BAR-Honda's Takuma Sato set the pace today [Thursday], during the third and final day of testing at Silverstone.

Taku, who completed 82 laps, managed a best time of 1 minute 17.397 seconds, fractionally up on Kimi Raikkonen, who was second quickest overall today, and who incidentally set the quickest time of the week yesterday [a 1m 16.150s].

Jacques Villeneuve was third, after familiarising himself with the Renault R24 on Tuesday, the Canadian just three tenths slower than Raikkonen, and reportedly more than happy to be back in an F1 car.

BMW WilliamsF1 duo, Ralf Schumacher and Marc Gene were fourth and fifth respectively, completing 143 laps for the Grove based squad, the two separated by less than a tenth of a second.

"We haven't made as much progress as we'd liked to have done this week due to various technical problems that compromised our running time," said Williams test team manager, Tim Newton. "However, it's preferable to experience the problems in testing and remedy them before the parts go to the race track, which is what we've done.

"Ralf spent his first test following his accident and subsequent recuperation period acclimatizing himself with the numerous developments we've made to the car since he last drove it. We completed a lot of set-up work with him and Ralf gave us plenty of interesting feedback. As usual, we carried out extensive tyre testing with Michelin in preparation for the last three races of the season."

Toyota new boy, Jarno Trulli meanwhile was sixth, following the confirmation today that the Italian has signed a deal with the outfit to race in 2005, alongside Ralf Schumacher.

"The Toyota team has given me a splendid welcome and we've already started to work well together in our first day of testing," he said. "It's also nice to be working again with Mike Gascoyne, who is an excellent engineer. It's still too early to judge the car. I've found some very good, positive aspects to the package, while there are parts, which can still be improved."

Trulli was over a second up on the second Toyota, driven by test/third driver, Ryan Briscoe. Briscoe's best lap was a 1m 19.147s, although he had been conducting a different programme to Trulli, who spent the day, much like JV did yesterday, getting use to his new car.

"We put in quite a standard programme of development work, looking at a number of different parts - including electronics, tyre constructions and ballast for the car. It's been nice to have Jarno here for the first time, but obviously on test days like this we are always testing different items, so I've just been concentrating on my own job," noted the Australian.

Of the rest Anthony Davidson was seventh, with Pedro de la Rosa eighth and Franck Montagny ninth. The only other runner on track was Enrique Bernoldi, who completed just 11 laps in the BAR-Honda 006, and unsurprisingly, therefore was slowest.

Leading times (16 September) - Silverstone:

1. Takuma Sato BAR-Honda 1m 17.397s 82 laps M
2. Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes 1m 17.400s 94 laps M
3. Jacques Villeneuve Renault-Renault 1m 17.433s 66 laps M
4. Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1m 17.718s 55 laps M
5. Marc Gene Williams-BMW 1m 17.813s 88 laps M
6. Jarno Trulli Toyota-Toyota 1m 17.911s 83 laps M
7. Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda 1m 17.960s 71 laps M
8. Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes 1m 18.401s 93 laps M
9. Franck Montagny Renault-Renault 1m 19.140s 88 laps M
10. Ryan Briscoe Toyota-Toyota 1m 19.147s 84 laps M
11. Enrique Bernoldi BAR-Honda 1m 21.351s 11 laps M

M denotes Michelin tyres.

All times unofficial - courtesy of McLaren.

Comparative lap times:

British GP 2004:

Fastest lap: Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1min 18.739secs Pole position: Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes 1min 18.233secs