Honda website
Honda website

JANUARY 15, 2003

Teams push forward in Barcelona

Testing continued in Barcelona Wednesday, where 14 drivers took to the track for their respective teams, while the FIA and team bosses met in London to discuss cost cutting measures.

For the second day in a row, McLaren's David Coulthard set the fastest time of the day. Coulthard was followed closely on the time sheet by teammates Alexander Wurz and Kimi Raikkonen.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen was fourth fastest during his first stint in the new Sauber C22. Frentzen completed 75 laps in the new car, while Nick Heidfeld was behind the wheel of a C21, for the team's last test with the car.

"I was very excited to get my hands on the C22 for the first time today, after the way Nick spoke about it yesterday," said Frentzen. "I have to say he was right. The car feels more stable than the C21 and easier to drive. It's going to be good."

Olivier Panis and Cristiano Da Matta continued testing for Toyota, and Marc Gene, Juan Pablo Montoya and Olivier Beretta tested for Williams. Beretta is replacing Ralf Schumacher, who's back injury will keep him off the track until the new car is ready for testing.

BAR joined the test Wednesday, with Jenson Button shaking down the new BAR 005 for the first time, just a day after it was launched in Barcelona.

"Today has been a good start," said Button. "It's difficult to judge the car in performance terms because we haven't really started on our set-up work, but generally I'm very pleased with what we've achieved today. This is the first time we've run the new engine and we've mainly focused on reliability and checking things through."

Renault also ran with Fernando Alonso and new test driver Alan McNish. Jarno Trulli was scheduled to be in the car but was not feeling well, so McNish took over his duties.

Testing at the Circuit de Catalunya will continue Thursday.