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Paul Ricard day one - McLaren run solo 22 Mar 2006

Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) McLaren Test Driver. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 11 January 2006. World ©  Hartley/Sutton

McLaren returned to testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France on Tuesday, following a three week break due to the Bahrain and Malaysian Grands Prix. However the session was affected by wet weather conditions, with heavy rain overnight and drizzle during the day making track conditions difficult.

Pedro de la Rosa was at the wheel of a new MP4-21 chassis, with the planned programme for the week to shakedown the car. The Spaniard ventured out of the garage on a couple of occasions during the morning, which allowed the test team to complete some initial systems checks.

The afternoon saw de la Rosa, who was running on intermediate Michelins, complete more significant running on track, taking his total for the day to 637km over 155 laps. Using the circuit’s 4.11km lap configuration, his best time was a 1m 14.264s.

Gary Paffett was also scheduled to drive an interim MP4-20, with his focus on Michelin tyre selection for Australia and San Marino. However with the wet track conditions, McLaren decided they would not have obtained any useful data from tyre testing so Paffett did not complete any running.

Testing is due to continue at Paul Ricard until Friday. McLaren will be joined on track by Renault, Toyota and BMW Sauber from Wednesday.