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Silverstone day three - McLaren stay on top 06 Jun 2005

Pole sitter Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren Mercedes MP4/20 leaves the pits.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Race Day, Imola, Italy, 24 April 2005

McLaren completed a clean sweep at Silverstone on Friday as they topped the times for the third day in succession. Kimi Raikkonen out-paced the Toyotas of Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli to bring the week’s session to a close.

Raikkonen was joined by team mate Juan Pablo Montoya, fifth fastest, with the focus for the pair on continued Michelin tyre testing for the British Grand Prix. Montoya lost some track time after an oil leak contaminated his car’s clutch, requiring a gearbox change. Like all the drivers present, both McLaren men switched on to wet tyres when rain set in mid afternoon.

"I am very happy with how the test went this week,” said Raikkonen. “I completed our scheduled programme without any problems and have some positive results, after having covered more than three Grands Prix distances with my engine yesterday and today. I am now looking forward to getting back on track in Montreal next Friday."

Toyota completed their programme with both race drivers encouragingly high up the order ahead of the forthcoming Canadian and United States Grands Prix. “On Friday we concentrated on more tyre development, this time on longer runs and had some good results,” explained Trulli. “I lost a bit of time in the morning with a precautionary engine change and then we had some typical British weather, which at least allowed us to do some running with intermediate tyres in the afternoon.”

Renault completed their British Grand Prix preparations with a programme centred around further tyre testing and set-up development. Giancarlo Fisichella was fourth fastest, while Fernando Alonso was seventh after being delayed by mechanical problems in the morning.

“We completed another solid day's running, although some problems meant we did not complete as many laps as we hoped to,” commented Renault’s chief test engineer Christian Silk. However, both drivers obtained good information on the tyres, and we continue the set-up work begun yesterday.

“Some rain showers passed through this afternoon, and we made the most of them to conduct some tyre development on wet and full wet compounds. In spite of not running on Wednesday, this has been a productive week and we are in good shape for the Grand Prix here in several weeks' time.”

Williams wound up their work with Mark Webber in sixth and Nico Rosberg ninth. "Today we finished the pre-British Grand Prix Silverstone test,” confirmed technical director Sam Michael. “Although the weather did not prove ideal for dry tyre work, we did go through all the soft and hard tyre programmes that Michelin presented.

“We now have to go through all the data to make our tyre choice for the race here in a month's time. In addition to tyre work, we also worked on set-ups, tested a few different aero parts in readiness for the Canadian GP and signed off some new mechanical parts for the water system. Mark and Nick worked with their usual professionalism and Nico is already making a significant contribution to the team."

"It was a very successful test for us,” added BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen. “We concentrated on making improvements to the start procedure and we also made some progress in terms of traction control."

Red Bull had three men in action - race drivers David Coulthard and Christian Klien, plus American Scott Speed who will join them as third driver at the Canadian and US Grands Prix.

Ferrari and Rubens Barrichello completed the Friday line-up at Silverstone. The Brazilian finished 11th in the timesheets as he continued the F2005 set-up work begun by tester Luca Badoer earlier in the week.

With the following two Grands Prix in North America being back to back, the next major Formula One tests will not take place until the week commencing July 20 at Barcelona and Jerez in Spain.

Unofficial Friday times from Silverstone:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (Michelin), 1:16.953
2. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.568
3. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.865
4. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:19.123
5. Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (Michelin), 1:19.163
6. Mark Webber, Williams (Michelin), 1:19.615
7. Fernando Alonso, Renault (Michelin), 1:19.727
8. David Coulthard, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:19.928
9. Nico Rosberg, Williams (Michelin), 1:19.950
10. Christian Klein, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:20.151
11. Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:20.156
12. Scott Speed, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:23.166