Ralf Fastest at Jerez despite Crash

Ralf Schumacher bounced back from an early morning crash in his Toyota to eventually lead the way as testing resumed in controversial fashion at Jerez in Spain on Wednesday

As his Toyota team, as well as rivals BAR, ignored the complaints from rivals teams that they were breaching this year's testing agreement by running extra cars this week, Schumacher put an early off into the tyre barriers at Turn One behind him to edge out Jenson Button by one tenth of a second.

The focus for this week's test is tyres for the forthcoming German and Hungarian Grands Prix and Toyota's bid to ramp up development after some disappointing race performances appears to be paying off.

Button's BAR team were working on some long-term chassis developments alongside the tyre work, while third fastest Franck Montagny upstaged fellow Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella, who was fifth fastest after an off in the afternoon.

Fresh from the engine nightmares that blighted Kimi Raikkonen's efforts in the French and British Grands Prix, there was further problems for McLaren when Juan Pablo Montoya suffered a spectacular blow-up which resulted in some badly burnt bodywork.

It meant the Colombian only completed 26 laps to set the eighth best time. McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz also stopped out on the track late in the afternoon.

There was more disappointment for Williams, who are hoping to use this week's test to get the bottom of why their Mark II bodywork developments have failed to improve their pace in recent races.

With Mark Webber sidelined to allow his burnt hip to recover from the injury he sustained in the French Grand Prix, there was further bad luck as test driver Nico Rosberg was taken unwell early on during the day and was forced to sit out after lunch.

The team had to get Antonio Pizzonia to take over Rosberg's car, with the Brazilian's own efforts in developing BMW's new V8 engine having lasted just four laps in the morning.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time     Laps
 1.  R.Schumacher  Toyota               (M)  1:17.633   54
 2.  Button        BAR-Honda            (M)  1:17.733   77
 3.  Montagny      Renault              (M)  1:17.765   69
 4.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas      (M)  1:18.000   78
 5.  Fisichella    Renault              (M)  1:18.069   75
 6.  Davidson      BAR-Honda            (M)  1:18.428   63
 7.  Liuzzi        Red Bull-Cosworth    (M)  1:18.449   82
 8.  Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:18.648   26
 9.  Wurz          McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:18.712   89
10.  Zonta         Toyota               (M)  1:18.759   42
11.  Klien         Red Bull-Cosworth    (M)  1:19.010   81
12.  Rosberg       Williams-BMW         (M)  1:19.510   39
13.  Panis         Toyota               (M)  1:22.422   22
14.  Pizzonia      Williams-BMW         (M)  1:30.663   15

All Timing Unofficial

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