FEBRUARY 20, 2003
Meanwhile in Barcelona...
Poor weather conditions limited track time again in Barcelona Thursday, where six of the teams continued pre-season testing. The circuit was closed in the morning, but opened after lunch, allowing those who wished to take advantage of the track time.
Mark Webber set the pace in the new Jaguar, fastest on the day by less than a tenth over Jenson Button in the BAR. Button and Jacques Villeneuve wrapped up a disappointing three day test for the team. Both drivers was bothered by a persistent hydraulic problem with the new 005 car, and the Canadian was only able to complete 22 laps Thursday.
Giancarlo continued testing for Jordan Thursday. The Italian was third fastest on the day, while completing a race distance in the new EJ13. The team thought it wise to keep rookie Ralph Firman in the pits for most of the afternoon. The newest addition to the F1 grid will continue testing in the drier conditions which are forecast for Friday.
Renault was also cautious about the wet conditions Thursday. Jarno Trulli was scheduled to test in the new R23, but the team gave him the day off to avoid any possible damage to the car. Fernando Alonso wrapped up the team's week in a hybrid R23, finishing fifth fastest on the day.
Williams continued testing with Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher, as did Toyota with Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta. Unfortunately for da Matta, the Brazilian crashed on his first lap out because of an unidentified mechanical problem.
Testing will continue in Barcelona Friday, where the forecast is for drier conditions.
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