JANUARY 20, 2005
For what they are worth (the testing times)
Reading too much into the testing times at this time of year is a very dangerous thing to do and so one should be very careful about being sucked into the belief that Red Bull Racing is going to be competitive this year because David Coulthard topped the time sheets today in Barcelona. His time of 1m16.134s was seven-tenths off the best time achieved this week by Michael Schumacher but still ahead of the best achieved by Williams and Toyota. But this proves nothing. Similarly the fact that Antonio Pizzonia was seven-tenths faster than Nick Heidfeld and Christian Klien is much faster than Tonio Liuzzi is not necessarily indicative of the real levels of competitiveness. Only the teams know the details of who was running with which fuel loads and on what tyres - and they are not going to be giving much away.
Down in Valencia Alexander Wurz was well ahead of Franck Montagny's Renault and almost two seconds clear of the two BAR-Hondas, an illustration that the times are not to be trusted.
In the meantime Ferrari ran the F2004M for the first time. This is the car which will Ferrari will be using until the new F2005 is ready in May. The initial shakedown tests at Fiorano were carried out by Andrea Bertolini.
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