McLaren-Mercedes test driver Alexander Wurz set the quickest time today [Friday] at Jerez, one hundredth up on Jaguar's Antonio Pizzonia, who was second.

Wurz completed 75 laps in total, during a dry day at the Spanish test track. Ralf Schumacher was third for Williams, around a tenth slower, and then came the second McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen.

Renault's Jarno Trulli was fifth, despite only running in the morning. Franck Montagny, took over his R202 this afternoon to get a feel for the car prior to more laps tomorrow. He completed 16 laps in total, his best a 1m 23.37s.

Fernando Alonso was also in action for Renault, the Spaniard completed 40 laps in a hybrid R202 and ran well until engine woes sidelined him this afternoon. His best was a 1m 22.36s, which was eighth fastest overall. Between Trulli in fifth and Alonso in eighth, was BAR-Honda driver Jacques Villeneuve and WilliamsF1 tester Marc Gene.

JV enjoyed a trouble free day and completed 68 laps. He was joined by new team-mate, Jenson Button, the Brit was ninth overall, on a 1m 22.53s, around fourth tenths slower than the 1997 F1 World Champion.

Button, who completed 52 laps, said: "I've had a good first day with the team. I was driving this year's car so, although I didn't get a taste of what I can expect next year, it felt well-balanced and good to drive. We did some good work this morning so it's a shame that we couldn't continue improving but today wasn't about how quick I am, it was about getting to grips with everything. I've settled in well and I feel part of the team already. I'm looking forward to another good day tomorrow."

Mark Webber had a tough day in the Jaguar R3, he was eleventh, slowest and completed only 14 laps.

Leading performances (13 December):

1. Alex Wurz McLaren-Mercedes 1m 20.86secs 75 laps**
2. Antonio Pizzonia Jaguar-Cosworth 1m 20.87s 70 laps**
3. Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1m 20.96secs 59 laps**
4. Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes 1m 20.97secs 62 laps**
5. Jarno Trulli Renault-Renault 1m 21.60secs 43 laps**
6. Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 1m 22.14s 68 laps*
7. Marc Gene Williams-BMW 1m 22.25s 58 laps**
8. Fernando Alonso Renault 1m 22.36secs 40 laps**
9. Jenson Button BAR-Honda 1m 22.53s 52 laps*
10. Franck Montagny Renault 1m 23.37s 16 laps**
11. Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth 1m 23.94s 14 laps**

* denotes Bridgestone tyres
** denotes Michelin tyres

Weather / Track conditions: Overcast / dry.

 

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