Jerez 3: De la Rosa quickest

Today (Wednesday) was dry at Jerez - and the Formula One teams finally were able to do some quality work in this week's testing. Pedro de la Rosa was quickest in the 2004 McLaren.

Jerez 3: De la Rosa quickest

De la Rosa announced himself to be delighted with the MP4-19 on his first acquaintance with the team's 2004 challenger. The Spaniard was all smiles after 72 trouble-free laps under bright sunshine.

"This car is so easy to drive," said de la Rosa, who set his time on low fuel. "It is very sensitive to changes - responsive in a good way. You have a problem, you change something, and the car behaves better.

"It's very different from the MP4-19, even though it looks similar. The cockpit is more comfortable for me, and it is so easy to push the car."

In spite of the dry weather in the sherry-producing region, the track was still damp until around 11am this morning. After that most of the fifteen present were able to do constructive running, although Cristiano da Matta had several excursions (on his first outing in the updated Toyota) that led to some nuisance red flags.

Montoya was second fastest after a day's tyre testing, although not entirely happy with the balance. His team-mate Marc Gene put a day's mileage on the long-distance BMW designed to 2004 regulations. The team plan to put another 100 laps on it tomorrow as they simulate a race weekend distance.

Bjorn Wirdheim got a run for BAR, while Jenson Button drove the team's hybrid today. Over at Toyota, Olivier Panis worked on various development parts, although at one stage something at the rear gave up with a loud bang.

Renault's Fernando Alonso had a good day's tyre testing, while Japanese Satoshi Motoyama got his promised day with the team after yesterday's poor weather. He did well, only having one spin towards the end of the afternoon. Franck Montagny just ran a few installation laps for Motoyama today.

Testing at the track will continue tomorrow.



Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren) 1m17.153s 72
Fernando Alonso (Renault) 1m17.837s 94
Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams-BMW) 1m18.198s 73
Luca Badoer (Ferrari) 1m18.511s 72
Jenson Button (BAR-Honda) 1m18.538s 90
Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) 1m19.015s 62
Mark Webber (Jaguar) 1m19.046 82
Alex Wurz (McLaren-Mercedes) 1m19.462s 42
Olivier Panis (Toyota) 1m19.587s 53
Marc Gene (Williams-BMW) 1m19.626s 103
Christian Klien (Jaguar) 1m19.811s 89
Satoshi Motoyama (Renault) 1m19.996s 67
Felipe Massa (Sauber-Petronas) 1m21.143s 85
Bjorn Wirdheim (BAR-Honda) 1m21.313s 77
Cristiano da Matta (Toyota) 1m21.478s 28
Franck Montagny (Renault) 1m27.541s 6

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De la Rosa Leads the Way at Jerez - Day Three

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