De la Rosa kicks off Jerez test

Testing resumed in the wake of the French Grand Prix and McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa topped the time sheet on Wednesday at Jerez. The team started the week's activities at the Spanish circuit on Tuesday but with only three drivers on track there...

Testing resumed in the wake of the French Grand Prix and McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa topped the time sheet on Wednesday at Jerez. The team started the week's activities at the Spanish circuit on Tuesday but with only three drivers on track there was little to report. Today de la Rosa's best of 1:17.547 led a field of 15 from 10 teams.

Fellow McLaren test driver Gary Paffett was also on duty and was sixth fastest. Development of aerodynamic and mechanical components were the focus for the pair, and also tyre evaluation for the next race, the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim at the end of this month.

Second quickest was Renault tester Heikki Kovalainen, six tenths off de la Rosa. The team also had young development driver Jose Maria Lopez on duty, 11th fastest. Tyre work for Hockenheim and chassis configuration for Monza was their programme.

"Jose didn't have an easy task today, running in low downforce configuration to put miles on the car," said chief test engineer Christian Silk. "With a less than optimum set-up for this circuit, he kept the car on track and completed a useful R&D programme."

Honda had tester Anthony Davidson and Jenson Button on track, third and fourth respectively. Davidson worked on engine and chassis tests then tyres in the afternoon, while Button initially focused on set up then aero and suspension evaluation.

Test driver Robert Kunica led the way for BMW Sauber in fifth and team race Nick Heidfeld was 13th. Aerodynamics, tyres and set up work were their focus for the day and both drivers are scheduled to continue on Thursday.

Toyota had both its test drivers on duty, Ricardo Zonta seventh and Olivier Panis 10th. "We put in many laps today on a busy track and in these hot conditions," said Zonta. "The car performed well and I did not have any problems."

"I worked on long runs the whole day to compare tyre compounds for the next race. We also did some set-up work to find a good balance for the car. Tomorrow we are planning on continuing long runs to take advantage of these condition for the Hungary race as well."

Tester Robert Doornbos led the Red Bull duo in seventh and David Coulthard was 12th. Alex Wurz was the sole Williams representative and the team test driver was ninth fastest. "Alex completed 95 laps on his second day of testing here at Jerez today in very blustery, but hot and dry conditions," said Williams test team manager Mike Condliffe.

"We started with some comparison tests on the set-up of the car and then moved on to test some new suspension components. In the afternoon, we carried out further set-up changes before completing brake work and longer runs for compound checks."

Toro Rosso tester Neel Jani was 14th and MF1 counterpart Giorgio Mondini rounded off the times in 15th. Meanwhile, Ferrari was at work in France with test driver Marc Gene and Felipe Massa on duty at Paul Ricard. Massa was the quicker of the two with a best time of 59.627 and the pair mostly worked on tyres for the upcoming races.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , David Coulthard , Nick Heidfeld , Ricardo Zonta , Anthony Davidson , Marc Gene , Alexander Wurz , Felipe Massa , Robert Doornbos , Heikki Kovalainen , Gary Paffett , Neel Jani , Jose Maria Lopez , Giorgio Mondini
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso , Williams