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Michelin Teams Back to Work at Jerez

Juan Pablo Montoya topped the testing times at Jerez in Spain on Wednesday as the Michelin teams breathed a sigh of relief that there were no tyre dramas at all

Following the United States Grand Prix fiasco, there was great attention on Michelin's return to the track as the French tyre manufacturer continued its preparations for the next few races.

But with the company adamant that the Indianapolis dramas were a track-specific problem rather than an inherent fault with their tyres, little attention was wasted looking back at the events of last week and the focus was on the next few races.

Almost all the teams present spent much of the day working on tyres for the German and Hungarian Grands Prix, although some final checks were conducted on the type of rubber than will be taken to next weekend's French Grand Prix.

Montoya ended the day almost two tenths quicker than Ricardo Zonta's Toyota, with Anthony Davidson setting the third quickest time after trying out some new aerodynamic revisions on his BAR007.

Sauber's Jacques Villeneuve was pretty happy with his fourth fastest time, despite the fact that his motorhome failed to turn up at the track because of a technical problem and his running was delayed in the morning after his seat got temporarily lost at Madrid airport.

"We have been pretty good here," he told Autosport-Atlas. "We have done faster times that we have ever done and the car has been good. I haven't had much time to do the set-up and it is more or less the same for Montreal, but it seems to be working so we just carry it forward until we find a better set-up."

Sixth fastest Franck Montagny caused two red flags; one with a mechanical problem and one with an off-track excursion, while right behind him Christian Klien lost a lot of track time after stopping with a mechanical problem at 11am.

The only other major incident of the day was 20 minutes before the end of the session when Adam Carroll kissed the barriers at the end of his afternoon's running in the car after spinning off.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time     Laps
 1.  Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:18.207   75     
 2.  Zonta         Toyota               (M)  1:18.374   87     
 3.  Davidson      BAR-Honda            (M)  1:18.463  114     
 4.  Villeneuve    Sauber               (M)  1:18.666   61     
 5.  Wurz          McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:18.696   88     
 6.  Montagny      Renault              (M)  1:18.734   92     
 7.  Klien         Red Bull Racing      (M)  1:19.226   40     
 8.  Alonso        Renault              (M)  1:19.233   83     
 9.  Panis         Toyota               (M)  1:19.356  106     
10.  Coulthard     Red Bull Racing      (M)  1:19.592   57     
11.  Bernoldi      BAR-Honda            (M)  1:19.792   63     
12.  Carroll       BAR-Honda            (M)  1:22.448   26     

All Timing Unofficial

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