De la Rosa top at Barcelona

Thursday at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya saw 13 drivers from seven teams on track and Pedro de la Rosa topped the times with a 1:14.543. The Spaniard was the sole McLaren driver on duty and concluded the team's three-day test with work on ...

Thursday at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya saw 13 drivers from seven teams on track and Pedro de la Rosa topped the times with a 1:14.543. The Spaniard was the sole McLaren driver on duty and concluded the team's three-day test with work on calibrating the car for the Australian Grand Prix.

"Our final test with the MP4-20 before the start of the season in 17 days in Melbourne gave positive results to the entire team," said Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug. "Everybody in the team has had a very stressful last four months, and a good result in the first race would be the best reward for all of us."

Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella was second fastest and teammate Fernando Alonso was sixth. The pair each completed a race distance and also worked on tyres. "We completed over 100 laps with both cars, and although there is still much to do before Melbourne, we are now making good progress in our preparations," said chief test engineer Christian Silk.

Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher ended Ferrari's test week in third and fourth respectively. Barrichello concentrated on set up and tyres while Schumacher carried out an endurance run. Both will be back at work on Monday at Valencia.

Christian Klien led the trio of Red Bull cars in fifth, with David Coulthard and Vitantonio Liuzzi in seventh and ninth respectively. The team's three day test included race and qualifying simulations and all three drivers piloted an RB1 chassis. Red Bull reported that the technical package is sound and the engine is reliable and stable.

Nick Heidfeld clocked eighth quickest and team tester Antonio Pizzonia was 10th to conclude Williams' work for the week. Long runs and tyre work were the focus of the team's test. "We did not encounter any major mechanical problems with the car," said technical director Sam Michael.

Ralf Schumacher was the sole Toyota on track, 11th, and Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro rounded off the times in 12th and 13th respectively. Tyres, set up work and pit stop practice were the order of the day for the two F1 rookies.

"I did 74 laps today and we tried a lot of new things with the car, especially tyre work for Bridgestone," said Karthikeyan. "We also carried out some set-up changes and we are quite happy with the progress we have been making."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Antonio Pizzonia , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Nick Heidfeld , Norbert Haug , Tiago Monteiro , Vitantonio Liuzzi , Christian Klien
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Williams , Jordan