Paul Ricard day one - McLaren lead 12 May 2004
Some positive news for McLaren on Tuesday as Pedro de la Rosa topped the times in testing at Paul Ricard, where five teams began work in preparation for the Monaco Grand Prix.
De la Rosa put in 114 laps of the French circuit the most of any driver present on his way to a best time of 1m 32.460s, just under a tenth of a second faster than Williams Antonio Pizzonia. In the second McLaren MP4-16 present, Alexander Wurz was sixth quickest.
At Williams, Pizzonia was partnered by follow tester Marc Gene (fourth fastest), the pair putting in over 170 laps between them, working principally on set-up and tyre development with suppliers Michelin.
The Toyota pairing of Ricardo Zonta and Olivier Panis were third and fifth fastest respectively, while BARs Anthony Davidson ended the day seventh after pulling out of the session with back problems.
After being hampered by a gearbox problem in the morning, Davidson was on only his second lap of the afternoon session when he suffered a trapped nerve. He was given the all clear at the circuits medical centre and also underwent a precautionary check up at a local hospital. Jenson Button will take over for Wednesdays running.
Completing the Tuesday timesheets was the Jordan of Timo Glock. The German test driver got the only Bridgestone-shod car present to within two seconds of de la Rosas leading time.
Apart from a shower very late in the afternoon, conditions at Paul Ricard were ideal for testing, which continues at the circuit until Friday.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Paul Ricard:
1. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:32.460
2. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:32.555
3. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota, (Michelin), 1:32.874
4. Marc Gene, Williams (Michelin), 1:32.956
5. Olivier Panis, Toyota, (Michelin), 1:33.165
6. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:33.745
7. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:34.189
8. Timo Glock, Jordan (Bridgestone), 1:34.335