Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Jerez day two - mixed fortunes for McLaren 24 Jun 2005

Alex Wurz (AUT) McLaren Test Driver (Right) talks with an engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 1 April 2005

McLaren’s Juan Pablo Montoya once more led the way in testing on Thursday, as he edged the BARs of Jenson Button and Takuma Sato in the Jerez timesheets.

In hot and sunny conditions, Montoya completed 65 laps on his way to a best of 1m 17.402s. However, team mate Alexander Wurz managed just eight before he returned to the pits reporting a twinge in his shoulder blades.

Wurz visited the medical centre where he was treated for a trapped nerve and advised to sit out the remainder of the test. His place will be taken on Friday by Pedro de la Rosa, with Kimi Raikkonen taking over from Montoya as scheduled.

BAR’s two race drivers showed the Honda-powered team could again be a threat in France, despite their failure to score so far in 2005. Button, working an aero development and tyres, was marginally quicker than Sato, who also evaluated tyres, as well as suspension and brakes.

Renault experienced a frustrating session. Franck Montagny was fourth fastest behind the BARs, despite beaching his car in the gravel at one point, while fellow tester Heikki Kovalainen lost time to an engine failure and finished sixth in the order.

“We had another difficult day, but nevertheless completed some useful running – particularly with Franck’s car towards the end of the day,” said Renault’s chief test engineer Christian Silk. “We are hoping for a trouble-free day tomorrow, when Fernando (Alonso) will once again be back in action, in order to complete the essential items of our preparation for the next two races.”

Toyota’s French Grand Prix preparations continued with Ricardo Zonta heading Olivier Panis in fifth and seventh spots respectively. And for Red Bull, Christian Klien and David Coulthard were again in the cockpit of the RB1, taking ninth and 11th places.

Williams’ presence ensured a full complement of Michelin teams as they began a two-day programme with Antonio Pizzonia and Nick Heidfeld. The Brazilian focussed on tyres on his way to eighth place, with his German colleague at the lower end of the order as he tested new bodywork for the FW27.

Sauber rounded out the Thursday line-up, with Jacques Villeneuve putting in 108 laps in the C24 on his way to 12th place. Villeneuve hands over to team mate Felipe Massa on Friday for more tyre and aero testing.

"In the morning we evaluated new aerodynamic configurations and packages, and then continued with some set-up work,” reported Sauber test engineer, Paul Russell. “Later we did long-runs to further assess Michelin tyres for the race in Magny-Cours. We achieved what we planned for today and seem to have good results."

Testing concludes at Jerez on Friday.

Unofficial Thursday times from Jerez:
1. Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (Michelin), 1:17.402
2. Jenson Button, BAR (Michelin), 1:17.572
3. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:17.731
4. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin), 1:17.821
5. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:17.965
6. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (Michelin), 1:18.109
7. Olivier Panis, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.526
8. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:18.683
9. Christian Klein, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:18.818
10. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:19.238
11. David Coulthard, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:19.448
12. Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (Michelin), 1:19.611
13. Nick Heidfeld, Williams (Michelin), 1:19.968