Jerez 5: Kimi sets record

Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren concluded their testing programme in fine style at Jerez by breaking the unofficial lap record in an afternoon session that had an air of distinct competitiveness about it

Jerez 5: Kimi sets record

Raikkonen and Ralf Schumacher, in their 2004 cars and in qualifying spec, traded times as they both dipped below Pedro de la Rosa's record standard. Indeed Raikkonen was set to go quicker still and perhaps even post a lap in the 1m15s bracket when Schumacher stopped on the circuit, effectively calling an end to proceedings.

"This is a good way to end the session," said Raikkonen, clearly happier with the MP4-19 than he was yesterday. "Today it's not too bad. Yesterday it was quite bad because the car didn't feel good, but today it was a lot better."

The Finn spent most of the day in the garage after an investigation into a fuel leak uncovered several minor glitches. But once he got running again mid-afternoon, he began to really click with the car. "The seat has been improved since yesterday," he said. "It was a bit tight, but the guys worked on it and I fit better now. It's not difficult to push this car, it's quite stable."

Schumacher was also happy with his day's work in the FW26. "We had some technical problems with the car but we made a step forward with it and that change made it go quicker," he said. "There are loads of other little things we have found that need to be done with it, but those can only be done in the factory."

Williams test driver Marc Gene again split his time between the hybrid FW25B fitted with the new engine and gearbox and comparison testing with last year's FW25A. It was in the latter car, late on in the day, that he set his most impressive time. While everyone else was on low fuel runs, the Spaniard got within two tenths of Raikkonen's time on the second lap of an eight lap stint.

Australian Ryan Briscoe took over testing duties for Toyota where he concentrated on the team's new engine and gearbox and was sixth fastest overall.

BAR endured another nightmare day. The third Honda engine failure in as many days, this time for Takuma Sato, forced the team to close up shop until the wet weather test on Tuesday. The engines have exploded with such magnitude that it has proved impossible to source the reason for the failures and they have been sent back to the factory. Honda has decided not to risk using any more. Jenson Button will however run on Tuesday because BAR has no data yet of Michelin wet weather tyres.

The test continues tomorrow for Williams and Toyota.

Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes M 1m16.074s 87*
Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW M 1m16.110s 82*
Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m16.245s 24**
Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes M 1m17.237s 104*
Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m17.240s 39***
Ryan Briscoe Toyota M 1m18.422s 103
Jenson Button BAR-Honda M 1m18.563s 95
Takuma Sato BAR-Honda M 1m19.837s 103

B = Bridgestone
M = Michelin
* denotes 2004 car
** Gene in FW25
*** Gene in FW25B

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Raikkonen Breaks Jerez Record - Day Five

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