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Jerez day two - De la Rosa in charge 29 Sep 2005

Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/20 in the car of Alex Wurz (AUT) McLaren. Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, Wednesday 28 September 2005. World ©  Hartley/Sutton

Pedro de la Rosa topped the times at Jerez on Wednesday as McLaren began two days of testing at the Spanish circuit in preparation for the final two rounds of the 2005 season.

De la Rosa finished less than half a second ahead of Williams’ Mark Webber after 84 laps, concentrating on front suspension work in the morning and then tyres for the China(where he will drive the team’s third car) in the afternoon. An as yet unexplained engine failure brought his MP4-20 to a halt on its last scheduled lap of the day.

Fellow McLaren tester Alexander Wurz was fourth in the times after 72 laps. Like de la Rosa, the Austrian focussed on front suspension for the first part of the day, but also carried out front damper evaluations in the afternoon.

After running solo on Tuesday, Williams brought their two-day programme to a close. Webber ran 104 laps to go second quickest, while Antonio Pizzonia, now confirmed for the Japanese and Chinese races, took over from Nico Rosberg and finished third fastest after 81 laps.

"Today marked the end of our in-season testing programme,” commented Williams technical director, Sam Michael. “The Williams F1 test team has worked hard all year at various venues to progress the reliability and performance of the FW27. They will now take a well earned break before starting again at the end of November. Mark, Antonio and Nico spent the two-day test concentrating on brake and electronics testing as well as set-up options. The drivers also ran tyre evaluations to select the compounds for Shanghai.”

Red Bull’s Vitantonio Liuzzi was the busiest man on track, the Italian running 110 laps on his way to fifth in the timesheets. Behind him were the Toyotas of Ralf Schumacher and Ricardo Zonta, the latter running the Japanese team’s 2006-specification V8 engine.

Conditions were fine, with track temperatures nearing 50 degrees Celsius. The session continues on Thursday when Renault and BAR join proceedings, both with Brazilian drivers making their Formula One debuts. Renault Driver Development programme member Lucas Di Grassi will get his first outing in the R25, while BAR will test 2004 Indy Racing League champion Tony Kanaan.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Marc Gene continued Ferrari's Bridgestone tyre testing programme at Paul Ricard in France. The Spaniard completed 140 laps, the quickest a 1m 11.402s.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:16.402
2. Mark Webber, Williams (Michelin), 1:16.668
3. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:16.715
4. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:16.825
5. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:17.017
6. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (Michelin), 1:17.603
7. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:20.749