Schumacher tops the times in second day back testing

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER topped the times in his second day of testing for Ferrari at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona on Wednesday.

Schumacher, who only returned to testing duties on Tuesday after recovering from a leg operation since November, completed 95 laps at the Spanish circuit with a quickest time of one minute and 21.163 seconds.

The German driver focused his work in the car on the team's new Bridgestone tires and on the electronics. Ferrari reported no problems with either aspect of the car.

"Schumacher did around 450 kilometers without the slightest technical problem," said Ferrari test team manager Luigi Mazzola. "It seems to me that Michael is in great form, as usual."

Schumacher will continue testing for Ferrari in Barcelona on Thursday when the other drivers attending the test will try to catch him.

McLaren driver David Coulthard recorded the second quickest lap on Wednesday, after topping the times on Tuesday. The British driver posted a best lap of one minute and 21.700 seconds, despite suffering minor gearbox problems in the afternoon.

Coulthard was closely followed in the times by his new team-mate, McLaren test-driver Alexander Wurz, who had a quickest lap time of one minute and 21.798 seconds. Wurz caused the only red flag of the day as he broke down on track after his car's Mercedes-Benz engine failed.

Arrows driver Jos Verstappen took over from his team-mate Pedro de la Rosa and recorded the fourth quickest time with the team's new AMT engine.

Verstappen was fractionally ahead of Jordan's Jarno Trulli, who had replaced team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen for testing and Prost's new driver Gaston Mazzacane, who made his first public drive in the team's new AP04 car and was over two seconds slower than the rest of the field after a spin in the morning session.

Times after Wednesday's test at Barcelona:

Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:21.163
David Coulthard McLaren 1:21.700
Alexander Wurz McLaren 1:21.798
Jos Verstappen Arrows 1:22.366
Jarno Trulli Jordan 1:22.615
Gaston Mazzacane Prost 1:24.656

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