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Jerez day three - Webber top, Gene crashes 13 Jan 2005

Mark Webber (AUS) BMW Williams FW26 Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 10-16 January 2005. World © Bumstead/Sutton

Williams headed the Jerez timesheets on Wednesday, while Ferrari ended the day bottom after a heavy crash for Marc Gene.

Mark Webber set the pace for the second day in succession in the FW26, the Australian working primarily on tyres. He was joined by potential 2005 team mate Antonio Pizzonia, taking over from Nick Heidfeld. The Brazilian focussed on set-up but only managed sixth in the times as technical problems stopped him running flat out.

Ferrari and McLaren joined the Jerez test on Wednesday and enjoyed contrasting fortunes. Kimi Raikkonen and Alexander Wurz were second and third fastest after a total of 190 laps. However, Marc Gene’s day lasted just 36 laps before an off-track excursion left his Ferrari badly damaged, forcing the team to abandon their programme for the day.

Franck Montagny was fourth fastest for Renault. His prime focus for the day was on tyre testing, completing longer runs on compounds that had shown promise in Tuesday’s performance evaluations. The Frenchman also completed a short software development programme.

"Franck completed almost two race distances during a trouble-free day of testing,” reported chief test engineer Christian Silk. “Our results from the longer distance tyre runs are promising, and we will complete our tyre testing tomorrow."

At BAR, Jenson Button took over from Enrique Bernoldi to join Anthony Davidson in the team’s hybrid ’05 Concept cars. Button was fifth fastest after close to 100 laps of tyre, aero and chassis work, while Davidson was seventh, clocking up 125 laps of tyre evaluation.

Ralf Schumacher completed the Wednesday line-up at Jerez, as the new Toyota TF105 completed the second day of its maiden test programme. The German ended eighth in the times, putting in 70 laps for the Japanese team.

Conditions were again fine and dry at Jerez, though slightly cooler than on Tuesday, with ambient temperatures peaking at around 15 degrees Celsius. Testing continues on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Mark Webber, Williams (Michelin), 1:16.437
2. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (Michelin), 1:16.855
3. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:17.176
4. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin), 1:17.454
5. Jenson Button, BAR (Michelin), 1:17.560
6. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:17.675
7. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:17.700
8. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.242
9. Marc Gene, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:18.248