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Montoya leads at Silverstone day one

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Montoya leads at Silverstone day one

Testing kicked off at Silverstone on Tuesday this week with 14 drivers from eight teams present at the British track. McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya was the fastest man with a best time of 1:21.076 and team test driver Pedro de la Rosa was 12th....

Testing kicked off at Silverstone on Tuesday this week with 14 drivers from eight teams present at the British track. McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya was the fastest man with a best time of 1:21.076 and team test driver Pedro de la Rosa was 12th. Set up, tyres and engine development were their programme.

Juan Pablo Montoya.
Photo by xpb.cc.

A few teams were delayed in the morning due to rain showers. Honda drivers Jenson Button and tester Anthony Davidson were second and fifth fastest respectively and completed wet tyre assessment before the cold and wet conditions delayed their schedule. In the afternoon they worked on set up.

Test driver Heikki Kovalainen was third on the time sheet for Renault and Fernando Alonso was just behind in fourth. Due to the weather, Kovalainen switched from a tyre test to gearbox development, while Alonso suffered mechanical problems and could not complete his programme.

"We had a difficult morning with very poor track conditions," said Renault chief test engineer Christian Silk. "In spite of the problem we had on Fernando's car we are satisfied with this first day of testing. We are just hoping for better weather conditions tomorrow!"

Christian Klien was the quicker of the two Red Bulls at work in sixth and teammate David Coulthard was 13th, and both drivers reportedly suffered mechanical problems through the day. Nico Rosberg led Williams' efforts in seventh and team tester Alex Wurz was ninth.

"Alex continued with some front suspension geometry work, which we have been working on over the last few tests, as well as some re-start procedures," said Williams test team manager Mike Condliffe. "Both drivers evaluated a new tyre casing, while Nico also completed an initial tyre compound test this afternoon."

Jacques Villeneuve and test driver Robert Kubica were on duty for BMW Sauber and were eighth and 10th respectively. They did not start work until the afternoon due to the poor conditions, then they focused on set up, tyres and aerodynamics. Nick Heidfeld is due to join Villeneuve tomorrow.

Tester Neel Jani was the sole Toro Rosso present, 11th, and MF1 test driver Giorgio Mondini rounded off the times in 14th. Mondini only ran in the afternoon and worked on control systems and general set up. Racer Tiago Monteiro is scheduled to take over on Wednesday.

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