Jerez 1: Ralf dominates

Ralf Schumacher broke his own unofficial lap record at Jerez today (Tuesday). The German beat fellow Williams drivers Marc Gene and Nelson Piquet Jr at the Spanish circuit.

Jerez 1: Ralf dominates

Ralf completed 68 laps of tyre testing with the 2003 Williams on a clear and relatively cold day in Andalucia. Williams tester Marc Gene was second quickest with the hybrid car that features a new rear end, but the Spaniard was almost a second slower.

Nelson Piquet Jr attracted the most attention today however, and father Nelson was there to witness his 64 laps. The young Formula 3 star was exactly three seconds down on Ralf in his first day's running with a Formula 1 car.

"Today was not bad at all. I thought it would be more difficult than it was. I actually found it easier than the F3000 car I drove here recently. It's nice not having to take your hands off the steering wheel, and using two pedals was something to get used to. But I think it would take me longer to get used to a clutch!"



The Brazilian was down to complete about 90 laps today, but a harmless off at lunchtime and four session stoppages curtailed his running. Ralf Schumacher stopped out on the circuit twice and Marc Gene once.

Piquet will have another half-day on Thursday, but tomorrow will be the turn of Nico Rosberg to drive the Williams. Jordan, Ferrari and BAR will join the test tomorrow.



Ralf Schumacher (Williams-BMW) 1m17.453s 68
Marc Gene (Williams-BMW) 1m18.326s 73
Nelson Piquet Jr (Williams-BMW) 1m20.453s 64

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