F1 testing: Old faces in new places

The Formula 1 testing season has kicked off in style as most of the main players hit the track at Jerez this morning. A number of new driver/team combinations ran for the first time, but McLaren's David Coulthard has set the early pace

F1 testing: Old faces in new places

The eagerly anticipated head-to-head between Benetton's Jenson Button and his Williams-BMW replacement Juan Pablo Montoya will be closely monitored. So far this morning, Montoya has completed a few two- and three-lap runs and is 11th fastest, while Button has gone eighth quickest.

BMW Williams has three of its cars on track, with Montoya's team-mate Ralf Schumacher and recently-signed test driver Marc Gene also completing laps. Schumacher was the cause of the day's first red flag when his car stopped with a mechanical failure.

McLaren's David Coulthard has been out again and is quickest, following on from his 30-lap run yesterday, while its new test driver Alex Wurz is expected to get a taste of the MP4-15 this afternoon. Ferrari has just Rubens Barrichello present, who is currently second fastest to Coulthard despite a spin at the chicane. Its test driver, Luca Badoer, continues his programme at Fiorano in Italy today.

Olivier Panis gets his first run in a BAR today as he prepares for a return to racing this season. The former McLaren tester, fifth fastest in the early going, is being partnered today by test driver Darren Manning.

Formula 1 hopeful Kimi Raikkonen is present for Sauber, as is Nick Heidfeld, who gets his first go in the Swiss outfit's car today. The German has also caused a red flag this morning, but his C19 returned with no visible damage besides grass in its sidepods.

Jaguar has Eddie Irvine and Luciano Burti ready for action, and Jordan has test driver Ricardo Zonta on hand as it gets up to speed with works Honda engines. Pedro de la Rosa, meanwhile, has put more laps on Arrows's AMT (re-badged Peugeot) engines.

Keep up-to-date with what happens as the day progresses on Autosport.com.


1 David Coulthard (McLaren) 1m22.6s
2 Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) 1m23.8s
3 Eddie Irvine (Jaguar) 1m24.9s
4 Ralf Schumacher (Williams) 1m25.6s
5 Olivier Panis (BAR) 1m 25.9s


8 Jenson Button (Benetton) 1m26.7s
11 Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) 1m27.9s

To see Jerez test photographs in Autosport.com's race gallery click HERE.

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