Ferrari detail. Ferrari Owners' Club
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Ferrari Happenings
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The Kraken Awakes - F1 Testing Resumes
*28.11.03
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Ferrari and Williams set the pace in testing after the winter break. Luca Badoer was fastest for the world champions at Barcelona while Ralf Schumacher headed a Williams 1-2 at Valencia.

Badoer was quickest ahead of BAR's Jenson Button, however this means little as Button was driving BAR's 2004 'concept' car and he'd be very happy with his pace.

Felipe Massa, again testing for Ferrari rather than his Sauber team, was third while Luciano Burti was fifth overall and third of the Italian team's trio of drivers. All three were behind the wheel of F2003-GAs and worked on electronics, tyres and engine development. Massa is widely touted as a future Ferrari driver and this seems to be behind his replacement of Nick Heidfeld in the Sauber team, which team boss Peter Sauber ruefully explained was a 'political' decision', perhaps connected to the supply of Ferrari engines to the team. Given Massa's record it's hard to see why, but as Neil Young said "There's more to the picture than meets the eye".

It is interesting that Luciano Burti did much of the testing for the 2002 F1 car, which was dominant and in which his friend Rubens Barichello was more often on equal terms with MS. Massa took over for much of the testing of 2003 car, with Burti only brought back later. Burti was dominant in F3 and got the best out of the cars where rear end grip was vital. MS is known to prefer cars with front end grip, but maybe that's just not so quick in F1 today. There was certainly a big improvement in the 2003GA's pace late last season, but with the hoo-har over tyres it's hard (impossible) to know what went on.

Takumo Sato split the two with an impressive performance in last year's BAR. Less than one second covered the top six runners. Giancarlo Fisichella was slowest for Sauber, carrying out a programme of aerodynamics, brakes and tyre testing, but earned words of praise from his new employers, although having just signed him they were unlikely to say anything else.

Barcelona test day 2 (unofficial)
Posn.
Driver Team
Tyres
Time
Laps
1
Luca Badoer Ferrari
B
1m17.282s
68
2
Jenson Button BAR
M
1m17.431s
84
3
Felipe Massa Ferrari
B
1m17.763s
68
4
Takuma Sato BAR
M
1m17.707s
70
5
Luciano Burti Ferrari
B
1m17.893s
60
6
Giancarlo Fisichella Sauber
B
1m18.246s
83
B = Bridgestone M = Michelin

 

Williams Quickest at Valencia

Williams-BMW continued to set the pace on the second day of the Valencia Formula 1 test. This time it was Ralf Schumacher who went fastest, but only by hundredths of a second from Juan Pablo Montoya.

Jarno Trulli picked up his speed to be third quickest for Renault, less than a tenth of a second slower than the Williams pair. The Italian was working on brakes tyres and engine. The engine blew up dramatically before the end of the day.

McLaren's Alex Wurz and David Coulthard were fourth and fifth best. Wurz was still in the 2003 MP4-17D, but DC had the all-new MP4-19 and again he managed a solid day's running, completing 59 laps. The car's speed improved over the two days, the Scot improving to 1m11.069s from 1m12.035s. Coulthard completed 47 laps – not a bad tally for a brand new car and mighty impressive in comparison to the two laps achieved by the unreliable, unraced, MP4-18 on its first day out. The new car did grind to a halt on three occasions with apparently engine-related problems, but returned to the fray and put in a respectable time just under two seconds off Montoya's best. Couthard reported that "The car's very responsive to changes". That typically bland statement could, in fact, be a BIG DEAL and be an indicator of great potential.

Ferrari fans forget the winter of 1987-88 at their peril. The Scuderia were dominant in winter testing but McLaren went on to win 15 out of 16 races. Mind you, with three current F1 cars pounding round accumulating data, there's no evidence of complacency at Ferrari. It would be fascinating if 2 of these cars and drivers could be run as a 'B' team.

Franck Montagny completed the top six for Renault, acclimatising to the car and working on aerodynamics. He was slightly quicker than Jaguar's Mark Webber.

Marc Gene was running the new 2004 engine in the third Williams. He only completed 20 laps, though there was no word on the nature of his problems from Williams.

Jaguar had regular Mark Webber (said to be replacing Montoya at Williams next year) on hand with Christian Klien. The young Austrian driver got a second day at the wheel of the Jaguar and completed 86 laps. The team also gave a run to Townsend Bell and the youngsters were impressive. Klien was only just over a tenth of a second slower than Webber on his first ever Formula 1 appearance. Bell, who has tested for BAR before, was only 0.454s off Webber's pace.

Ryan Briscoe - the man who beat Klien to the European Formula 3 title this year - completed the runners for Toyota, with a time less than a tenth of a second slower.

Valencia testing day 2 (unofficial)
Posn.
Driver Team
Tyres
Time
Laps
1
Ralf Schumacher Williams
M
1m10.322s
82
2
Juan Pablo Montoya Williams
M
1m10.341s
66
3
Jarno Trulli Renault
M
1m10.421s
66
4
Alexander Wurz McLaren
M
1m10.761s
93
5
David Coulthard McLaren*
M
1m11.069s
59
6
Franck Montagny Renault
M
1m11.211s
69
7
Mark Webber Jaguar
M
1m11.267s
104
8
Marc Gene Williams
M
1m11.747s
20
9
Christian Klien Jaguar
M
1m11.929s
86
10
Ryan Briscoe Toyota
M
1m12.002s
71
* 2004 car

 


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