BMW WilliamsF1 duo Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya continued where they left of yesterday today [Wednesday] at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, by once again topping the times for the Grove based squad, Ralf four hundredths up on his Colombian team-mate.

The German notched up 64 laps, his best a 1 minute 15.620 seconds, the best time of the week so far. JPM meanwhile, completed 45 laps, as Williams continue preparations for 2004 with the new Williams-BMW FW26.

Sam Michael, chief operations engineer at WilliamsF1, told the teams' official website: "Today Juan Pablo and Ralf continued running in the FW26s. Juan continued tyre compound testing and evaluating different mechanical set ups while Ralf spent the day evaluating different mechanical set ups and traction control. Nico Rosberg drove the FW25A today, spending the whole day testing different mechanical and aero set ups."

Fernando Alonso meanwhile was third overall in the 2003 Renault - he was nearly two seconds up on his team-mate Jarno Trulli, who was continuing to run in new Renault, the R24.

Pat Symonds, Renault's executive director of engineering, explained: "It was another encouraging day for the team. Jarno's running was interrupted with a technical problem, but we nevertheless clocked up a further 320km, including some longer runs. The indications remain very good, and the car is running well with a high fuel load, displaying good consistency."

Ferrari duo Rubens Barrichello and Luca Badoer came in fourth and sixth, 'sandwiching' Jenson Button's BAR-Honda that was fifth. Like yesterday the Scuderia had three F2003-GA's at their disposal, as they continued development work with tyres, electronics and the engine.

Nico Rosberg was seventh, running in last year's Williams, while Felipe Massa, Cristiano da Matta and Trulli completed the top ten.

Massa, who was running in the new Sauber C23, commented: "Thanks to a better understanding of the car I could do a lot more runs and we could work much more on the set-up of the C23. Unfortunately we couldn't do our Bridgestone work so well. There were a lot of traffic and stops, but this is normal when so many teams are testing on the same day. Nevertheless I can say that the car is more reliable now."

Only four other drivers were in action, Toyota 'third' driver Ricardo Zonta, Jaguar's Christian Klien; BAR's Takuma Sato and Nissan World Series driver, Bas Leinders, 11th to 14th quickest respectively.

Leinders completed just 17 laps, after going off this morning on his first lap and damaging the Jordan Ford EJ13. He resumed running in the afternoon.

Testing continues tomorrow [Thursday].

Leading times (21 January) - Barcelona:

1. Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1m 15.620s 64 laps M#
2. Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW 1m 15.659s 45 laps M#
3. Fernando Alonso Renault-Renault 1m 15.718s 101 laps M
4. Rubens Barrichello Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 16.026s 67 laps B
5. Jenson Buttton BAR-Honda 1m 16.621s 87 laps M#
6. Luca Badoer Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 16.951s 77 laps B
7. Nico Rosberg Williams-BMW 1m 17.469s 79 laps M
8. Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 1m 17.539s 89 laps B#
9. Cristiano da Matta Toyota-Toyota 1m 17.696s 79 laps M#
10. Jarno Trulli Renault-Renault 1m 17.785s 69 laps M#
11. Ricardo Zonta Toyota-Toyota 1m 17.895s 55 laps M
12. Christian Klien Jaguar-Cosworth 1m 18.087s 55 laps M#
13. Takuma Sato BAR-Honda 1m 18.507s 79 laps M#
14. Bas Leinders Jordan-Ford 1m 21.631s 17 laps B

M denotes Michelin tyres.
# denotes 2004 car .

Weather / track conditions: Sunny.

All times unofficial.

Comparative lap times:

Spanish GP 2003*:

Fastest lap: Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1min 20.143secs Pole position: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1min 17.762secs

* Please note track has been altered since 2003 grand prix.

 

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