Spaniard leads on home soil
In another promising session for the revised MP4-19B car, McLarens Pedro de la Rosa comfortably topped the times at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain on Wednesday.
De la Rosa was close to a second faster than Williams driver Marc Gene. Fellow McLaren tester Alexander Wurz was third quickest, the Woking teams two men completing over 200 laps between them.
Williams reported a productive first day as they began their three-day programme. In preparation for the French and British Grands Prix, Gene concentrated on tyres and set-up on the FW26, while fellow tester Antonio Pizzonia (seventh fastest, standing in for the recuperating Ralf Schumacher) focussed on set-up and some software development.
Also joining the Jerez test on Wednesday was BAR, who had Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson on track. Both men had their running limited by technical problems in the morning, before making more positive progress in the afternoon. Sato worked on aerodynamics while Davidson looked at chassis development.
As on Tuesday, Ricardo Zonta was at the wheel for Toyota, going fifth fastest behind Sato in the TF104. Conditions at Jerez were again fine, with track temperatures reaching around 45 degrees Celsius. Testing continues on Thursday.
Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:17.098
2. Marc Gene, Williams (Michelin), 1:17.950
3. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:18.167
4. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:18.571
5. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.762
6. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:18.813
7. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:19.869