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McLaren lead final day at Jerez 06 Dec 2004

Alex Wurz (AUT) West McLaren Mercedes MP4/19B. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 28-30 September 2004. World © Capilitan/Sutton

Less than a tenth of a second split the McLarens of Alexander Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa in the week’s final day of testing at Jerez on Saturday, with the Austrian driver going quickest.

With the weather much improved, overnight rain left a damp but drying track and the times tumbled accordingly, with the McLarens and Toyota’s Jarno Trulli all dipping under the 1m 20s barrier.

Trulli was back in the cockpit for the Japanese squad after recovering from an eye problem that forced him to miss Thursday’s and Friday’s sessions. "On the evening after our first day here my eye became very painful,” he explained.

“When I went to see a specialist, he found a tiny piece of metal had lodged in it, which I guess I must have picked up while I was testing. He was able to take it out, but the discomfort meant that I had to miss out on driving the car for two days. I felt okay after that and I was able to resume on the last day.

“Apart from that, the week was disrupted by the changeable weather. On the days that I did run I tried out the car in wet conditions and we did some work on electronics. We also tried a downforce level similar to what we can expect next year, but it was difficult to measure performance due to the changing track conditions."

Ferrari were among the five teams present on Saturday, Luca Badoer going fourth fastest and Marc Gene sixth, as the world champions completed their scheduled programme of Bridgestone tyre and new component development.

Splitting the Ferraris in the timesheets was the Renault of Giancarlo Fisichella, with team tester Franck Montagny seventh. Jordan’s Robert Doornbos completed the Saturday line-up, the Dutchman surviving a trip into the Jerez gravel during his 70-plus laps of the Spanish circuit.

Testing resumes at Jerez on Tuesday December 7.

Unofficial Saturday times from Jerez:
1. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:19.745
2. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:19.761
3. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Michelin), 1:19.913
4. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:21.935
5. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:22.206
6. Marc Gene, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:22.401
7. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin), 1:23.296
8. Robert Doornbos, Jordan (Bridgestone), 1:25.542