Testing update - de la Rosa dominates in dry 11 Dec 2003
The Formula One teams finally got the chance to do some dry-weather testing at Jerez on Wednesday and it was Pedro de la Rosa in the 2004 McLaren who comfortably set the fastest time.
The Spaniard completed over 70 laps in the MP4-19, outpacing the Renault of countryman Fernando Alonso by over half a second. Alonso trialled transmission components for the new R24 and conducted tyre testing with Michelin. He tried new front constructions, as well as reviewing older ones, before moving on to compound development.
Also on track with Renault were test driver Franck Montagny and Formula Nippon champion Satoshi Motoyama, getting his first outing with the team. The Japanese driver put in close to 70 laps and was 12th fastest. "Satoshi acquitted himself well during his test day, showing continual improvement throughout his running," said Pat Symonds, Renault's Executive Director of Engineering.
Juan Pablo Montoya was third fastest for Williams as he carried on with tyre and set-up work. Colleague Marc Gene, 10th, focussed on long runs and reliability of the team's 2004 engine and gearbox. They will be joined by Chinese driver Ho-pin Tung on Thursday morning.
Ferrari concentrated on tyre and engine testing, with Luca Badoer and Rubens Barrichello fourth and sixth fastest respectively. Meanwhile, Jenson Button led BAR's programme, setting the fifth-best time of the day. He was joined by Formula 3000 champion Bjorn Wirdheim, the Swede getting another chance to test with the Honda-powered team.
Mark Webber and Christian Klien continued Jaguar's programme, with the Australian seventh and the Austrian 11th. Toyota rounded out the Wednesday line-up, Olivier Panis ninth fastest and Cristiano da Matta 15th.
Testing continues at Jerez on Thursday.
Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:17.153
2. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 1:17.837
3. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams, 1:18.198
4. Luca Badoer, Ferrari, 1:18.511
5. Jenson Button, BAR, 1:18.538
6. Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 1:19.015
7. Mark Webber, Jaguar, 1:19.046
8. Alexander Wurz, McLaren, 1:19.462
9. Olivier Panis, Toyota, 1:19.587
10. Marc Gene, Williams, 1:19.626
11. Christian Klien, Jaguar, 1:19.811
12. Satoshi Motoyama, Renault, 1:19.996
13. Felipe Massa, Sauber, 1:21.143
14. Bjorn Wirdheim, BAR, 1:21.313
15. Cristiano da Matta, Toyota, 1:21.478
16. Franck Montagny, Renault, 1:27.541