F1

Montoya takes over at Jerez

Montoya takes over at Jerez

It was another busy day at Jerez, with 16 drivers at work on the Spanish track as testing continued. McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya set the best time of the day, 1:16.803, while team tester Pedro de la Rosa was 11th. McLaren describes the unusual ...

It was another busy day at Jerez, with 16 drivers at work on the Spanish track as testing continued. McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya set the best time of the day, 1:16.803, while team tester Pedro de la Rosa was 11th. McLaren describes the unusual additions to Montoya's MP4-20 as a "new roll hoop mid wing", as the team looks at aerodynamic solutions to regain downforce. Tyre work was the main order of the day for the drivers.

"We have been experiencing understeer today, but we are aware of this problem and are confident it will be solved by the end of the week," said Montoya. "I have completed several long scheduled runs today and have also been working with members of the race team, building up a good rapport with them ahead of the Australian Grand Prix."

Nick Heidfeld was second quickest for Williams and teammate Mark Webber was ninth. The pair worked on set up and tyres. "Nick enjoyed another productive day today at Jerez, managing to clock a massive 122 laps in the FW27 while carrying out set up work and tyre testing with Michelin," said test team manager Tim Newton.

"Mark, unfortunately, didn't have quite such a successful day following technical problems in the morning and an off in the afternoon, both of which confined him to the garage for the majority of the day. Both drivers will continue testing tomorrow, by which time we will hopefully have rectified the problem on Mark's car."

Rubens Barrichello was fourth on the time sheet in the interim Ferrari F2004M and team tester Luca Badoer was 14th in the F2004. Tyres, engine and set up were the focus of the day. Fernando Alonso led the Renault pair in fifth, with Giancarlo Fisichella seventh. Both tested tyres but were hampered by mechanical problems that limited their running.

Christian Klien was ahead of David Coulthard, the Red Bull pair being sixth and 10th respectively, while test driver Ricardo Zonta was the lead Toyota. He was eighth quickest and the team also had Jarno Trulli on duty, 15th. BAR continued with tester Anthony Davidson 12th and Takuma Sato rounded off the times. Sato had another off track incident after his big crash yesterday and, although unharmed, quit for the day after only a dozen laps.

At Silverstone in the UK, Jordan began its first test of the year with new signings Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro sharing duties in the Jordan Toyota EJ15. Sporting director Trevor Carlin said the car had shown good reliability and he was impressed with the drivers' performance. "The car has run faultlessly today," he commented.

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