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Paul Ricard day one - McLaren lead 12 May 2004

(L to R): Alex Wurz (AUT) McLaren Test Driver and Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) McLaren Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Practice Day, Imola, Italy, 23 April 2004 Antonio Pizzonia (BRA) Williams BMW. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, 27 April 2004. World © McNeil/Sutton Ricardo Zonta (BRA) Toyota Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, 7 May 2004 Marc Gene (ESP) Williams Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, 9 May 2004 (L to R): Anthony Davidson (GBR) BAR Test Driver with Takuma Sato (JPN) BAR.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, 7 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 William’s 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 BAR’s 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 circuit’s medical centre and also underwent a precautionary check up at a local hospital. Jenson Button will take over for Wednesday’s 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 Rosa’s 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