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Barcelona day one - McLaren take charge 13 Feb 2007

Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22 . Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day One, Monday 12 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Christian Klien (AUT) Honda RA107. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day One, Monday 12 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2007 suffers a fire at the back of his car on his installation lap. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day One, Monday 12 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton L-R): Colin Kolles (GER) Spyker Team Principal and Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day One, Monday 12 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Renault R27. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day One, Monday 12 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton

McLaren’s Pedro de la Rosa topped the times as testing began at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Monday. De La Rosa clocked a best lap of 1m 22.634s at the Spanish circuit - just over two hundredths of a second quicker than BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica.

Tester De La Rosa was joined on track by McLaren race driver Fernando Alonso, who was third quickest. The pair completed over 130 laps during the day as they continued work on aero and set-up development for the team’s 2007 challenger, the MP4-22. With McLaren’s race team in attendance the duo also found time to practice pit stops.

Alongside second-placed Kubica, BMW Sauber fielded test driver Timo Glock, who ended the session in 10th. While Kubica concentrated on aero work and tested brakes, Glock ran a busy programme, which focused on systems, diagnostics and recovery work.

Alexander Wurz put Williams an impressive fourth in the order, while team mate Nico Rosberg finished in ninth. The pair covered over 100 laps in total, as they worked through as series of set-up changes and became familiar with the Spanish track’s new chicane. Rain in the early afternoon also gave the duo the opportunity to swap their dry Bridgestone tyres for wets.

Ferrari, meanwhile, had a difficult day in Barcelona with their latest F2007 machine. Both Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen’s cars developed electrical problems in the morning and although the repairs were completed before lunch, the pair were hampered further by the wet conditions in the afternoon. Massa eventually finished in fifth, while Raikkonen, just under two-tenths down on his team mate, took the sixth slot.

Toyota drivers Jarno Trulli and Franck Montagny were seventh and 12th respectively, as they continued to put the team’s 2007 car, the TF107 through its paces.

“We’ve got through a lot of laps today, which is good because one of our main targets for this period is to achieve good reliability for the first race,” explained Dieter Gass, Toyota’s chief engineer. “We have also done some set-up work and found out more about the new car because Barcelona is a representative track to do that. The tyres seem to behave very consistently and even though there is a tendency for rear drop-off you can see the lap times keep improving through the runs.”

Heikki Kovalainen was the quickest Renault driver in 8th, the Finn outpacing his team mate Giancarlo Fisichella, who finished in 11th. Like McLaren, Renault had their race mechanics on hand to test pit stop and refuelling practice.

At Honda, tester Christian Klien was 13th fastest as he focused on aerodynamic evaluations, while Rubens Barrichello was 17th, working through general set-up tests on the team’s new RA107. Jenson Button will take over driving duties on Tuesday, alongside Barrichello.

Red Bull had both race drivers in action in RB3s. While David Coulthard finished in 14th, his new team mate Mark Webber was just three-tenths slower in 15th. Completing the day’s line-up were Anthony Davidson in 16th for Super Aguri and Adrian Sutil in 18th for Spyker.

Testing continues in Barcelona on Tuesday.

Unofficial Monday times from Barcelona:
1. Pedro De la Rosa, McLaren, 1:22.634
2. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:22.658
3. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:22.726
4. Alexander Wurz, Williams, 1:23.043
5. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:23.077
6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:23.215
7. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:23.239
8. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:23.491
9. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:23.592
10. Timo Glock, BMW Sauber, 1:23.656
11. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 1:23.896
12. Franck Montagny, Toyota, 1:24.015
13. Christian Klien, Honda, 1:24.227
14. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:24.291
15. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:24.531
16. Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri, 1:24.574
17. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:24.934
18. Adrian Sutil, Spyker, 1:25.581