Paul Ricard day 3: Coulthard fastest

McLaren star David Coulthard set the fastest time on the third day of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in France today (Thursday)

Paul Ricard day 3: Coulthard fastest

The Scot set a fastest time of 1m08.019s around the French track's short configuration, outpacing BAR star Jacques Villeneuve. Coulthard's team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, was third fastest.

McLaren ran three cars at the test, with Coulthard and Raikkonen working on tyre comparisons for Imola while test driver Alex Wurz worked on components for the team's new car. The team has confirmed to autosport.com that the car won't run for at least another month, with a test debut targeted for after the Spanish Grand Prix, although the car will likely test for at least another month before its race debut.

The heavy rain that affected yesterday's testing continued this morning, although it soon abated. Ralf Schumacher and Olivier Panis took advantage of the drying track to complete some intermediate tyre work for Michelin, after the French manufacturer's tyres were outclassed by those of rival Bridgestone on a drying track in Brazil.

Panis had a tough day, with his running limited by a major gearbox problem on his Toyota. "We had a lot of technical problems today," he told autosport.com. "I wasn't very happy, because we lost so much time. I don't know that we have anything special for Imola, so I don't know how it's going to be."

David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes M 1m08.019s 123
Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda B 1m08.199s 134
Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes M 1m08.393s 87
Alex Wurz McLaren-Mercedes M 1m08.540s 112
Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1m08.547s 85
Cristiano da Matta Toyota M 1m08.590s 98
Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m.08.717s 93
Olivier Panis Toyota M 1m09.969s 45

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