Red Bull boosts morale with Barca banzai

Thu, 15 February 2007, 12:39

David Coulthard made a surprise appearance at the top of the testing time sheets as Barcelona on Wednesday staged the final day of pre-season testing in Europe.

According to sources at the Circuit de Catalunya, the Red Bull driver’s ‘RB3’ was running low fuel and new tyres, and trackside observers noted that the Scot may have been allowed to attack the curbs with unusual vigour to honour the rare visit of team boss Dietrich Mateschitz with a quick time.

“Right or wrong, a quick lap time sure is good for morale,” a Red Bull statement said.

It should also be noted that Coulthard’s time, while quickest of the day, lagged significantly behind the ultimate pace throughout the Spanish test. Vitantonio Liuzzi, in the nearly-identical Toro Rosso ‘STR2’, was five seconds slower than the flying Red Bull on debut.

World champion Fernando Alonso, fourth on Wednesday’s standings and also slower than Nick Heidfeld’s BMW, admitted that he is “confused” about the genuine balance of power.

“We have to wait until Australia,” the McLaren driver said in a radio interview for ‘As’. “The most important thing is not to always be fastest but to always be close to the best times and be looking for reliability.

“The testing lap times are really a mess.”

Not enjoying good reliability on Wednesday, meanwhile, was Renault, whose Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen both suffered stoppages.

Runners for Toyota, Honda, Red Bull, Williams and Ferrari also failed to complete uninterrupted programmes, while BMW’s Sebastian Vettel ran off the track.

Cars will be shipped to Bahrain over the weekend for next week’s final test of the pre-season. Spyker and Williams are scheduled to run at Valencia.

Testsession Barcelona day 3
1. D. Coulthard Red Bull 01:21.855 112
2. N. Heidfeld BMW 01:21.958 96
3. F. Massa Ferrari 01:21.964 92
4. F. Alonso McLaren 01:22.103 114
5. N. Rosberg Williams 01:22.280 86
6. L. Hamilton McLaren 01:22.292 125
7. K. Räikkönen Ferrari 01:22.369 45
8. F. Montagny Toyota 01:22.446 107
9. G. Fisichella Renault 01:22.758 90
10. H. Kovalainen Renault 01:22.783 56
11. M. Webber Red Bull 01:22.834 61
12. J. Button Honda 01:23.061 91
13. R. Barrichello Honda 01:23.257 39
14. A. Wurz Williams 01:23.275 39
15. S. Vettel BMW 01:22.569 56
16. R. Schumacher Toyota 01:23.789 82
17. C. Albers Spyker F1 01:23.947 87
18. T. Sato Super Aguri 01:24.568 123
19. V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso 01:26.269 30


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