FEBRUARY 3, 2004
Sato outguns Button
Takuma Sato broke the unofficial lap record at the Circuit de Catalunya, lapping the track at 1m13.797s, a tenth faster than Jenson Button's time on Monday. Sato was driving the BAR-Honda interim car, while Button set his time in the new BAR 006. Sato was well clear of the next fastest runner, Fernando Alonso in the new Renault, who recorded a best lap of 1m14.687s.
The Williams-BMW team continued to work on development and not worry about lap times but Marc Gene and Ralf Schumacher both recorded laps in the low 1m15s. They were joined by Nelson Piquet Jr who completed 67 laps with a best lap of 1m16.431s.
McLaren was also busy with three drivers in action: Kimi Raikkonen being joined by test drivers Alexander Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa. Toyota has Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta in action while Ferrari sent only one car for Rubens Barrichello.
Renault ran test driver Franck Montagny while Button continued his work in the new BAR and Sauber had Giancarlo Fisichella working on the new car. This had transmission problems for most of the day.
The times in the test should be treated with great care as teams do not have to run legal cars in testing and may choose to run under the weight limit in order to impress sponsors of demoralise the opposition.
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