Valencia 2: Wurz stays ahead

McLaren's test driver Alex Wurz set the pace on the second day of testing at Valencia in Spain, but the real story of the day was the pace of the two new Renault R25s driven by Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella

Valencia 2: Wurz stays ahead

Although Wurz's lap of 1m09.201s was good enough to put him on top of the list, the Austrian set the time in a 2004-spec MP4-19B. Alonso was just 0.7s slower than Wurz in the new R25, despite carrying all the aerodynamic modifications required by new regulations designed to slow the cars down. Not only that but the Spaniard was less than a second off Valencia's unofficial lap record.

Fisichella, who was less than 0.2s slower than his Renault team-mate found it impossible to hide his delight at the R25's performance, despite both he and Alonso suffering technical problems which stopped them running at points during the day.

"We are going fast!" said the Italian. "In the morning I did some set-up work and I made some changes. Eventually I found the set-up I liked and we started a tyre programme that went well."

Fisichella's problem turned out to be clutch related while Alonso's engine failed right in front of the pits.

Behind the Renaults was Nick Heidfeld in the first of the new Williams BMW FW27s. The German admitted that his promotion to the race team has still not sunken in because of the workload he has been presented with in testing.

"We have gone straight into a grand prix tyre programme," he said. "I haven't had a chance to think because I'm so busy. We have been using baseline set-up. It's been quite a good day. We did lots of laps."

Behind him was the fastest of the BAR drivers. Takuma Sato split the Williams pair with a time quicker than that of Mark Webber who admitted there was much work to be done before Melbourne. BAR also restarted the young driver analysis programme it was forced to abort due to bad weather last year. Both Alan van der Merwe and James Rossiter got runs in one of last year's BAR 006 chassis.

Kimi Raikkonen, seventh fastest, continued to play himself into the new McLaren MP4-20 ahead of Toyota's Ralf Schumacher and Olivier Panis (who called it a day at lunchtime because of flu).

Ferrari were also in evidence at the test, but kept a low profile. Rubens Barrichello got his first taste of the F2004M he will start the season with, while Marc Gene continued working with the hybrid car. They set the 10th and 12th fastest times respectively.

Alexander Wurz (McLaren), 1m09.201s, 137
Fernando Alonso (Renault), 1m09.992s, 33*
Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault), 1m10.135s, 64*
Nick Heidfeld (Williams), 1m10.336s, 97*
Takuma Sato (BAR), 1m10.641s, 89*
Mark Webber (Williams), 1m10.647s, 101*
Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren), 1m10.718s, 56*
Ralf Schumacher (Toyota), 1m10.777s, 90*
Olivier Panis (Toyota), 1m11355s, 35*
Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari), 1m11.374s, 79*
Anthony Davidson (BAR), 1m11.406s, 141*
Marc Gene (Ferrari), 1m12.744s, 57
James Rossiter (BAR), 1m14.736s. 37
Alan van der Merwe (BAR), 1m15.087s, 45
*denotes 2005 specification car

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