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Paffett leads day one in Portugal.

Gary Paffett posted the quickest time as McLaren and Ferrari started a three-day test session at the new Portimao circuit in Portugal.

While Red Bull, Williams and BMW Sauber continued at Jerez, and Toyota elected to keep running in Bahrain, the top two teams elected to head to the Algarve for their first taste of the all-new facility.

Paffett spent much of his day carrying out work in the KERS-equipped MP4-23K to put further mileage in the electrical unit and the 2009-spec wing, and also spent some time in the MP4-23A to get an accurate set-up for the new circuit.

On his only day of running before handing the car over to Pedro de la Rosa, Paffett posted a quickest time of 1min 31.788secs from 63 laps, which put him over a second ahead of Felipe Massa.

The Brazilian was charged with continuing the work started last week in Spain, focused on endurance testing of the engine and evaluating technical solutions aimed at next season.

However, the Scuderia saw its programme brought to an early end with Massa feeling unwell, and the Brazilian will be replaced by test drivers Luca Badoer and Marc Gene for day two.

Portimao F1 test – day one: 15 December.

1. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1min 31.788secs 63 laps
2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1min 32.926secs 36 laps

Conditions: Sunny, but cold and windy throughout the day. Maximum air temp 13°C

All times unofficial


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