Raikkonen Breaks Valencia Record - Day Three

Finland's Kimi Raikkonen broke the unofficial track record of the Valencia circuit on the third day of testing at the Spanish track.

Raikkonen Breaks Valencia Record - Day Three

Finland's Kimi Raikkonen broke the unofficial track record of the Valencia circuit on the third day of testing at the Spanish track.

The McLaren driver showed the 2005-spec cars will not be much slower despite the regulation changes and lapped the Ricardo Tormo circuit in 1:09.005 with his new MP4-20. Raikkonen finished ahead of teammate Alexander Wurz, who again drove the MP4-19B.

Raikkonen's time was over a tenth of a second quicker than the previous record.

Jarno Trulli had a strong first day of work at the Spanish circuit, the Italian posting the third fastest time in the TF105. Trulli, who took over from Olivier Panis today, outpaced his German teammate Ralf Schumacher by nearly 1.5 seconds.

Local hero Fernando Alonso was again close to the top of the timesheets in the new Renault R25, with his Italian teammate Giancarlo Fisichella finished down in eighth in the second car from the French squad.

"We made more good progress this week with the set-up of the car, and today's comparative programme allowed us to make further advances in our understanding of the R25," said Renault's Christian Silk, chief test engineer.

"Overall, we are very pleased with the car's performance: we know that it is sound and quite competitive. We are still experiencing some problems, but that is normal at this stage of the season, and we will begin testing solutions next week in Jerez."

Alonso, who saw over 4,000 fans cheering for him today in the stands, finished the day with fever due to a cold.

BAR's Takuma Sato, in the Honda-powered 007, was fifth quickest as he continued working on tyre testing for Michelin. The Japanese tested alongside teammate Jenson Button, also in the 2005 car, and Britons James Rossiter and Adam Carroll, who shared the 006.

Australian Mark Webber was the quickest of the Williams drivers, barely beating German Nick Heidfeld to the sixth quickest time of the session.

World Champion Michael Schumacher joined the Valencia test today and worked alongside Brazilian teammate Rubens Barrichello. The German seven-times Champion drove the hybrid F2004 car, but his day was hampered by two mechanical problems that saw him stopping on track, the first of them being an engine failure.

Barrichello, in the F2004M, played down Ferrari's unimpressive times.

"The other teams are always testing at Valencia, so they know what type of tyre to use, while we test less often here, like the rest of the Bridgestone teams, so we have to be more cautious with the tyres we use," the Brazilian said at the end of the day.

"If we take into account 20 laps instead of just one we are in good shape, because right from the start we are competitive."

Testing continues tomorrow.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time Laps 1. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:09.005 117 2. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:09.956 134 3. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:10.198 100 4. Alonso Renault (M) 1:10.314 63 5. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:10.470 148 6. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:10.473 71 7. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:10.496 101 8. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:10.513 83 9. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:10.881 51 10. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:11.136 46 11. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:11.555 116 12. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:11.576 50 13. Rossiter BAR-Honda (M) 1:12.667 24 14. Carroll BAR-Honda (M) 1:13.363 47 All Timing Unofficial

Visit Atlas F1's Testing Center for further information

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Valencia 3: Kimi in top form

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