De la Rosa top at Jerez

The weather improved at Jerez today after two days of wet conditions and McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa was best of the 16 drivers present. In the MP4-19, de la Rosa clocked a 1:17.166 to hit the top of the times, while the second McLaren,...

The weather improved at Jerez today after two days of wet conditions and McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa was best of the 16 drivers present. In the MP4-19, de la Rosa clocked a 1:17.166 to hit the top of the times, while the second McLaren, the MP4-17D, of Alex Wurz was eighth fastest.

Fernando Alonso was second quickest and Renault also tried out Satoshi Motoyama. Alonso tested transmission components for the 2004 car and team tester Franck Montagny did a few shakedown laps with the R23-05 before handing over to Motoyama.

Juan Pablo Montoya was the best of the two Williams on track, third fastest, while tester Marc Gené was tenth. "The circuit started off damp but was dry by the afternoon," said chief operations engineer Sam Michael. "Both cars completed some intermediate tyre testing in the morning for Michelin. Marc did long runs to test the reliability of the new engine and gearbox, while Juan spent the day doing tyre testing and set up work."

"Although the day was interrupted with quite a few red flags we had no mechanical problems all day, an encouraging sign at this early stage. Juan Pablo Montoya and Marc Gené will both be undertaking testing duties again tomorrow. China's Ho-pin Tung will also be running an FW24 in the morning."

Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer was fourth on the time sheet and Rubens Barrichello sixth. Both drove an F2003-GA and worked on tyre and engine tests. Jenson Button was fifth fastest in the '04 Concept car and BAR also tried out Bjorn Wirdheim, who was fourteenth. Olivier Panis was ninth and Toyota teammate Cristiano da Matta 15th, while Jaguar had Mark Webber and Christian Klien seventh and 11th.

Sauber continued with Felipe Massa, 13th quickest, the Brazilian testing gearbox, brakes and electronics. A hydraulic leak forced him to finish his day early. Test driver Neel Jani takes over to complete Sauber's programme tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in Italy, Minardi started its first test of the winter. At the Vallenlunga circuit near Rome the team tried out Argentina's Jose-Maria Lopez and Italian Fabrizio Del Monte. Lopez, who tested for Renault last week, was the faster of the two, 1:11.782. Del Monte was behind the wheel of an F1 car for the first time and clocked a best of 1:15.120. Finn Heikki Kovalainen gets his tryout for the team tomorrow.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi