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Formula 1 News - February, 2008
Webber plays down Barca test triumph

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2006 World Cup

Feb.8 (GMM) Australia's Mark Webber has played down the fact that he ended the Barcelona test last Sunday with the quickest lap of the day.

At the wheel of Red Bull's new car, the Renault-powered RB4, the 31-year-old went faster even than chasing McLaren, BMW and Renault rivals.

In an official team statement, no mention was made of qualifying or low-fuel simulations, and chief test engineer Ian Morgan said Webber's fastest lap had been "encouraging".

To the news agency AAP, however, Webber said "not much" should be read into the fact that he topped the time sheets.

He said teams run to different test programmes and that he was surprised with the time, which was less than a tenth quicker than the McLarens driven by Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton.

Webber disagreed when he was asked if the electronic aids ban would shake up the pecking order in F1.

"It will be the usual suspects," he predicted, also playing down suggestions that qualifying specialists like himself have adapted better to life without traction control.

"I think most of the guys at this level are reasonably handy so it would be very foolish to say that one's got an advantage because of the new regulations," Webber said.

"Some people have a few opinions out there that it's going to benefit some drivers more than others.

"We'll see once we get into the race weekend as such to see how people adapt to different venues," he added.

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