Davidson on Top at Paul Ricard

As the teams present helped Michelin work towards picking tyres for the next round of the Championship in Bahrain, Davidson showed that Honda's embarrassingly early exit from Sepang was down to exceptional circumstances rather than a major fault with its current engine

Davidson on Top at Paul Ricard
Anthony Davidson made up for his disappointing early exit from the Malaysian Grand Prix with the fastest time on the opening day of testing at Paul Ricard in France on Wednesday - although the most encouraging aspect of the day was the amount of running he was able to do.

Davidson completed a total of 167 laps, with fellow test driver Enrique Bernoldi in the 2004-spec BAR completing 176 laps, to show that Honda's endurance runs are not as bad as Malaysia had seemed to suggest.

Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta continued the Japanese manufacturer's recent strong form with the second fastest time, just three hundredths of a second slower than Davidson's best. The Brazilian's day was interrupted by a red-flag causing electrical problem, however. The other red flag came out when Toyota tester Olivier Panis suffered a gearbox failure.

McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa and Alexander Wurz were third and fourth quickest, ahead of Renault's Heikki Kovalainen, who was getting his first taste of the new R25 that has proved to be the strongest car so far this season.

Speaking to Autosport-Atlas about his experience, Kovalainen said: "The new car is nice. You don't have to fight it and it is easier to be consistent lap after lap.

"It was slippery in the morning but got better later. I was doing some tyre work today and really enjoyed it. It was fun."

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time     Laps
 1.  Davidson      BAR-Honda            (M)  1:04.176  167
 2.  Zonta         Toyota               (M)  1:04.213  121
 3.  de la Rosa    McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:04.305  129
 4.  Wurz          McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:04.613  117
 5.  Kovalainen    Renault              (M)  1:04.827  143
 6.  Montagny      Renault              (M)  1:04.912  150
 7.  Panis         Toyota               (M)  1:05.581   70
 8.  Bernoldi      BAR-Honda            (M)  1:06.044  176

All Timing Unofficial

shares
comments
Banks, Ecclestone Settle F1 Case
Previous article

Banks, Ecclestone Settle F1 Case

Next article

Grapevine: Renault: a Tale of Two Tracks

Grapevine: Renault: a Tale of Two Tracks
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022