Tuesday March 20th, 2001
Only two days after the Malaysian Grand Prix, the Formula One teams returned to work for a four-day testing session at the Barcelona circuit in Spain, where the Spanish Grand Prix will take place on April 29.
The Ferrari team, winners of the Malaysian race on Sunday, were on top on the first day courtesy of test driver Luca Badoer, who completed 41 laps around the Circuit de Catalunya with a best time of 1:21.034. The Italian driver, who spun of during the session, worked on electronics at the wheel of the old F1-2000 chassis.
"My programme centred on electronics," said Badoer. "But we also worked on other areas. Personally, I am feeling well, if not quite a hundred percent."
Badoer was nearly seven tenths of a second quicker than McLaren's test driver Alex Wurz, who also drove last year's chassis. The Austrian ended the session in front of Briton Johnny Herbert, Arrows' test driver. The veteran driver worked with both the old A21 and this year's A22, completing a total of 78 laps, and he was pleased with his day's work.
"We've had very productive day today," said Herbert. "We got through a lot of the programme that we set out to do, so that's a definite step in the right direction.
"I think we managed to find a good set up with the car that we can continue with and develop further tomorrow. Generally though, I am very happy with the progress we've made and am looking forward to continuing tomorrow."
Benetton's test driver Mark Webber was fifth fastest, while Marc Gene, the busiest driver today with 89 laps, was slowest at the wheel of the FW23.
Testing at Barcelona will resume tomorrow.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time
1. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:21.034
2. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:21.712
3. Herbert Arrows-Asiatech (B) 1:22.320
4. Webber Benetton-Renault (M) 1:22.400
5. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:22.700
All Timing Unofficial