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Jerez day three - Honda one-two on final day 11 Dec 2006

Jock Clear (GBR) Honda Senior Race Engineer and Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda F1 Formula One Testing, Day 2, Jerez, Spain. 7 December. World © Bumstead/Sutton. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Renault R26 Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain. 8 December 2006. World © Bumstead/Sutton. Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari test driver Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain. 8 December 2006. World © Bumstead/Sutton. Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams Test Driver. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, 8 December 2006. World © Hartley/Sutton. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mclaren MP4/21 Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain. 8 December 2006. World © Bumstead/Sutton.

Honda’s Rubens Barrichello topped the timesheets in Jerez on Friday, clocking a lap time of 1m 19.981s. Barrichello ended the session just under two-tenths faster than team mate James Rossiter.

Although heavy rain at the Spanish circuit during the morning caused a delay to the start of testing, Honda managed to complete their programme. Both Barrichello and Rossiter went out initially on Bridgestone’s extreme wets before switching to dry rubber as the weather cleared up.

“We have had another very productive week, working to acclimatise to the new Bridgestone tyres,” explained Mark Ellis, Honda’s chief engineer vehicle performance. “Since last week’s test in Barcelona, we have been analysing all the data gathered, which has provided us with some new and interesting directions for the car set-up. These have proven to be successful and reflected in our competitiveness this week.”

Lewis Hamilton, who had set the fastest time on Thursday, ended the session in third for McLaren. Hamilton’s team mate, Pedro de la Rosa, was just over one-tenth slower. Both drivers continued to evaluate tyres, but while Hamilton focused on suspension work, De la Rosa spearheaded the team’s aerodynamic development programme.

Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher was fifth, after continuing to test the team’s new tyres. Schumacher was joined on track for a second day by Kamui Kobayashi, a member of Toyota’s young driver programme. The pair were the first to venture out on the sodden Spanish track.

Heikki Kovalainen was Renault’s lead driver in sixth, although team mate Giancarlo Fisichella was seventh, less than two-tenths slower. In the afternoon Fisichella clocked up mileage on the new 2007 gearbox, while Kovalainen collected data on the new tyres, before a mechanical failure ended the Finn’s afternoon early.

“This was a good final day's running for us, which was unexpected given the conditions this morning,” said Christian Silk, Renault’s chief test engineer. “But we ended up making good progress, the new gearbox ran well, and we found some more interesting set-up ideas that we can investigate more fully in our final test before Christmas.”

Anthony Davidson continued his impressive form for new team Super Aguri. Clocking the eighth-fastest time during the day, Davidson completed his chassis testing programme and will be replaced by Takuma Sato in this week’s second session in Jerez.

Nick Heidfeld finished in ninth for BMW Sauber, with Timo Glock in the second car in 10th. With the weather allowing the team to test all types of tyre, it was a busy day with the pair running over 200 laps.

Red Bull, meanwhile, completed their programme with German test driver Michael Ammermuller 12th quickest and race driver David Coulthard in 15th. Scott Speed was the only driver in action for sister team Toro Rosso, finishing just ahead of Coulthard in 14th.

After dominating the session on Wednesday, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Luca Badoer found themselves off the pace on Friday in 13th and 16th respectively. The pair will return to Jerez this week.

Completing the Friday line-up was Kazuki Nakajima in 17th for Williams. It was Nakajima’s first day in his new role as the team’s test driver and he spent most of the day familiarising himself with the car.

The teams will return to Jerez on Wednesday December 13 for another three-day test.

Unofficial Friday times from Jerez:
1. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:19.981
2. James Rossiter, Honda, 1:20.150
3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:20.321
4. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:20.335
5. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota, 1:20.339
6. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:20.372
7. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 1:20.390
8. Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri, 1:20.437
9. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:20.446
10.Timo Glock, BMW Sauber, 1:20.789
11. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota, 1:20.978
12. Michael Ammermueller, Red Bull, 1:20.985
13. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:21.154
14. Scott Speed, Toro Rosso, 1:21.260
15. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:21.325
16. Luca Badoer, Ferrari, 1:21.337
17. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:23.623