Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello set the pace today [Tuesday] at Valencia, beating Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella, who was a surprise second quickest, by three tenths of a second.

Barrichello was joined by Scuderia test driver, Luca Badoer and between them they notched up over 180 laps for the Maranello based concern, both working on a tyre and electronics programme. Barrichello's best was 1m 11.429s.

Olivier Panis was third in the new Toyota, and team-mate, Cristiano da Matta was sixth, over half a second slower.

"Once again, I had a very good feeling for the TF103 car like I had in Barcelona two weeks ago," commented Panis.

"It has been a generally productive day, although we still have some improvements to make on the car's balance for this track," added the Frenchman. "Despite this, I feel that it has been a very positive start to the week and we have already set some encouraging lap times."

Mark Webber was fourth for Jaguar and Jacques Villeneuve was fifth in the new B.A.R-Honda 005. Seventh was McLaren's Alexander Wurz and ninth was the second McLaren driven by Gary Paffett, making Ferrari's Badoer, who was eighth the 'meat in the Woking-based team sandwich'.

Takuma Sato was the only other runner at the track, the Japanese driver completing 51 laps and setting a best time of 1m 13.118s.

Testing continues tomorrow [Wednesday].

Leading times (28 January) - Valencia:

1. Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1m 11.429s 79 laps*
2. Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Cosworth# 1m 11.703s 66 laps*
3. Olivier Panis Toyota# 1m 11.867s 63 laps**
4. Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth# 1m 11.952s 52 laps**
5. Jacques Villeneuve B.A.R-Honda# 1m 12.384s 65 laps*
6. Cristiano da Matta Toyota# 1m 12.690s 62 laps**
7. Alexander Wurz McLaren-Mercedes 1m 12.774s 41 laps**
8. Luca Badoer Ferrari 1m 12.889s 104 laps*
9. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1m 12.890s 19 laps**
10. Takuma Sato B.A.R-Honda# 1m 13.118s 51 laps*

* denotes Bridgestone tyres.
** denotes Michelin tyres.
# denotes 2003 car

Weather / Track Conditions: Sunny / dry.

 

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