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Paul Ricard day three - Ralf beats Michael 01 May 2006

Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 12 March 2006

Ralf Schumacher edged out older brother Michael in last week’s final day of testing at Paul Ricard on Friday. Ralf was enjoying his first taste of Toyota’s new B-spec TF106 and completed just over 100 laps in the revised car, which is safely on course to make its scheduled race debut at Monaco.

"Today we tried different tyre specifications and set-ups for the coming races,” he said. “I worked with the new car and everything is going as expected, but we had some delays while work was being done on the car and therefore I cannot say a whole lot about it yet.

“In general, we have improved on the tyre warm-up issue and tried various different compounds from Bridgestone. Although the coming races will be challenging because we are still developing the car and our strategy, I think the team is doing a good job and moving in the right direction."

Michael’s work in the Ferrari 248 F1 focused on a Bridgestone tyre development programme. He completed a total of 156 laps of the French circuit, his best time around two tenths of a second slower than his brother’s.

The third and final man on track was Ricardo Zonta in the current Toyota TF106. The Brazilian racked up a further 153 laps, assisting the team in their preparations for next weekend’s European Grand Prix.

"We spent the last three days on a version of the circuit that was new for us,” said Zonta. “We did a lot of Bridgestone tyre work as well as set-up testing for Nurburging. It went pretty well and I put in over 300 laps over the three days. Today we finished the programme early getting through the test after pushing hard the whole day. I think the team can be satisfied with the work we got through during this test."

Ferrari also had Felipe Massa in action on Friday at their Fiorano circuit in Italy. Rain was once again a feature and the Brazilian worked on development of new components, electronics and set-up, with all running taking place on a wet track. He completed 124 laps (12 of them on the short version of the track), the quickest a 1m 01.547s.

Unofficial Friday times from Paul Ricard:
1. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (Bridgestone), 58.840s
2. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 59.087s
3. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Bridgestone), 59.163s