Honda website
Honda website

FEBRUARY 12, 2003

Alonso sets the pace in Valencia

Testing resumed in Valencia Wednesday, and at the end of the day it was Fernando Alonso in the Renault sitting atop the time sheet, where there is usually a Ferrari, Williams or McLaren driver.

Alonso wrapped up a three day test for Renault in the R23 Wednesday, evaluating new engine parts. "We had a useful final day with Fernando," said Technical Director Mike Gascoyne. "He completed a successful evaluation of new engine parts, and concluded a productive three days' work. We will continue our programme next week in Barcelona."

Rubens Barrichello was just eight hundredths off Alonso's pace Wednesday, working in a F2002. The Ferrari driver encountered some engine problems on the day, but was still able to complete over 70 laps. Michael Schumacher continued to run the new F2003-GA in Fiorano Wednesday. Schumacher completed just eight laps before a scheduled overhaul of the car.

Williams continued testing in Valencia Wednesday with Ralf Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya and Marc Gene. Schumacher was third fastest on the day in the new FW25, while his two teammates ended the day at the bottom of the time sheet. Montoya conducted endurance runs in the new car, while Gene continued work in the 2002-spec FW24.

Giancarlo Fisichella took over testing duties from his new Jordan teammate Ralph Firman Wednesday. The Italian worked on chassis balance, as well as control systems testing and engine mapping on the new Cosworth powerplant.

Jenson Button kicked off BAR's testing effort for the week Wednesday, as did Mark Webber for Jaguar.

Testing will continue at the Spanish circuit Thursday.