BAR continues to set Mugello pace


Jenson Button was quickest on BAR's second, and final, day of testing at Mugello.

The Englishman, taking over from Takuma Sato, out-paced Michael Schumacher, to post the second fastest lap time at the Tuscan track this year. Also on duty for the Brackley outfit was Enrique Bernoldi.

Jenson spent the morning session evaluating the new aerodynamic upgrades for the Spanish Grand Prix alongside a tyre programme, while Enrique, ran through some early set-up runs to acclimatise himself with the circuit. The Brazilian then completed a tyre evaluation for the Spanish Grand Prix tyres.

In the afternoon, Enrique completed some longer runs and also carried a short tyre test for other forthcoming races. Meanwhile, Jenson continued the evaluation of the aerodynamic upgrade for Barcelona.

"The test went very well this week," said the Englishman. "We got through all our test items looking at some new aerodynamic developments on the car, we found some interesting things with the new aero package which I am confident will enhance our performance in Barcelona."

"This week has seen another impressive test for BAR," added chief test engineer, Mark Ellis. "The whole team has been outstanding in working together to produce further positive upgrades ahead of next week's Barcelona Grand Prix. The impressive reliability of the 007 chassis, and the all-round effort required to support the programme, has allowed the test team to once again shoehorn a great deal into a two-day test.

"With the tough nature of the circuit here in Mugello, we have used all four drivers to ensure optimum use of our track time. Due to the nature of our development programme this week and in total respect of our testing agreement with the other eight teams, both Anthony yesterday and Enrique today, had to combine work in two different chassis, which is a credit to them both. Anthony in particular impressed everyone with his fantastic effort yesterday. We are all very much looking forward to next week's race where we expect to be even more competitive than in Imola."

Once again, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello were on duty for Ferrari. The Maranello outfit's programme centred on a continuation of the tyre and aerodynamics work begun on Tuesday by test drivers, Badoer and Gene.

Following Wednesday's disaster, when Albers and Nissany collided, things were a lot better for Minardi, which had three drivers on duty.

Albers and Friesacher were using the PS05 chassis, while official tester, Nissany, was at the wheel of a PS04B. The team focused on cooling arrangements, aerodynamics, chassis and suspension set-up, and tyre evaluation in the course of the day's programme. Encouragingly, both PS05s displayed good reliability, allowing Friesacher and Albers to collect considerable data and increase the team's working knowledge of the new car ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

"I think it is fair to say that yesterday is a day best forgotten," said the Dutch driver. "We made a number of changes to the car today, both in terms of chassis set-up and software, which meant we stayed in the garage a little longer than planned while all the technical matters were sorted out. Once on the track, however, we had a very good day.

"The car showed it has speed, and with reliability as well, we were able to work through a solid programme. The PS05 is a new car, and there will continue to be small problems to be solved and work to be done in the coming weeks, but everything looks very positive at the moment."

"We have had a very good day, helped by the fact we were able to cover a considerable number of laps," said team manager, Massimo Rivola. "In the process, we have taken a significant step forward in terms of overall vehicle reliability, which means we have achieved the main goal of this particular test. In addition, we made progress on the performance front, although it is clear the PS05 will have considerable potential for further improvement as the season progresses."

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Published: 28/04/2005
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