MARCH 21, 2001

Badoer tops testing again

LUCA BADOER topped the times for the second day in a row as testing continued at the Barcelona circuit on Wednesday.

LUCA BADOER topped the times for the second day in a row as testing continued at the Barcelona circuit on Wednesday.

The test produced warm but windy conditions for the eight Formula One teams in attendance, with only Minardi, BAR, and Sauber missing.

Badoer began the day in the F2000 car to finish off Tuesday's electronics testing, but later moved to the F2001 for his first drive in the car which made its first appearance at the circuit.

Work then concentrated on obtaining the best set-up for the track at which the Spanish Grand Prix will take place in late April, and Badoer was pleased with the performance of the F2001.

"It felt really good straight away," he said. "You can tell the car is basically sound from all points of view - chassis, engine, and driveability."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen took second fastest time for Jordan, but just 0.08 seconds ahead of the McLaren of Alexander Wurz.

Eddie Irvine managed a fourth quickest time for Jaguar despite an engine change which put him out for most of the day and limited him to just six laps.

Williams had a busy day continuing development and hoping to improve their car to build on their Malaysian Grand Prix performance. Juan Pablo Montoya put in 63 laps working on traction control and engine systems in preparation for the driver aid's re-introduction to Formula One at the Barcelona race in April.

Montoya also worked on tire development in the afternoon, while team tester Marc Gene worked on suspension and set-up with an old FW22 chassis, but was left stranded on the track with a mechanical failure which put a temporary stop to the session.

Johnny Herbert was in Barcelona working for Arrows again, and despite suffering some electrical problems he ran 40 laps in the old A21. Enrique Bernoldi was out in the new Arrows, and clocked a time just 0.006 seconds slower than the team's British test driver.

Jenson Button's 2001 season continued to test the Briton's patience as he suffered engine maladies and could only manage 17 laps as he tried to run in Benetton's fourth chassis. He also had a bit of excitement when he spun and was nearly hit by Montoya.

Prost continued to test without an official test driver, and it was Spanish CART driver Orial Servia who took the seat, but struggled to set a decent time, ending the session last, over 4.5 seconds off the pace.

World champion Michael Schumacher is expected to join the test for Ferrari on Thursday.

Times from Wednesday's testing at Barcelona:





LUCA BADOER  Ferrari  1:21.047




ALEXANDER WURZ  McLaren  1:21.381


EDDIE IRVINE  Jaguar  1:21.885


JUAN PABLO MONTOYA  Williams  1:21.974


JOHNNY HERBERT  Arrows  1:22.002


ENRIQUE BERNOLDI  Arrows  1:22.008


MARK WEBBER  Benetton  1:22.422


MARC GENE  Williams  1:22.455


PEDRO DE LA ROSA  Jaguar  1:22.568


JENSON BUTTON  Benetton  1:24.274


ORIOL SERVIA  Prost  1:25.675