Private testing: Trulli quickest

Jarno Trulli set the pace for Renault in the free testing session preceding first official practice for the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona

With Barcelona being the prime testing venue for most of the F1 teams, the advantages of the additional two hours for the "Heathrow Agreement" teams are expected to be reduced in Spain.

Renault had its first 'proper' test of the season at Silverstone last week and executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds, said: "We come to Barcelona with a much more optimised baseline set-up on the car. In terms of the fine-tuning, we believe as ever that the Friday morning session will help us but we recognise that the relative benefits may not be as great as at some of the other circuits."

Closest to Trulli was Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella, who was marginally quicker than home hero Fernando Alonso, who had an off in Turn 3 without sustaining any damage.

Allan McNish was fourth fastest with the third R23 chassis, ahead of the under-pressure Antonio Pizzonia. What could be a make-or-break weekend for the Brazilian did not get off to the best of starts when he ran over a Jaguar mechanic during a practice pitstop, sending the hapless chap off to the medical centre with cuts and bruises.

Mark Webber lapped in 1m18.73s with the second R4, just 0.03s quicker than Ralph Firman's Jordan. The Minardis, meanwhile, were two seconds behind the pace, with Justin Wilson managing 1m 21.036s and Jos Verstappen 1m21.294s.

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