McLaren, Sauber kick off Barcelona test

MCLAREN and Sauber began testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, where David Coulthard topped the time sheets ahead Nick Heidfeld and teammate Alexander Wurz.

Coulthard got his first taste of the new MP4/17, completing 60 laps, interrupted briefly by a minor mechanical problem in the morning session.

"It's good and it [the MP4/17] feels like it's got potential , although it's early days yet," said the Scotsman. "The truth will be discovered in Melbourne. It is certainly better in some areas than last year's car. We've covered a number of laps and there are no major problems. We've tried lots of different set-ups and all are positive."

Heidfeld tested the new Sauber C21 with a 2001 spec Ferrari 050 engine. "It is important that the initial feeling of a car is good and this was very good," Heidfeld said. "I'm not driving 100% on the limit yet and we have new pieces coming. We've tried basic set-ups to see which direction to go for and we will carry on will our program tomorrow."

Jaguar is expected to join the test on Tuesday.

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