Atlas F1 News Service

Schumacher on Top Again as Testing Ends

Friday March 23rd, 2001

Michael Schumacher talks to Luca Badoer, todayMichael Schumacher topped the time sheets for the second consecutive day of testing at the Barcelona circuit, where the Ferrari team demonstrated their dominant form in the 2001 season by setting the fastest time each of the four days of work at the Catalan track.

Schumacher, fastest on Thursday, continued working on this year's F2001, completing 71 laps. The German edged McLaren rival Mika Hakkinen, who was nearly half a second slower than the reigning world champion after 56 laps at the wheel of the MP4-16.

"We have done some important work, both on the tyre side and on the electronics, in preparation for the race here on 29th April, even if the temperatures then are likely to be different," said Schumacher.

"I think we will be competitive in Brazil, just as we were in Melbourne and Sepang. I can't see any reason why we shouldn't be."

Jaguar's test driver Pedro de la Rosa was the top Michelin runner today, the Spanish concentrating on traction control development on the R2. Michelin asked for the circuit to be artificially flooded at the end of the session, in order to test wet weather tyres in preparation for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Italian Jarno Trulli was fifth fastest with the Jordan EJ11, while Luca Badoer was sixth with the second Ferrari, the old F1-2000 chassis, as he continued developing the new electronics systems to be introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix on April 29. The Italian driver was marginally quicker than the second McLaren of David Coulthard.

Dutchman Jos Verstappen endured a problematic day, and his morning session was affected by mechanical problems. The Arrows driver, however, was able to work during the afternoon, setting the tenth fastest time. Meanwhile, teammate Enrique Bernoldi had a trouble free session and ended 12th at the wheel of the old A21.

"We had a few difficulties with the car in the morning which set us back some time, but we managed to get some good running in the afternoon," Verstappen said. "I think we can be happy with what we’ve got from the car in this test.

"It's been a very positive four days for us here and we now know what to look at and have some more direction for the programme." Frenchman Stephan Sarrazin was in charge of the testing duties for the Prost team today, taking over from Spanish driver Oriol Servia. Sarrazin was 11th quickest driving the Michelin-shod AP04.

Giancarlo Fisichella replaced teammate Jenson Button at the wheel of the recalcitrant Benetton-Renault B201, but the team's luck continued unaltered, and they struggled yet again, with Fisichella ending the session near the bottom of the time sheets.

Spaniard Marc Gene was the only driver present today for the Williams team after Ralf Schumacher was forced to take the day off due to illness. Gene was slowest today, nearly three seconds off the best time.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time   
 1.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari             (B)    1:20.561 
 2.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:20.945
 3.  Panis         BAR-Honda           (B)    1:20.947
 4.  de la Rosa    Jaguar-Cosworth     (M)    1:21.180
 5.  Trulli        Jordan-Honda        (B)    1:21.239
 6.  Badoer        Ferrari             (B)    1:21.302
 7.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:21.335
 8.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda           (B)    1:21.572
 9.  Burti         Jaguar-Cosworth     (M)    1:21.902
10.  Verstappen    Arrows-Asiatech     (B)    1:22.032
11.  Sarrazin      Prost-Acer          (M)    1:22.141
12.  Bernoldi      Arrows-Asiatech     (B)    1:22.221
13.  Fisichella    Benetton-Renault    (M)    1:22.241
14.  Gene          Williams-BMW        (M)    1:22.293

All Timing Unofficial



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