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Wurz dominates opening practice 22 Jul 2005

Alex Wurz (AUT) McLaren Mercedes MP4/20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Hockenheim, Germany, 21 July 2005

Alexander Wurz flew the flag for McLaren on his return to Formula One test duties this morning in first practice for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

The Austrian lapped his MP4-20 in 1m 14.277s to head Ricardo Zonta who took his Toyota round in 1m 14.893s. These times compare with Michael Schumacher’s 2004 pole position time of 1m 13.306s and Kimi Raikkonen’s lap record of 1m 13.780s.

Raikkonen himself was third fastest on 1m 15.634s and quite happy with the way things went in this preliminary session which was run in warm, dry conditions. Jenson Button was fourth for BAR on 1m 15.851s, then came Juan Pablo Montoya with 1m 15.901s. Neither McLaren race driver did more than nine laps apiece.

The two Ferraris didn’t quite break into the 1m 15s, but Michael Schumacher lapped his F2005 in 1m 16.259s and Rubens Barrichello was right behind on 1m 16.280s. Vitantonio Liuzzi was on strong form for Red Bull, his 1m 16.733s best leaving him eighth ahead of BAR’s Takuma Sato (1m 16.795s) and Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher (1m 17.197s).

David Coulthard’s 1m 17.277s left him just shy of the top 10 in the Red Bull, and just ahead of Jarno Trulli’s Toyota (1m 17.341s), Christian Klien’s Red Bull (1m 17.423s), Felipe Massa’s Sauber (1m 17.442s), and the Williams of Nick Heidfeld (1m 17.665s) and Mark Webber (1m 17.689s).

There was a gap then to Jacques Villeneuve, who only did eight laps in his Sauber for 1m 18.132s, then a bigger gap before Narain Karthikeyan’s 1m 18.988s for Jordan. Christijan Albers got closest to the Indian’s time in this battle down the back of the timesheets, the Dutchman lapping his Minardi in 1m 19.151s to head Tiago Monteiro (1m 19.400s) and returnee Nicolas Kiesa in the third Jordan (1m 19.933s). New Minardi driver Robert Doornbos was the last timed runner, with 1m 20.108s.

Neither of the Renaults did more than a pair of installation laps due to software problems.