BAR-Honda 'third' driver Anthony Davidson set the pace today [Friday] at Mugello, keeping the Brackley based squad top for the second consecutive day, as testing at the Italian venue drew to a close.

Davidson completed 81 laps in total, the most of any one driver on track, conditions this morning wet, while this afternoon they dried out - his best time was a 1 minute 20.150 seconds.

Jenson Button meanwhile managed only a 1m 27s, in the sister 006, the Brit only running this morning, when for the record he was quickest in the rain.

"Unfortunately we had a few minor problems at the test in Mugello," reflected the Englishman, "I'm disappointed that we didn't achieve all that we would've liked to in our test plan. We struggled for most of the first day to find a set-up that worked, but fortunately, towards the end, we were able to find a balance we were happy with.

"We concentrated most of our efforts on aerodynamics and testing new parts. For the second day of the test we also worked on tyres, but this was hampered a bit by the weather. It was positive to find that the car and tyres worked well in the wet conditions. I'm looking forward to the race in Spain now. We should have a good car there immediately and be competitive right from the beginning of the weekend."

Rubens Barrichello was second quickest, the Brazilian two tenths slower than Davidson, he spent the day continuing to work at the wheel of an Ferrari F2004, focusing on a Bridgestone tyre development programme aimed at the forthcoming races.

Toyota duo Olivier Panis and Ricardo Zonta were the only other drivers on track - third and fourth respectively, the former around eight tenths up on his Brazilian team-mate, despite a precautionary engine change bringing his programme to a premature close this afternoon.

"This was a good test, even though we had reduced running time because of the rain on the last day," commented Panis, "On Thursday I put in a lot of work to adjust the car for me, as well as working on braking and going over kerbs. By the afternoon the track had changed a lot, but we found a good set-up and the car was feeling better.

"We also had a successful test of tyre compounds for the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona on May 9. Although I had to stop for a precautionary engine change in the afternoon, Ricardo covered the rest of the work we had planned."

Zonta was pleased with his four-day outing, with only hydraulic problems interrupting his running on Wednesday and in total he completed 360 laps, reckoning that they have found a number of 'small improvements'.

"I've had another long week of testing mileage at Mugello, which is a physically demanding track," said Zonta. "On the first day I put in over 100 laps, completing a programme working on brakes and strategy. On Wednesday we were working on tyre comparisons for the Spanish Grand Prix, although my day was interrupted by a hydraulic problem in the afternoon.

"On Thursday, we concentrated on more long runs, along with some traction control tuning and work on cooling systems. Overall, it's been a busy week, we've tried a lot of things and made a few small improvements to the car as we prepare for Barcelona."

This was the final day of testing.

Leading times (30 April) - Mugello:

1. Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda 1m 20.150s 81 laps M
2. Rubens Barrichello Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 20.302s 73 laps B
3. Olivier Panis Toyota-Toyota 1m 21.835s 56 laps M
4. Ricardo Zonta Toyota-Toyota 1m 22.630s 55 laps M
5. Jenson Button BAR-Honda 1m 27.156s 34 laps M

B denotes Bridgestone tyres.
M denotes Michelin tyres.

Weather / track conditions: Rain in the morning, wet track drying out late on.

All times unofficial - according to team information.

 

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