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

Button Fastest on Final Day at Jerez

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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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Author Jonathan Noble
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