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Silverstone day one - wet and windy 02 Jun 2005

Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, 6 May 2005

Rain hampered testing on Wednesday as this week’s session at the British Grand Prix circuit got underway. Limited dry running in the morning allowed McLaren’s Pedro de la Rosa to set the pace before the showers grew increasingly heavy in the afternoon, forcing the team to end their programme early.

BAR, Renault and Toyota didn’t even start their programmes, opting instead to save a day of their respective testing for later in the week, when hopefully conditions will have improved at the Northamptonshire track.

That left five teams in action for the start of the three-day programme, most focussing on preparations for the forthcoming back-to-back races in Canada and the United States.

Pacesetter de la Rosa, however, concentrated on Michelin tyre development for next month’s British Grand Prix, the Spaniard completing 63 laps, the most of any driver present. Team mate Juan Pablo Montoya managed just 22 on his way to second place, the Colombian working on suspension and set-up in the MP4-20.

Nick Heidfeld was the leading Williams in third place. He was joined by tester Nico Rosberg, who went seventh fastest, both men carrying out set-up work as well as practice starts. Mark Webber takes over from Rosberg on Thursday, with the team planning to evaluate a number of new components for the FW27 during the course of the test.

Red Bull’s Christian Klien, due to return to race action in Montreal next weekend, was fourth in the times. He was joined by junior team member and GP2 star Scott Speed. However, the poor conditions meant the American, who is hoping to get a third driver outing at his home race later this month, completed just one installation lap. With David Coulthard expected to join Klien on Thursday, Speed will probably have to wait until Friday to get another chance to test.

Ferrari had Luca Badoer in action in the F2005, carrying out a programme centred on set-up work and Bridgestone tyres. The Italian covered 23 laps on his way to fifth in the times. He will hand over to Rubens Barrichello on Thursday.

Jordan were the final team present, with Narain Karthikeyan on duty for the Midland-owned squad. The Indian finished seventh in the times after 35 laps.

With track temperatures reaching just 18 degrees Celsius, the teams will be hoping for better conditions when testing resumes on Thursday. Forecasts do suggest an improvement with a dry, slightly warmer session expected.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Silverstone:
1. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:19.729
2. Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (Michelin), 1:20.478
3. Nick Heidfeld, Williams (Michelin), 1:22.044
4. Christian Klein, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:22.556
5. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:22.935
6. Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (Bridgestone), 1:23.276
7. Nico Rosberg, Williams (Michelin), 1:24.097