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Da Matta maintains test advantage 14 Mar 2003

Cristiano Da Matta (BRA) Toyota TF103 
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 7 March 2003

As Toyota, McLaren, BMW Williams and BAR Honda continued testing at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain's sherry region yesterday, Brazilian Cristiano da Matta continued to head the timesheets.

The Toyota driver lapped in 1m 18.991s during the course of 73 laps, focusing mainly on race work and tyre testing. He said he was satisfied with his two days' performance, and hands over to team-mate Olivier Panis today.

McLaren again ran Alexander Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa. Wurz was second quickest on 1m 19.525s over 56 laps, which included an off-course moment. De la Rosa covered the same distance, for the fourth fastest time of 1m 20.232s. The Spaniard was highly enthusiastic about his experience in the McLaren Mercedes MP4-17D, describing it as, "The best Formula One car I have ever driven".

Their work centred mainly on reliability running.

Marc Gene again drove the BMW Williams FW25, completing 71 laps and setting a best time of 1m 19.778s. He will be joined today by Ralf Schumacher.

Takuma Sato got a taste of the BAR Honda 005 when he took over from Anthony Davidson, and once again the team focused on reliability and endurance running rather than seeking quick times. The Japanese driver was fifth quickest on 1m 21.143s in his 60 laps.

At Fiorano, Felipe Massa covered another 122 laps, for a best time of 57.496s in a Ferrari F2002.