Valencia 4: Wurz in the wet

McLaren tester Alex Wurz set the fastest time on the final day of testing at Valencia in Spain, although times were of little importance as tyre supplier Michelin worked to hone its wet weather rubber

Valencia 4: Wurz in the wet

Michelin has placed considerable emphasis on improving its wet tyres for next season after its products were outclassed by rival Bridgestones in heavy rain this year. The French manufacturer produced eight different compounds of tyre for the test, which were each tested by all four teams on a track artificially dampened at intervals throughout the day.

The variety of grip levels offered by the different tyres ensured that most of the drivers endured a number of spins throughout the day. Franck Montagny managed four rotations for Renault, with Wurz spinning twice - once at over 250kmh! Toyota protégé Ryan Briscoe had a solitary spin, while Marc Gene managed to keep his Williams on the straight and narrow.

"It has been one of the best wet tyres programmes we've ever had," said an upbeat Wurz. "We tested some of the best wet tyres I've used, and some not so good ones."

Michelin will now study the data gathered from each of the eight compounds of tyre, before determining which will form the basis of its 2004 intermediate and wet tyres.

Alex Wurz McLaren-Mercedes M 1m30.465s 92
Franck Montagny Renault M 1m30.585s 93
Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m30.661s 100
Ryan Briscoe Toyota M 1m31.143s 91

M = Michelin

Toyota tester Ricardo Zonta wrapped up a four-day test at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France today. The Brazilian completed 237 laps of the circuit, although times were not released.

"The test this week was essentially an installation run of our new TF103B car, which has a completely new rear end," said Zonta. "We used the four days to get a feel for the new engine, gearbox and rear suspension. I was quite impressed with the new components, because we had no real problems all week. This is definitely a positive sign for the future.

"Having said that, it is difficult to draw any real conclusions of this first test with the new car, because there was some inconsistency with the weather conditions, which made it hard to do any back-to-back comparisons."

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Valencia Test Ends with Wet Weather Session

Valencia Test Ends with Wet Weather Session
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