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Silverstone day one - Ralf sets the pace 20 Jun 2007

Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota TF107. Formula One Testing, Day One, Silverstone, England. 19 June 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari F2007. Formula One Testing, Day One, Silverstone, England. 19 June 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing. Formula One Testing, Day One, Silverstone, England. 19 June 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Renault R27. Formula One Testing, Day One, Silverstone, England. 19 June 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22. Formula One Testing, Day One, Silverstone, England. 19 June 2007. World ©  Patching/Sutton

Ralf Schumacher was the quickest man on Tuesday, as testing got underway at Silverstone. Schumacher clocked a best lap of 1m 22.540s around the British circuit to put Toyota top of the timesheets. The German was just over one-tenth of a second quicker than McLaren’s Pedro de la Rosa.

Schumacher spent most of his day’s running concentrating on set-up work for July’s British Grand Prix but he also carried out several qualifying simulations, during which he scored his fastest time. With the forecast rain never materialising, the German was able to complete 71 laps.

“In general it was a successful day and we made it through everything that we had planned,” explained Schumacher. “The conditions were very good, particularly in the morning, although the wind picked up in the afternoon. We had one stoppage after lunch while we changed some suspension settings but overall things went well.”

De la Rosa, meanwhile, kicked off an intensive engineering programme for McLaren. The Spanish tester focused on evaluating new developments and also took time to work on set-up for the forthcoming British race. He will drive again on Wednesday, before Fernando Alonso takes over for the final day on Thursday.

Over four-tenths down on the McLaren was the Red Bull of Mark Webber. Although Red Bull had planned to carry out a complete evaluation of a new aero update ahead of next week’s French Grand Prix, Webber only managed to complete 42 laps after a hydraulic actuator problem on his RB3 caused a delay.

Fourth-quickest driver was Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen, who completed 63 laps in the R27. Kovalainen initially focused on car set-up before comparing tyre types and aerodynamic setting for the British race. The Finn will share the French team’s sole chassis on Wednesday with tester Nelson Piquet Jr.

Veteran test driver Luca Badoer took up the fifth-fastest slot for Ferrari. Badoer covered 57 laps, as he evaluated new components. Nick Heidfeld’s best time in the BMW Sauber was just under two-tenths down on the Italian’s time. Heidfeld tested tyres and some new mechanical components, but was forced to finish an hour early after being troubled by a slight pain in his back. The German will be replaced by team tester Timo Glock on Wednesday.

Though Toro Rosso’s Vitantonio Liuzzi ended the day in seventh, he was only able to begin testing at midday after being held up by a delayed flight from Indianapolis. Liuzzi’s programme focused the team's new quick-shift gearbox, but the Italian also fitted in some longer runs on race fuel loads.

Completing the line-up was Williams test driver Kazuki Nakajima, eighth, and the two Spyker testers, Adrian Valles and Giedo van der Garde, who finished in ninth and tenth respectively. The Spyker team used the new F8-VII/04 chassis for the first time during the test, with Valles and van der Garde completing 64 laps between them.

Testing continues at Silverstone on Wednesday.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Silverstone:
1. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota, 1:22.794
2. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:22.915
3. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:23.329
4. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:23.510
5. Luca Badoer, Ferrari, 1:23.770
6. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:23.841
7. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso, 1:24.125
8. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:24.665
9. Adrian Valles, Spyker, 1:25.394
10. Giedo van der Garde, Spyker, 1:25.931