Jenson Button’s uprated 2003-spec BAR-Honda on Thursday smashed Ralf Schumacher’s lap record and lapped Barcelona almost a second quicker than brother Michael.

Jenson Button’s uprated 2003-spec BAR-Honda on Thursday smashed Ralf Schumacher’s lap record and lapped Barcelona almost a second quicker than brother Michael’s Ferrari F2003-GA.


The Briton’s fastest lap was 1.013 seconds quicker than Ralf’s lap record, which the German set on Wednesday. It was the third successive day the lap record at Barcelona tumbled.


"Today the programme was tyre testing, so we were mainly doing long runs," Button said. "We did lots of long runs, but only one quick lap.


"It was the first quick lap we've done in the hybrid car, and we were reasonably happy with it! The car was not nervous at all. It was all right. In the afternoon we did lots of long runs without interruption, so we're very happy," he added.


Six-time world champion Schumacher returned to the cockpit for the first day since the Japanese Grand Prix, immediately going quicker than the hitherto all-conquering Williams-BMW duo.


Ralf, who hadn't even seen Michael since that Suzuka race, was still positive about the FW26: “This is the best Williams I have ever driven. I've never had such a good start to a season.”


Most drivers performed tyre tests, including Jordan-Ford hopeful Nick Heidfeld, and Juan-Pablo Montoya, who completed a race simulation for Williams-BMW. Renault’s Fernando Alonso was third quickest in the new Renault, clocking 102 laps. French test driver Franck Montagny evaluated the R23B.


Barcelona testing session – January 23:

Pos Driver Car Time Laps

1 Jenson Button (BAR-Honda) 1m14.607s 85

2 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) 1m15.410s 95

3 Fernando Alonso (Renault) 1m15.505s 102

4 Ralf Schumacher (Williams-BMW) 1m15.736s 63

5 Luca Badoer (Ferrari) 1m15.767s 86

6 Marc Gene (Williams-BMW) 1m15.820s 46

7 Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams-BMW) 1m16.251s 97

8 Olivier Panis (Toyota) 1m16.507s 98

9 Giancarlo Fisichella (Sauber-Petronas) 1m16.529s 66

10 Takuma Sato (BAR-Honda) 1m16.560s 90

11 Mark Webber (Jaguar) 1m17.173s 144

12 Franck Montagny (Renault) 1m17.447s 130

13 Nick Heidfeld (Jordan-Ford) 1m17.530s 49

14 Christian Klien (Jaguar) 1m18.029s 46

15 Ryan Briscoe (Toyota) 1m18.106s 62

16 Timo Glock (Jordan-Ford) 1m18.236s 36

Original article from Car