Jerez 1: Montagny on top

Franck Montagny topped the times on an incident-filled opening day of testing at Jerez in Spain on Tuesday as Renault recovered from its disappointing form over the Chinese Grand Prix weekend

Jerez 1: Montagny on top

With many race regulars choosing to stay in Asia between the Shanghai race and the Japanese Grand Prix, the week has been taken over by test drivers as teams focus on their final push for the last two races of the season.

Montagny's best lap was 1m17.714s was just one hundredth of a second faster than Marc Gene's Williams and one tenth quicker than BAR's Anthony Davidson. Renault will be keeping particular focus on BAR's form because it is locked in a battle with the Brackley-based outfit for second place in the constructors' championship. It currently lies nine points behind, having lost ground in China last weekend.

The opening day of testing was not without its dramas, as both Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer and Jarno Trulli had high-speed accidents - although neither driver was injured.

Badoer suffered rear brake failure going into the Dry Sac corner at the end of the main straight, plunging straight off the track and into the barriers. It is understood that his car nose-dived under the tyres, badly damaging the front of the F2004.

The Italian was taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks after complaining of back pains, but is expected to be back in the car on Wednesday morning providing the team has managed to repair the damage.

Trulli was more lucky after he suffered a left-rear puncture at high-speed that pitched him off the track. The team blamed the incident on a sharp stone getting lodged in the wheel and, after a minor delay while Toyota fixed the minor damage, the Italian was back in action later in the day.

Monaco's Olivier Beretta was drafted in for Williams after test driver Antonio Pizzonia was sent home to Monaco having injured his ankle in a fall at his hotel in Shanghai on his return to Europe.



1. Franck Montagny (Renault) 1m17.714s
2. Marc Gene (Williams) 1m17.722s
3. Anthony Davidson (BAR) 1m17.806s
4. Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren) 1m18.106s
5. Alex Wurz (McLaren) 1m18.236s
6. Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 1m18.500s
7. Heikki Kovalainen (Renault) 1m18.673s
8. Enrique Bernoldi (BAR) 1m18.945s
9. Olivier Beretta (Williams) 1m19.017s
10. Luca Badoer (Ferrari) 1m19.842s

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