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Jerez day one - De la Rosa sets the standard 19 Jul 2006

Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, French Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Magny-Cours, France, 15 July 2006

McLaren’s Pedro de la Rosa set the fastest time in Jerez on Tuesday, during a quiet first day of testing at the Spanish circuit. De la Rosa was the quickest of just three drivers present, clocking a lap of 1m 18.543s, two tenths of a second faster than team mate Gary Paffett.

Both McLaren drivers spent the first day of testing evaluating aerodynamic and mechanical developments and some new engine work from Mercedes-Benz. The team are scheduled to stay in Jerez until the end of the week, preparing for the next three races ahead of the summer test ban.

The third and final car on track was the Williams of Alexander Wurz. The Austrian was the busiest driver of the day, completing a total of 98 laps, although he recorded his fastest time, a 1m 19.631s, at the start of his session.

“Alex resumed testing today at Jerez at a relatively empty track,” commented Williams test team manager Mike Condliffe. “We started with some useful suspension work this morning followed by tyre construction tests this afternoon. It will be much busier tomorrow with a full pit lane.”

Conditions at the circuit were hot and sunny with track temperatures reaching a high of 44 degrees Celsius. On Wednesday more teams, including Renault, Toyota and BMW Sauber are expected to arrive at Jerez, whilst Ferrari will test at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Jerez:
1. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:18.543
2. Gary Paffett, McLaren (Michelin), 1:18.794
3. Alexander Wurz, Williams, (Bridgestone), 1:19.631