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Jerez day four - Zonta puts Toyota in front 14 Jan 2005

Ricardo Zonta (BRA) Toyota TF104B. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 10-16 January 2005. World © Bumstead/Sutton

Toyota moved ahead at Jerez on Thursday, albeit with the older TF104B, rather than the team’s new car, in the hands of Brazilian test driver Ricardo Zonta.

Zonta, in his first day of the week at the Spanish track, clocked a best time of 1m16.677s after close to 100 laps. He will continue work until Sunday. Meanwhile, Jarno Trulli got his first taste of the new TF105 and went seventh fastest, also completing over 90 laps.

At McLaren, new team mates Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya tested together for the first time. There was little to split the pair, who were second and third respectively, with the Colombian little over a tenth behind the Finn, despite completing around 30 laps less (93 to 125).

There was similarly little in the times between Williams pair Nick Heidfeld and Antonio Pizzonia, both hopefuls for the remaining 2005 race seat with the team. Heidfeld was marginally quicker after144 laps, the most of any driver present. The German worked on tyres, engine mapping and set-up, while Pizzonia’s concerns were brake ducts, traction control and cooling systems, the Brazilian completing 95 laps.

Renault wrapped up their one-car programme, with Franck Montagny sixth fastest. "We had another productive day of tyre testing, reaching a race distance with 2005 spec tyres and recording promising results,” said chief test engineer Christian Silk. “We have made good progress again this week, and the car ran without problems, averaging around 530 km per day."

Enrique Bernoldi and Jenson Button progressed BAR’s development work in the team’s black ’05 Concept cars. Bernoldi was the quicker, despite being hampered by a mechanical problem as he carried out a race-simulation programme. Button ran a varied programme, including tyre, gearbox and suspension work. BAR will, like Renault, next be on track at Jerez on Saturday for a Michelin wet-weather tyre test.

Marc Gene was back in action for Ferrari following his crash on Wednesday. The Spaniard finished bottom of the timesheets after 108 laps working on electronics, new components and Bridgestone tyres.

Fine conditions prevailed again for Thursday’s running at Jerez, with clear blue skies and track temperatures reaching 22 degrees Celsius. Testing continues on Friday, ahead of Saturday’s scheduled wet-weather work.

Unofficial Thursday times from Jerez:
1. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:16.677
2. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (Michelin), 1:16.814
3. Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (Michelin), 1:16.950
4. Nick Heidfeld, Williams (Michelin), 1:17.039
5. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:17.177
6. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin), 1:18.060
7. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.422
8. Enrique Bernoldi, BAR (Michelin), 1:18.580
9. Jenson Button, BAR (Michelin), 1:18.890
10. Marc Gene, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:19.044