Jerez, day 3: Montoya and Michelin star in the wet

Juan Pablo Montoya and Michelin were the stars of the show on day three of Formula 1 testing at Jerez. Montoya stunned the F1 establishment by finishing the day second fastest overall in damp conditions, while the French tyre giant showed Bridgestone it would be a force to be reckoned with in the wet

Jerez, day 3: Montoya and Michelin star in the wet

After heavy early morning rain, Montoya set his time early in the afternoon, when conditions were merely damp. The Williams-BMW driver's time, set on Michelin's wet weather tyres, was only bettered by Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello on Bridgestone rubber.

The Colombian's team mates Ralf Schumacher and test driver Marc Gene were fifth and 11th respectively. As Montoya was let loose to gain experience, Schumacher continued to work on a tyre development programme, with Gene putting miles on BMW's latest development engine in his interim-spec FW22.

David Coulthard's McLaren-Mercedes was third fastest, just 0.05s behind Montoya, after a day that included one stoppage out on the circuit.

Jenson Button was fourth fastest in the Supertec-powered Benetton B200, while team mate Giancarlo Fisichella was only 17th quickest in the B-spec B200 powered by Renault's all-new 111-degree V10.

Technical director Mike Gascoyne said: "We had a satisfactory first run with the B200B, continuing our work from the shakedown at Silverstone last Friday. Although we had to stop running slightly early due to a small engine-related problem, we were very satisfied with the mileage we achieved and the data we gathered.

"Jenson seems to be adapting very quickly to both the team and the new car," continued Gascoyne. "We are very happy with his feedback and pace."

With Eddie Irvine sixth for Jaguar Racing, Michelin's wet weather rubber filled four of the top six slots in a day when dry weather grooved tyres stayed in the trucks. Testing was delayed for 90 minutes in the morning due to standing water, but the teams were given an extra 30 minutes at the end of play in an attempt to claw back some of the lost time.

Sauber new boy Nick Heidfeld continued to impress with the seventh best time, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen's Sauber, the Jaguar of Luciano Burti and BAR's Olivier Panis who rounded out the top 10. The second BAR, driven by Darren Manning, was 12th fastest.

McLaren tester Alex Wurz continued to bed himself in with the 13th best time, ahead of Pedro de la Rosa's Arrows and the disappointing Jordan-Hondas of Jarno Trulli and Ricardo Zonta in 15th and 16th.

Japanese Formula 3 sensation Takuma Sato will join Jordan's testing roster for the fourth and final day of the test starting at 0900 local time (0800 GMT) tomorrow.

To see pictures from Wednesday's Jerez testing, click HERE.




1 Rubens Barrichello (B) Ferrari 1m34.67s
2 Juan Pablo Montoya (M) Williams-BMW 1m34.81s
3 David Coulthard (B) McLaren-Mercedes 1m34.86s
4 Jenson Button (M) Benetton-Renault/Supertec 1m34.93s
5 Ralf Schumacher (M) Williams-BMW 1m34.99s
6 Eddie Irvine (M) Jaguar 1m35.01s
7 Nick Heidfeld (B) Sauber-Petronas 1m35.29s
8 Kimi Raikkonen* (B) Sauber-Petronas 1m36.00s
9 Luciano Burti (M) Jaguar 1m36.16s
10 Olivier Panis (B) BAR-Honda 1m36.30s
11 Marc Gene * (M) Williams-BMW 1m36.99s
12 Darren Manning * (B) BAR-Honda 1m37.52s
13 Alex Wurz * (B) McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.59s
14 Pedro de la Rosa (B) Arrows-AMT 1m38.21s
15 Jarno Trulli (B) Jordan-Honda 1m38.60s
16 Ricardo Zonta (B) Jordan-Honda 1m38.68s
17 Giancarlo Fisichella (B) Benetton-Renault 1m40.46s


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