedings at Mugello, the Brackley outfit outpacing Ferrari on its own track.

Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson were on duty for the British team as it prepared for next week's Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona.

Ahead of next week's hearing in Paris, following the FIA's decision to appeal against the findings of its own stewards at Imola, it must have refreshing for the Brackley team to turn its attention back to on-track matters as its Japanese driver out-paced his English teammate by just 0.01s.

Both drivers spent their early runs acclimatising themselves to both the car and the circuit as this is the first time the team has tested at the Mugello circuit this year.

With a good balance established, Takuma ran through an aerodynamic evaluation, while Anthony followed his set-up runs with a tyre programme evaluating options for the forthcoming race at Barcelona.

Anthony continued his tyre programme in the afternoon, while Takuma continued to evaluate the new aerodynamic parts.

Also on duty was Ferrari, which had regular race drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello in action. The Italian outfit's programme centred on a continuation of the tyre and aerodynamics work begun on Tuesday by test drivers, Badoer and Gene.

For Minardi, it was pretty much a day to forget, with the Faenza outfit suffering all manner of problems, not least the sight of two of its drivers colliding.

The team arrived with three chassis - a pair of PS05s for race drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher, and a PS04B for official test driver, Chanoch Nissany.

The day did not run quite to schedule, a variety of technical problems keeping the cars in the garage until late morning. Once they were on the circuit, however, the plan was to make up for lost time, but a collision between Albers and Nissany, following a misunderstanding about track position, resulted in both Minardi chassis having to be returned to the team's garage for repairs.

On a brighter note, once a gearbox problem had been addressed, Friesacher was able to do some serious running in the afternoon, and put the planned technical programme back on course.

The test continues tomorrow, although promising Chinese racer, Marchy Lee Ying-Kin, will not now be having his first taste of Formula One performance, his run having been temporarily postponed due to a logistics problem.

"It was a shame we lost some time in the morning with a gearbox problem," said Friesacher, "but we had a good session this afternoon. We tried several different things, and made progress. Mugello is definitely not an easy track to learn, but overall, I'm pleased with the work we've done today, and look forward to a good day tomorrow as we work on developing the new car."

"There is not much to say," added Albers.

"It's difficult to hide the fact that we're disappointed by the crash between our two drivers," said team manager, Massimo Rivola, "as it has put us behind with the scheduled test programme. On the positive side, Patrick was able to do some useful running and, as a result, we have made progress on improving reliability. In addition, we are grateful to Bridgestone for making available a number of different tyre compounds for evaluation at this test.

"Finally," he added, "I would like to make it clear that Minardi is fully respecting the testing arrangement that is in place with other teams, and although we have three chassis present here at Mugello, we have only allowed two cars on track at the same time. We will now hope fervently for a better day tomorrow."

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Published: 27/04/2005
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