Toyota's new signing Olivier Panis was a surprise fastest in the second day of testing at a cool, but dry, Barcelona.

During his 74 laps of running, the Frenchman found a grippy set of Michelin's that put him 0.25secs clear of next fastest Alex Wurz.

"Today I carried out a tyre test in the morning - the first time I do a test with the Michelin tyres. We did quite an extensive test, trying many different types of tyre and I have to say that it has been really productive," said Olivier afterwards.

In the McLaren camp, Wurx was joined by race regular David Coulthard [third fastest] and the Woking based team enjoyed a problem free day of data collection - and were comfortably faster than the Williams trio.

Fourth fastest was the ever-impressive Mark Webber. The Aussie, who having made the move to Minardi was forced to wait patiently after technical problem's silenced his 'Jag' has been consistently on-form [and unlike Pizzonia, out of the tyre walls] ever since.

Today was no exception, and Webber was faster than the Williams, BARs and Renaults - as well as his team-mate. Should Webber keep up such performances, in last season's R3, he's in danger of being accused of running underweight. A compliment indeed.

Meanwhile, Pizzonia himself finally enjoyed a trouble free test in a derivative of the R3, completing 50 laps and finishing ninth fastest of the twelve drivers present as he seeks to restore his confidence.

Williams ended the day with fifth, sixth and seventh fastest times courtesy of Schumacher, Montoya and Gene respectively - the German having joined his team-mates in their tyre testing and general development work.

Behind the Williams drivers was sole BAR representative Anthony Davidson, the reliable Brit - and test team favourite - clocking up 77laps of the Catalunya circuit, with his best a 1min 19.423secs effort, good enough only to beat Pizzonia and the Renault's.

Rounding out the times were the Renault trio of Fernando Alonso, and F1 rookies Romain Dumas and Tiago Monteiro. Alonso unsurprisingly set the pace, but Dumas - in just his second F1 outing - was within 0.4secs of the Spaniard despite shorter seat time [see separate story].

Leading times (4 Dec) - Barcelona:

1. Olivier Panis Toyota 1m 17.196s 72 laps**
2. Alex Wurz McLaren-Mercedes 1m 17.445s 75 laps**
3. David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1m 17.641s 48 laps**
4. Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth 1m 17.812s 55 laps**
5. Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1m 17.835s 53 laps**
6. Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 1m 17.980s 47 laps**
7. Marc Gene Williams-BMW 1m 18.016s 69 laps**
8. Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda 1m 19.423s 77 laps*
9. Antonio Pizzonia Jaguar-Cosworth 1m 20.133s 48 laps**
11. Fernado Alonso Renault 1m 20.863s 65 laps**
11. Romain Dumas Renault 1m 21.277s 41 laps**
12. Tiago Monteiro Renault 1m 25.064s 19 laps**

Key:
* Bridgestone tyres
** Michelin tyres

 

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