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

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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