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Test Times Looking Up for SAUBER

Improving Lap Times

By Jamie Makin
February 9 2005

Team SAUBER PETRONAS completed another successful test at Jerez today. Both drivers improved their lap times, extinguishing fears of a fatal flaw in the C24 chassis. Brazilian Felipe Massa was one-tenth of a second quicker than yesterday's best time. "Today we worked with Felipe on further improvements of the car's set-up, and also ran Michelin tyre and brake tests," said Chief Race Engineer, Jacky Eeckelaert. Massa's time may have improved, but today he only ranked third among the sixteen drivers testing. Nevertheless, it is still encouraging to see the SAUBER running at the same pace as top teams like McLaren, Williams and Renault.

Meanwhile, Jacques Villeneuve continued to adapt the C24's setup to his liking and tested new components instead of going after fast times. "With Jacques we focused on brake evaluations and compared different dampers," explained Eeckelaert. The French-Canadian must still be pleased with the fact that he went almost three seconds quicker than yesterday's best.

The team will conclude their Jerez test tomorrow with both drivers in action. "For tomorrow we have scheduled for both drivers to work with Michelin on a tyre programme for Melbourne," said Eeckelaert. "Overall I'm quite happy with the performances today and the reliability of the C24." Things are indeed looking good for the Swiss team as the new season draws near.

P Driver Team Engine Car Tyre Best Lap Gap
1 Montoya McLaren Mercedes MP4/20 M 1:16.774 -:--.---
2 Heidfeld Williams BMW FW27 M 1:17.345 0.571
3 Massa SAUBER PETRONAS C24 M 1:17.399 0.625
4 Barrichello Ferrari Ferrari F2004M B 1:17.433 0.659
5 Fisichella Renault Renault R25 M 1:17.505 0.731
6 Klien Red Bull Cosworth RB1 M 1:17.571 0.797
7 Alonso Renault Renault R25 M 1:17.6 0.826
8 Zonta Toyota Toyota TF105 M 1:17.687 0.913
9 Coulthard Red Bull Cosworth RB1 M 1:17.911 1.137
10 Webber Williams BMW FW27 M 1:17.913 1.139
11 de la Rosa McLaren Mercedes MP4/20 M 1:17.959 1.185
12 Davidson BAR Honda BAR007 M 1:18.238 1.464
13 Villeneuve SAUBER PETRONAS C24 M 1:18.598 1.824
14 Badoer Ferrari Ferrari F2004M B 1:18.616 1.842
15 Trulli Toyota Toyota TF105 M 1:19.022 2.248
16 Sato BAR Honda BAR007 M 1:20.05 3.276

For full 2005 pre-season test results click here.

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