FEBRUARY 20, 2004
The F1 pace hots up at Valencia
Formula 1's propaganda war continued at Valencia on Thursday with McLaren finally wading into battle with a new lap record from Kimi Raikkonen at 1m08.995s, a tenth quicker than Juan Pablo Montoya's lap record of the previous day. Montoya's time was also beaten by Mark Webber in his Jaguar and matched by Ralf Schumacher's Williams. The message coming out of the test is that it is very hard to judge what the ultimate pace is going to be when the cars get down to Melbourne. With the teams now getting into the final days of preparation we are likely to see a few more runs with cars using very little fuel, just to see what they can do.
From the testing results it would seem that McLaren and Jaguar Racing have been doing methodical work and not bothering with lap times up until the last few days and so the cars must be considered to be very fast - if they are using all the necessary weight and not simply showboating for times.
But then again perhaps we have not yet seen the best from Williams...
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