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Testing update - a wet session at Barcelona 04 Dec 2003

David Coulthard (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/17D.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, French Grand Prix, Magny-Cours, France, 4 July 2003

David Coulthard set the pace in a wet day of testing in Barcelona on Wednesday. Coulthard, again in the new McLaren MP4-19, edged out Tuesday's leader, Renault's Franck Montagny, by over half a second around the Spanish circuit.

Montagny was working on a wet-weather tyre programme, but his running was curtailed after 37 laps by an accident. Jose-Maria Lopez continued his test with Renault, on extreme wet tyres for safety. He was joined by Finn Heikki Kovalainen, another member of Renault's Driver Development Programme, who went marginally quicker than his colleague, despite only completing eight laps on his first Formula One outing.

"A difficult day in Barcelona, especially because of the conditions," commented Pat Symonds, Renault's Executive Director of Engineering. "We were pleased to see last week's work on wet tyres show the same results today, although Franck unfortunately lost running time with his accident.

"As for the young drivers, Jose-Maria did a very mature job. Times are meaningless in these kinds of conditions, but his confidence and feedback were very good. In the short time he spent on track, Heikki adapted very quickly and was immediately setting the sort of lap times we had expected from him."

Alexander Wurz was third fastest behind Montagny in the older McLaren MP4-17D, with the Jaguars of Mark Webber and Christian Klien in fourth and sixth respectively, split by the Toyota of Ryan Briscoe. The second Toyota of Ricardo Zonta completed the Barcelona line-up.

Testing continues at Barcelona on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Barcelona:
1. David Coulthard, McLaren, 1:28.114
2. Franck Montagny, Renault, 1:28.954
3. Alexander Wurz, McLaren, 1:29.510
4. Mark Webber, Jaguar, 1:30.867
5. Ryan Briscoe, Toyota, 1:30.999
6. Christian Klien, Jaguar, 1:32.222
7. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:32.468
8. Jose-Maria Lopez, Renault, 1:32.751
9. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota, 1:33.493