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Button Fastest on Final Day at Jerez

Jenson Button rounded off the final day of this week's Formula One test at Jerez in Spain with the fastest time, even though he finished his running early so he could fly out to this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed

The BAR driver, who was trying out some new aerodynamic developments on his BAR007, just edged out Championship leader Fernando Alonso in the Renault, with Kimi Raikkonen setting the third quickest time.

Button only ran in the morning session, however, before he joined David Coulthard on a private plane back to England so he could get ready for Goodwood. His teammate Takuma Sato managed to hitch a lift back too after an engine failure in the morning cut short his running, meaning BAR test drivers Anthony Davidson and Enrique Bernoldi were left to run all afternoon.

Sato, who ended the day seventh overall, was slightly disappointed not to have finished his programme but was pleased at least to have sorted out the team's prime tyre for Magny-Cours.

"I had a very good day yesterday but it wasn't with the full aero package, so I have to rely on Jenson's data for that," he told Autosport-Atlas. "It is good that he seems happy with it. So far I have tested the prime tyres and I seem to have found some which seem to be good for the French Grand Prix."

Felipe Massa continued to show Sauber's improving form with the fourth quickest time, despite stopping out on the track in the afternoon with a mechanical problem.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli was fifth fastest after focusing much of his day on tyre work for the French Grand Prix. The team's test driver Ricardo Zonta spent the work working on longer runs and suspension work.

McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa could only dream of doing long runs in the morning, however, when his last-minute call-up to the test ended in an early mechanical drama.

Having been forced to cut short a holiday to fill-in for Alexander Wurz, who has flown back home to Austria after suffering a neck problem on Thursday, de la Rosa only managed two laps in the morning before an engine problem left him stranded in the pits. He eventually got back on track to set the eighth fastest time.

Williams duo Antonio Pizzonia and Nick Heidfeld ended up ninth and tenth fastest as the team continued to evaluate the first version of a new aerodynamic package that the team will be running in Magny-Cours.

Modifications to the new parts helped resolve the cooling problems that the team had suffered on Thursday, but there was a minor drama in the pits when Pizzonia suffered a flash-fire when some fuel droplets ignited after leaking out during a practice pit-stop while he was on a race-simulation run.

The only other incidents during the day were when David Coulthard ran off the track at the first corner after suffering a suspected brake problem, while Franck Montagny's Renault stopped late in the afternoon.

Pos  Driver        Team                   Time       Laps
 1.  Button        BAR-Honda         (M)  1:17.154    83
 2.  Alonso        Renault           (M)  1:17.197   117
 3.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:17.345    61
 4.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:17.375    87
 5.  Trulli        Toyota            (M)  1:17.430   112
 6.  Montagny      Renault           (M)  1:17.549   118
 7.  Sato          BAR-Honda         (M)  1:17.559    28
 8.  de la Rosa    McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:17.685    95
 9.  Pizzonia      Williams-BMW      (M)  1:17.970    80
10.  Heidfeld      Williams-BMW      (M)  1:18.136    68
11.  Bernoldi      BAR-Honda         (M)  1:18.570    47
12.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:18.619    60
13.  Zonta         Toyota            (M)  1:18.668    99
14.  Davidson      BAR-Honda         (M)  1:18.678    36
15.  Liuzzi        Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:19.681   101
16.  Speed         Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:19.885    41

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