Button sets pace at Silverstone again

JENSON BUTTON continued Wednesday to lead the large field of drivers testing at Silverstone this week in preparation for the Spanish GP. Button outpaced Williams-BMW driver Ralf Schumacher by a little more than three tenths of a second while continuing development of the Renault R202. Wednesday was Schumacher's first day in Silverstone, and he tested alongside team test driver Marc Gene, who was back behind the wheel just one day after his rather large accident at the British circuit.

Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine ended the day third on the time sheets, behind Ralf, while working on balancing the R3, as well as some aerodynamics.

Nick Heidfeld continued to test at Silverstone for Sauber Wednesday, while his teammate, Felipe Massa, continued testing in Italy. Sauber has been concentrating on aerodynamic setup for Spain, as well as tire development. "We had another good run today, with plenty of work to get our teeth into," said Heidfeld. "The only problems were when the sessions had to be stopped twice because of red flags brought out by other drivers who had trouble on the circuit. The Sauber Petronas C21 ran well throughout, and I'm really pleased we were also able to try some practice starts so we can improve that aspect of things in Barcelona."

BAR-Honda tested with three drivers Wednesday. Olivier Panis and Jacques Villeneuve joined test driver Anthony Davidson at Silverstone, where Panis was more than half a second quicker than his teammates on the day.

Giancarlo Fisichella joined his teammate, as well, on Wednesday. Fisichella and Takuma Sato tested suspension geometries and worked on traction control for Jordan-Honda, as well as conducting a short tire program for Bridgestone.

Minardi, the only team not to test somewhere in Europe on Tuesday, joined the Silverstone test Wednesday with Alex Yoong behind the wheel. The team tested a new power-steering system, revised engine and transmission control software, suspension modifications and a few aerodynamic tweaks on the PS02. Mark Webber will take over for his teammate for the teams final testing day on Thursday.

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