Alexander Wurz topped the times for McLaren on the first day of this week's test at Silverstone, but Renault's Fernando Alonso was breathing right down his neck as new developments on his R25 left him just one hundredth of a second behind
Renault are planning to introduce a revamp of their car at the Brazilian Grand Prix, as Alonso bids to capture the World Championship, and with Silverstone not being one of the team's strongest tracks the performance today must have left them encouraged.
Ricardo Zonta was third fastest for Toyota, as he focused on developments to this year's TF105. He brought the red flags out in the afternoon when his car stopped while exiting the pits. Fellow Toyota test driver Olivier Panis was handed work with the revised TF105B but was left struggling for pace as he ended the day more than three seconds adrift of Wurz.
The main focus for onlookers was Anthony Davidson's performance in the Jordan. The BAR test driver did not get out on the track in anger until just before 1:00pm, after suffering an engine failure following his installation lap in the morning.
Despite stalling on another occasion when he left the pits, the Briton managed to complete 58 laps in his bid to impress the team's bosses. He had no teammate to provide a time comparison against, but he was just over a second slower than Red Bull Racing's Christian Klien.
The day was relatively incident-free, although there were a lot of complaints in the morning about the state of the track following the Silverstone 24 Hours race at the weekend.
Apart from Zonta and Davidson's session stopping moments, Renault's Heikki Kovalainen stopped twice with mechanical problems, which included one engine failure, while Klien also stopped early in the afternoon.
The most spectacular moment of the day, however, was in the morning when Pedro de la Rosa returned to the pits with a fiery Mercedes-Benz V8 engine - which is believed to have been triggered by an overheated exhaust.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:17.101 67 2. Alonso Renault (M) 1:17.112 111 3. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:18.140 82 4. Kovalainen Renault (M) 1:18.701 67 5. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:18.871 81 6. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:19.911 61 7. Davidson Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:21.011 58 8. Panis Toyota (M) 1:21.600 33 9. De la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:24.481 37 All timing unofficial
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