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Paul Ricard day three - McLaren move ahead 19 Jun 2006

Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) McLaren Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Nurburgring, Germany, 5 May 2006

Pedro de la Rosa put McLaren top of the timesheets in Friday’s final day of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France. De la Rosa was less than a tenth of second quicker than the Ferrari of Felipe Massa.

"We have completed a productive three-day session, as we continued our preparations for the Canadian and United States Grands Prix,” explained McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh. “As both tracks have similar characteristics, dominated by long, fast straights and hard braking zones, we have been working through aero, set-up and brake work with Kimi (Raikkonen), Gary (Paffett) and Pedro. The adaptability of Ricard has allowed us to simulate the conditions at the two North American races, and the aero testing has included the wing packages for the events.

“Alongside this, the test team has completed tyre selection with Michelin for Indy, with Canada tyres already confirmed at the last Ricard test in late May. The week has seen reasonable running, with the three drivers covering over 2,600km in total. Today, both Pedro and Gary had some time in the garage to allow for engine changes at the end of the respective lifecycles, and were able to get back on track to continue running."

At Ferrari, Massa and Luca Badoer completed the team’s programme, focused primarily on development of Bridgestone tyres and on experimentation with new aerodynamic solutions, as well as evaluation of mechanical and electrical components.

Ferrari also had Marc Gene in action at their home circuit of Fiorano. Gene was charged with shaking down the cars the team will use at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix. The Spaniard covered eight laps, divided equally between the standard and short versions of the track, with a best time of 1m 03.594s.

Unofficial Friday times from Paul Ricard:
1. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:23.858
2. Felipe Massa, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:23.905
3. Gary Paffett, McLaren (Michelin), 1:24.221
4. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:24.838