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SAUBER Fastest as Jerez Test Gets Underway


More testing

By Jamie Makin
February 8 2005

Perhaps last week's fears of a major design flaw in the C24 chassis were unfounded, as Felipe Massa set the fastest time in the SAUBER PETRONAS C24 at today's test in Jerez. Both SAUBER drivers were in action at the Spanish circuit today, although both were on completely different test programmes. Massa rolled out the second C24 chassis and specifically worked on setting fast lap times. His efforts were rewarded as SAUBER were the only team to set a lap in the 1:17 range. Meanwhile, Villeneuve was working on evaluation new aerodynamic components and was the slowest of 17 cars present for the test.

The team still has a lot of work ahead of them this week, as track conditions limited running. "In the morning the track was still damp from yesterday, that's why we ran with Michelin wet tyres and couldn't start our test programme until noon when we were finally able to switch to grooved tyres," said Jacky Eeckelaert, the team's Chief Race Engineer. "By then we concentrated with both cars on further set-up work and Felipe also completed the roll-out of our second chassis. Brake and Michelin tyre evaluations for Melbourne were originally planned, too, but those we had to postpone to tomorrow."

The season's first Grand Prix in Melbourne is less than a month away now and the team must start to focus their efforts in that direction. "Our overall target for this week is the final preparation for the Australian Grand Prix with a focus on brake and tyre tests as well as the assessment of the last version of the systems' software," said Eeckelaert. Despite all the off season testing, it is the first grand prix of the year that will give the team the clearest picture of the progress they have made.

P Driver Team Engine Car Tyre Best Lap Gap
1 Massa SAUBER PETRONAS C24 M 1:17.506 -:--.---
2 Zonta Toyota Toyota TF105 M 1:18.172 0.666
3 Trulli Toyota Toyota TF105 M 1:18.173 0.667
4 Montoya McLaren Mercedes MP4/20 M 1:18.226 0.720
5 de la Rosa McLaren Mercedes MP4/20 M 1:18.542 1.036
6 Alonso Renault Renault R25 M 1:18.653 1.147
7 Heidfeld Williams BMW FW27 M 1:18.757 1.251
8 Sato BAR Honda BAR007 M 1:19.159 1.653
9 Barrichello Ferrari Ferrari F2004M B 1:19.194 1.688
10 Webber Williams BMW FW27 M 1:19.303 1.797
11 Coulthard Red Bull Cosworth RB1 M 1:19.345 1.839
12 Badoer Ferrari Ferrari F2004M B 1:19.694 2.188
13 Fisichella Renault Renault R25 M 1:19.869 2.363
14 Klien Red Bull Cosworth RB1 M 1:19.952 2.446
15 Davidson BAR Honda BAR007 M 1:20.269 2.763
16 Piquet Jr. BAR Honda BAR007 M 1:20.837 3.331
17 Villeneuve SAUBER PETRONAS C24 M 1:21.302 3.796

For full 2005 pre-season test results click here.

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