Private testing: Trulli sets early pace

The first session of private testing to Formula 1's new format saw Jarno Trulli head the times as Renault, Jaguar, Jordan and Minardi took to the track at 8.30am Friday in Melbourne for two hours

Private testing: Trulli sets early pace

Local hero Mark Webber set the early pace in the new Jaguar R4 but in the final analysis it was Trulli's Renault which ended the session quickest, just 0.09s faster than the man who scored two points in his F1 debut here last year.

Renault took full advantage of the opportunity to log data and gain early weekend experience of the Albert Park circuit. Trulli, Fernando Alonso and test driver Allan McNish completed 119 laps between them with the Spaniard ending up fourth quickest (1m28.339s) and McNish fifth (1m29.557s).

Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella was third quickest, just 0.01s slower than Webber's Jaguar, with British F1 debutant Ralph Firman a couple of seconds slower as he completed 29 laps in his EJ13 and acclimatised himself to both F1 and Albert Park.

Jos Verstappen lapped 2.3s off the ultimate pace aboard the new Minardi, with Britain's second F1 new boy, Justin Wilson, acquitting himself well with a time 0.7s away from the experienced Dutchman after 30 laps.

Another of F1's new faces, Antonio Pizzonia, did not get as much mileage under his belt, completing just 16 laps for Jaguar. Team spokesman Nav Sidhu said everything had gone to plan, however: "Mark has the spare car here this weekend, so was using both cars and got more laps in. We had a set programme on Antonio's car, meanwhile, and just worked steadily through it. There were no mechanical problems."

Despite the 'green' track surface, there were a couple of grassy moments with drivers kicking up dirt, but no spins at all.

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Trulli Quickest in Friday Morning Testing - Australia

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