Wednesday February 13th, 2002
The Renault team continued to dominate on the final day of testing at the Barcelona circuit, where Briton Jenson Button posted the quickest time of the session at the wheel of the Michelin-shod R202.
The French team had topped the timesheets on the first two days of work at the Spanish circuit with Italian Jarno Trulli, who was today replaced by teammate Button.
"We completed our testing in Barcelona with another enjoyable day's work," said Renault's technical director Mike Gascoyne. "Jenson ran a programme similar to Jarno's yesterday, and found the car both consistent and fast. Overall, we have had three very productive days, and are extremely pleased with our progress."
The young Briton completed a massive 88 laps to finish the day nearly a second ahead of German Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
The Arrows driver took over from Brazilian teammate Enrique Bernoldi, as the new Cosworth-powered A23 continued to shine, finishing ahead of Jordan's Takuma Sato. The Silverstone-based squad enjoyed a less troubled day than on Tuesday, and Sato was able to complete 67 laps while teammate Giancarlo Fisichella completed 81.
"It's been a good test, especially today," said Sato. "A problem stopped me from finishing the full race distance, which I really wanted to do.
"The new car is improving all the time, though, and everyone is working very hard, so at the Silverstone test next week we should have ironed out the problems and I will be able to complete a race distance then."
The Jordan duo was split by an impressive Mark Webber, who driving the new Minardi PS02, was fourth quickest. The Australian was also more than three seconds faster than Malaysian Alex Yoong in the second Minardi.
"It was a satisfying day today," admitted Webber. "We did some work in the morning getting to know more about the performance parameters of the car, although we aren't yet running with all of the equipment we will have for Melbourne.
"It was good to get some decent mileage under the belt, both to progress our technical programme and to assist Michelin. There is still work to be done, but we are definitely going in the right direction."
The Barcelona circuit will not host any Formula One tests until March 19.
Visit Atlas F1's Testing Center for further information
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time Laps
1. Button Renault (M) 1:17.687 88
2. Frentzen Arrows-Cosworth (B) 1:18.620 51
3. Sato Jordan-Honda (B) 1:18.962 67
4. Webber Minardi-Asiatech (M) 1:20.249 64
5. Fisichella Jordan-Honda (B) 1:20.387 81
6. Yoong Minardi-Asiatech (M) 1:23.503 24
All Timing Unofficial
Published at 17:24:50 GMT