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C24 Proving to be Reliable


Jacques Villeneuve

By Jamie Makin
January 21 2005

Jacques Villeneuve completed his final test at Valencia in the SAUBER PETRONAS C24 today. He completed 107 laps to set a best time of 1:12.298. The time compares favorably with times set earlier in the week but has fallen behind other rivals. The focus of the test has still been reliability, not speed, as the team concentrated on longer runs and more comprehensive tyre testing for Michelin. "Basically the programme today covered the same aspects like yesterday and we kept on working on the set-up of the C24," race engineer Giampaolo Dall'Ara explained. "Because the car has improved quite significantly we were able to start already with the in-depth Michelin tyre assessments which were originally scheduled for tomorrow. It helped that it was not as windy as yesterday, so we could also run some aerodynamic tests in the morning. In the afternoon we had to change the engine as it reached its maximum mileage."

This was the first "maxed out" Petronas 05A engine which is required to last two race weekends under new regulations. The engine has proven very reliable so far which bodes well for the season ahead.

Felipe Massa will take over from Jacques Villeneuve as SAUBER wraps up the week of testing. "Tomorrow we will do some data verifications with Felipe," said Dall'Ara. "We now possess references from both drivers which enables us to make comparisons. By doing so we will go more into details while focussing on long-runs and further Michelin work."

Villeneuve will be on break until the second week of February when the team returns to testing at the Jerez circuit.

P Driver Team Engine Car Tyre Best Lap Gap
1 Wurz McLaren Mercedes MP4/19 M 1:09.506 -:--.---
2 Montagny Renault Renault R24 M 1:11.178 1.672
3 Button BAR Honda BAR007 M 1:11.267 1.761
4 Sato BAR Honda BAR006 M 1:11.396 1.890
5 Alonso Renault Renault R24 M 1:11.463 1.957
6 Villeneuve SAUBER PETRONAS C24 M 1:12.298 2.792

For full 2005 pre-season test results click here.

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