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Jerez day three - Davidson fastest on final day 18 Sep 2006

Anthony Davidson (GBR) Honda Racing F1 Team Third Driver. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, Day One, 13 September 2006. World ©  Hartley/Sutton. Michael Ammermuller (GER) Red Bull Racing RB2. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, Day Three, 15 September 2006. World ©  Hartley/Sutton. Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault R26 prepares for his last run of the day as mechanics are already dismantling the garage ready to leave the track. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, Day Three, 15 September 2006. World ©  Hartley/Sutton. Michael Ammermuller (GER) Red Bull Racing RB2 goes off into the gravel. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, Day Three, 15 September 2006. World ©  Hartley/Sutton. Robert Doornbos (NDL) Red Bull Racing RB2 Third Driver. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, Day Three, 15 September 2006. World ©  Hartley/Sutton.

Honda’s Anthony Davidson left Jerez on Friday the quickest runner after lapping the Spanish circuit in 1m16.676s - over six tenths faster than second-placed team mate James Rossiter. Davidson was the first - and only - driver to clock a time under 1m 17s during the three-day session.

The Englishman racked up an impressive 161 laps, continuing work on Honda’s tyre choice for the Chinese Grand Prix. Rossiter, along with the ubiquitous tyre work, ran some electronic checks to complete the Japanese team’s programme.

“It was an excellent day’s testing,” explained Davidson. “We did some good aero comparisons and an intensive tyre programme over long runs, both of which gave us some positive results. Reliability has also been excellent this week and I covered a lot of laps on both days with no problems at all.”

“The first of our back to back tests at Jerez has been extremely successful this week,” added Mark Ellis, Honda’s chief engineer of vehicle performance. “The outstanding reliability of the RA106 car and the RA806 engine and excellent work by the team has allowed us to complete our planned test programme without any issues and in generally good circuit conditions.”

Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella was third fastest on Friday - edging out Red Bull’s Robert Doornbos by just one hundredth of a second. Fisichella completed the team’s tyre selection for the Shanghai race alongside Renault tester (and future team mate) Heikki Kovalainen, who clocked the fifth fastest time.

“We completed our programme thanks to excellent reliability of both cars which allows us to cover a large number of laps,” explained Christian Silk, Renault’s chief test engineer. “The drivers did a really good job, we pushed them a lot. They did no mistake and brought interesting feedback regarding the tests we made today. We are definitely satisfied with our preparation for the Chinese Grand Prix.”

Splitting the two Renaults, Red Bull’s Robert Doornbos spent his time testing tyre constructions and concentrating on preparation for his forthcoming race debut with the team in China, where he takes over from Christian Klien for the remainder of the season.

Having made his Formula One debut with the team earlier in the week, German Michael Ammermuller got a second outing in the other Red Bull. The 20-year old GP2 racer was being assessed by the team as a possible replacement for Doornbos in the Friday-tester role and, although the slowest driver of the day, he bettered his Wednesday time by almost two seconds.

“Today, we got through more work than expected with Robert, completing the tyre programme and doing some race work,” explained Ian Morgan, Red Bull’s chief test engineer. “Michael also got through his programme. Apart from one small spin, he put in an impressive performance without making mistakes and completing over 200 laps."

While the test was Red Bull’s last for the 2006 season, Honda will return to Jerez this week, and Renault will head to Silverstone with Kovalainen at the helm and Nelson Piquet Jr making his test debut for the team.

Unofficial Friday times from Jerez
1. Anthony Davidson, Honda (Michelin), 1:16.676
2. James Rossiter, Honda (Michelin), 1:17.008
3. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:17.056
4. Robert Doornbos, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:17.057
5. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (Michelin), 1:17.171
6. Michael Ammermuller, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:17.744