JANUARY 13, 2006
A confused picture in Jerez
There will be some wet-track testing tomorrow in Jerez but the main test is now over and although Fernando Alonso took the headlines with the fastest lap of the final day in the new Renault R26, the World Champion's lap at 1m18.508s was a full second off the pace of Pedro de la Rosa's McLaren-Mercedes V10 which lapped the track in 1m16.509s earlier in the week. McLaren was running tyre tests and systems development for parts that will be used on the new car but was not using the new Mercedes V8. According to the team this is not because of problems but rather because the engine-builders are working overtime on the new engines and the team is using up the older 2005 units.
In the overall times for the four days Rubens Barrichello was second fastest at the wheel of a V10-engined BAR-Honda (1m16.732s) and Michael Schumacher was third quickest with a best of 1m17.970s in 2004 Ferrari. The fastest of the new cars was Alonso's 1m18.508s but Ricardo Zonta's Toyota was right with him with a best of 1m18.541s. Marc Gene was next in the 2004 Ferrari with a best lap of 1m18.566s and then came Nick Heidfeld in the Sauber-BMW at 1m18.817s, just fractions ahead of Mark Webber's Williams-Cosworth FW27C which recorded a best of 1m18.838s. Nico Rosberg was next up but two-tenths behind with a lap of 1m19.048s. He was just ahead of Anthony Davidson's 1m19.084s in a Honda 007B V8 car. Behind him were Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault R26), 1m19.118s; Jarno Trulli (Toyota TF106), 1m19.164s; Ralf Schumacher (Toyota TF106), 1m19.189s; Gary Paffett (McLaren MP4-20B), 1m19.606s; Luca Badoer (Ferrari F2005), 1m19.774s; James Rossiter (Honda 007B), 1m19.891s; Tonio Liuzzi in a Scuderia Toro Rosso-run Red Bull RB1 (1m20.218s); Alexander Wurz (Williams FW27C), 1m20.749s; Scott Speed (Scuderia Toro Rosso-run Red Bull RB1) with a 1m21.035s and the two Red Bull Racing drivers David Coulthard and Christian Klien who could no better than 1m21.198s and 1m21.469s respectively in the new RB2.
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