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Paul Ricard Day 1 - Coulthard quickest 14 Apr 2004

David Coulthard (GBR) McLaren.
Australian Grand Prix Preparations, Rd 1, Albert Park, Australia, 5 March 2004

David Coulthard of McLaren set the fastest time on day one of the testing session at the Paul Ricard circuit on Tuesday.

Coulthard clocked a time of 1m 07.833s to end the day ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn completed more than 60 laps in his McLaren and achieved a best time of 1m 08.075s.

Toyota’s Cristiano da Matta and Ryan Briscoe joined the McLaren drivers at the circuit, with both completing more than 100 laps each in their track time. Da Matta finished the day with a best time of 1m 08.687s, while Briscoe was fourth fastest with a time of 1m 08.967s.

The French circuit is being used as the teams prepare for the opening European race of the Formula One season, at Imola on April 25. McLaren and Toyota will continue testing on Wednesday, with other teams expected to join them.

Elsewhere, Rubens Barrichello set a fastest time of 1m 01.610s at Fiorano. The Ferrari driver, working on tyre development, guided his F2004 through 46 laps of the track in overcast conditions. Barrichello is due to continue testing at the circuit on Wednesday, with Luca Badoer and Andrea Bertolini also on duty for Ferrari at the Vairano circuit.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Paul Ricard:
1. David Coulthard, McLaren (Michelin), 1:07.833
2. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (Michelin), 1:08.075
3. Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:08.687
4. Ryan Briscoe, Toyota (Michelin), 1:08.967