De la Rosa Finishes Jerez Test on Top

McLaren's test driver Pedro de la Rosa went quickest on the final day of testing at the Jerez circuit, where the seven Michelin Formula One teams wrapped up their preparations for the German and Hungarian Grands Prix

De la Rosa Finishes Jerez Test on Top

An intense heat again hit the Spanish circuit, with track temperatures reaching a massive 57 degrees Celsius during the day.

The session, however, proved very productive for several teams, who took the opportunity to work on tyre testing for Hungary, where temperatures are expected to be very high.

De la Rosa, taking over from Juan Pablo Montoya, finished on top of the times after being the only man to run in less than 77 seconds.

The Spaniard, working mainly on suspension settings and tyre testing, saw his running cut slightly short after his team were forced to change his car's gearbox.

McLaren worked also with Alexander Wurz, who concentrated on tyre testing over long runs, completing a total of 120 laps.

Nick Heidfeld had a more productive session today, covering 81 laps for the Williams team, who only had one car on track after running out of V8 engines yesterday. Heidfeld worked on optimising the set-up with the revised aerodynamic package the team debuted in France.

The German driver was second quickest after setting his best time in the morning, while focussing on performance runs with low fuel.

Championship leaders Renault wrapped up their programme after Franck Montagny completed a massive 145 laps to finish fifth quickest. The French test driver was joined by Finn Heikki Kovalainen as both men focussed mainly on tyre testing for Michelin.

BAR's Takuma Sato was sixth fastest in the first of the BAR-Honda cars, but the Japanese driver's session was hit by an engine failure which didn't stop him from covering over 100 laps.
 
BAR had three drivers on track, with Anthony Davidson doing aerodynamic work and Enrique Bernoldi testing the hybrid car with 2006 electronic components.

Canadian Jacques Villeneuve took over from teammate Felipe Massa at the wheel of the only Sauber on track. The Swiss squad had to work hard to fix the car after Massa crashed heavily yesterday, but the work paid off and the team managed to complete their scheduled programme.

"We had a good morning session and could achieve a reasonably quick lap time," said Sauber's test engineer Paul Russell. "The car was fast immediately, which enabled us to start with the scheduled programme straightaway.

"In the afternoon we worked with Michelin and finished the tyre selection process for the forthcoming races in Hockenheim and Budapest.

"In addition, we did some long-runs and conducted further aerodynamic tests. Overall, considering the happenings the last days we nevertheless got quite a lot done. For us this was the final high-downforce test this season and after all it was a productive week."

David Coulthard and Tonio Liuzzi tested for Red Bull, although the Scot's running was cut short after his team spent several hours working on his car inside the pits.

Ralf Schumacher completed his three-day test with Toyota, who also wrapped up their first programme with the V8 engine. Olivier Panis was the man in charge of working with the 2.4-litre unit, which again forced him to stop on track after some components came loose due to the extreme vibrations of the smaller power unit.

Panis, however, had a better day then yesterday and covered 46 laps to finish at the bottom of the times.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time Laps 1. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:16.919 66 2. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:17.247 81 3. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:17.259 131 4. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:17.341 120 5. Montagny Renault (M) 1:17.361 145 6. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:17.366 119 7. Davidson BAR-Honda (M) 1:17.547 119 8. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:17.597 96 9. Kovalainen Renault (M) 1:17.667 91 10. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:17.850 57 11. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:18.184 89 12. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:18.967 48 13. Bernoldi BAR-Honda (M) 1:21.190 58 14. Panis Toyota (M) 1:21.308 46 All Timing Unofficial 

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