Coulthard Leads Wet Day Two

If Monday’s test session at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona, Spain wasn’t a signal that the 2002 Formula One season has begun in earnest, then Tuesday’s full slate of drivers testing at the track should be.

Eight of the 11 teams that competed in F-1 last year were testing Tuesday, with McLaren’s David Coulthard leading the way. The Scottsman circled the track for 60 laps topping in 1:20.816 on a rainy day. Ralf Schumacher was second fastest in a Williams BMW FW24. Pedro de la Rosa was a surprising third fastest for Jaguar racing, running 53 laps with a top time of 1:23.123. Anthony Davidson was fourth fastest for in a BAR-owned Honda.

The day of testing including big debuts for many teams including the first time Toyota joined the open testing fray, with Allan McNish running 38 laps. He was fifth fastest, circling the track at a top time of 1:26.108.

Tuesday was also Kimi Raikkonen’s first test with McLaren after coming over from Sauber to replace the semi-retiring Mika Hakkinen. Raikkonen completed 34 laps in the McLaren Mercedes MP4-17.

“I really enjoyed my first drive in the McLaren," Raikkonen said. “It was the moment I had been waiting for during the last couple of months. Now I can't wait to try the new MP4-17. I only had a limited amount of running today and it's definitely too early for me to make detailed observations about the car. But I am impressed overall and with the professionalism of the team and observing how David works.”

Ferrari test drivers Luca Badoer and Luciano Burti were eight and ninth fastest in Barcelona. Burti’s 62 laps were his first since his horrific accident in Belgium caused him to miss the final three races of the season. He left Prost to sign for Ferrari in the offseason.

“I am happy with the way testing went,” Burti said. “My aim for today was to get to grips with the car and get some miles under my belt. It was a great feeling driving again after what happened last year and it is fantastic to be part of a team like Ferrari, driving a world championship winning car, the F2001.”

Renault’s Jarno Trulli and Sauber’s Felipe Massa also made their first test runs with their respective teams Tuesday.

“(Trulli) began his first test with the team this afternoon and we are all happy with his
performance,” said Renault Managing Director Mike Gascoyne. “We didn’t start first thing this morning when it was dry but ran during the afternoon in wet conditions. Of course, these weren’t ideal circumstances for Jarno to get to know the car, but he completed 49 competitive laps given the conditions. We worked on electronic systems on Jenson.s car, and this was reflected in his time.

“All in all, we achieved today’s aims, which were to let Jarno get use to the car, and allow Jenson to get back into the swing of things.”

The Jordan Honda team and its driver Giancarlo Fisichella and Takuma Sato are expected to begin testing in Barcelona on Wednesday. The only other teams yet to test this season are Arrows, Minardi, and Prost.

Testing Results
Driver Car Time Laps
1. David Coulthard McLaren 1.20.816 60
2. Ralf Schumacher Williams 1.21.273 29
3. Pedro de la Rosa Jaguar 1.23.123 53
4. Anthony Davidson BAR 1.24.444 24
5. Allan McNish Toyota 1.26.108 38
6. Kimi Raikkonen McLaren 1.28.553 34
7. Juan Pablo Montoya Williams 1.29.196 54
8. Luca Badoer Ferrari 1.29.131 52
9. Luciano Burti Ferrari 1.29.624 62
10. Nick Heidfeld Sauber 1.29.695 35
11. Marc Gené Williams 1.29.729 49
12. Jarno Trulli Renault 1.30.010 49
13. Olivier Panis BAR 1.30.036 32
14. Felpie Massa Sauber 1.31.316 24
15. Jenson Button Renault 1.32.005 10
16. Eddie Irvine Jaguar 1.32.904 23

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