JANUARY 17, 2003
Alonso quickest in Barcelona
Four teams returned to the Circuit de Catalunya Friday to continue their winter testing programs. McLaren set the pace all week at the Spanish circuit, but they wrapped up their program Thursday, so it was Fernando Alonso in the Renault who was topped the timesheet Friday.
Alonso conducted tire development in a hybrid car, while teammate Jarno Trulli completed suspension development in an R202.
Williams wrapped up their testing for the week with Marc Gene and Juan Pablo Montoya, as the team prepares for the introduction of the FW25 at the end of the month. Mario Theissen revealed that the team changed their program Thursday and Friday after hearing the FIA's plans to prohibit driver aids.
"We have experienced an all round successful test," said Theissen. "The team completed a huge programme in terms of engine and chassis development as well as tire testing. Altogether we achieved a mileage of 3572 km this week in Barcelona. In view of the proposals announced by the FIA on Wednesday we modified our programme from Thursday onwards to include manual starts."
Takuma Sato got is first taste of the new BAR 005 Friday, his first track time since his fifth-place finish in the Japanese GP for Jordan in October. Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson drove the new car earlier in the week, and Jacques Villeneuve will test the 005 in Barcelona next week.
Antonio Pizzonia also continued Jaguar's test program Friday in an interim car. The team plans to start testing the new R4 next week.
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