Jerez 3: Webber stays top

Williams continued to dominate the timesheets on the third day of testing at Jerez, as Mark Webber dipped under his best from yesterday with a lap of 1m16.437s

Jerez 3: Webber stays top

The Australian, who has now concluded his work for the team and heads back to England where he will appear at the Autosport International Racing Car Show, outpaced Kimi Raikkonen as McLaren returned to testing at Jerez. The Finn's team-mate, Alex Wurz, was third fastest.

Franck Montagny continued to clock up the miles for Renault as the team builds up data on the 2005-spec Michelin tyres. The Frenchman ended the day fourth ahead of Antonio Pizzonia in the second Williams, BAR-Honda's Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson (replacing Takuma Sato who has a shoulder injury).

Both Pizzonia and Button encountered problems during the day. The Brazilian was denied the opportunity to shine alongside his potential new team-mate Webber after suffering an engine-related technical problem that precluded him from taking part in most of the afternoon session. While the Briton suffered a clutch problem that interfered with the BAR's traction control system. Button was sufficiently concerned to switch the engine off, although the he will use the same unit tomorrow.

They weren't the only ones. Ferrari's Marc Gene crashed at the left-hander before the chicane after losing control of the rear of the car. Damage to the 2005-spec F2004 was superficial, but enough to halt the team's programme.

"The car was very unstable," reported the Spaniard. "I went off once and then the next time I crashed. But it wasn't too bad because it wasn't high speed."

Ralf Schumacher left Jerez a happy man. After two days driving the new Toyota TF105, he declared the car "a step ahead of last year's car from a baseline point of view". The German pointed to the fact that he was faster than Gene's Ferrari (the only other car running in full 2005 trim) as an indication of the Japanese manufacturer's potential this year.

Mark Webber (Williams-BMW), 1m16.437s, 71 laps
Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren-Mercedes), 1m16.857s, 89 laps
Alex Wurz (McLaren-Mercedes), 1m17.185s, 99 laps
Franck Montagny (Renault), 1m17.464s, 131 laps
Jenson Button (BAR-Honda), 1m17.568s, 93 laps
Antonio Pizzonia, (Williams-BMW), 1m17.675s, 63 laps
Anthony Davidson, (BAR-Honda), 1m17.705s, 124 laps
Ralf Schumacher (Toyota), 1m18.242s, 68 laps
Marc Gene (Ferrari), 1m18.255s, 35 laps

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Webber Still Quickest, Gene Crashes - Day Three

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