Renault on Top in Friday Testing - Japanese GP

Scot Allan McNish bowed out of his third driver role at Renault on top at Suzuka on Friday when he beat race driver Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli to the fastest time in testing ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Renault on Top in Friday Testing - Japanese GP

Scot Allan McNish bowed out of his third driver role at Renault on top at Suzuka on Friday when he beat race driver Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli to the fastest time in testing ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

McNish, who will be replaced by Frenchman Franck Montagny next year, finished two tenths of a second ahead of Alonso with Trulli a further half a second back as Renault completed their usual one-two-three finish.

The session marked McNish's first return to the Suzuka track since a heavy crash during practice for last year's event ruled him out of the race when he was driving for Toyota.

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella in the Jordan was the fastest non-Renault runner, but he was 1.327 seconds slower than McNish with Australian Mark Webber, of Jaguar, a further four tenths of a second slower.

Briton Ralph Firman finished sixth fastest in the second Jordan with countryman Justin Wilson seventh in the second Jaguar.

Japanese Formula Nippon championship leader Satoshi Motoyama finished eighth on his Formula One debut in the third Jordan after signing to test for the team in his home Grand Prix.

The Minardi trio of Dutchman Jos Verstappen, Italian Giammaria Bruni and Dane Nicolas Kiesa completed the runners in ninth, tenth and 11th but all three were well off the lead pace.

McNish, Bruni and Verstappen were all caught out by the new modifications to the circuit and used the wrong chicane. Trulli and Verstappen had off-track excursions at turns 16 and eight respectively.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. McNish Renault (M) 1:32.170 38 2. Alonso Renault (M) 1:32.367 + 0.197 45 3. Trulli Renault (M) 1:32.891 + 0.721 24 4. Fisichella Jordan-Ford (B) 1:33.497 + 1.327 35 5. Webber Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:33.897 + 1.727 40 6. Firman Jordan-Ford (B) 1:34.054 + 1.884 40 7. Wilson Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:34.297 + 2.127 41 8. Motoyama Jordan-Ford (B) 1:35.044 + 2.874 40 9. Verstappen Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:35.579 + 3.409 24 10. Bruni Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:35.695 + 3.525 27 11. Kiesa Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:36.558 + 4.388 32 All timing unofficial

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Friday test: McNish bows out on a high

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