McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen regained top spot for the Woking team as testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo moved into its third day under clear and sunny skies.

The Finn took top spot on a day when he was partnered by regular McLaren tester Alex Wurz and occasional driver Gary Paffett, who continued to stand in for the unwell David Coulthard. Having been called up at short notice to replace the Scot - who has a stomach bug - on day two of the test, the reigning German Formula Three
champion clocked the fourth fastest lap of the session, albeit a couple of seconds off Raikkonen's pace, in the midst of 54 tours.

Nick Heidfeld ended the day a surprise second fastest, the only driver to lap within a second of the Finn, as Sauber wrapped up its three-day test on a high. The German took over from compatriot Heinz-Harald Frentzen for the day and completed 71 laps. His session was interrupted by an undiagnosed engine problem just before lunch, but Heidfeld still managed to outpace both Montoya and Marc Gene, as well as the two McLaren test drivers, of whom Wurz completed just 18 laps.

Both the Colombian and Spaniard - who was in the FW24D interim car - continued to work on development of the new BMW P83 engine, as well as various components intended for the new FW25. Both drivers also carried out tyre evaluations for Michelin, Montoya covering a session-high 84 laps.

Leading performances (23 January):

Kimi R?ikk?nen McLaren-Mercedes 1min 10.647secs 62 lapsNick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 1min 11.778secs 71 laps*Marc Gene Williams-BMW 1min 12.735secs 62 lapsGary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1min 12.896secs 54 lapsJuan Montoya Williams-BMW 1min 13.072secs 84 lapsAlex Wurz McLaren-Mercedes 1min 13.120secs 18 laps

[* denotes cars on Bridgestone tyres; all others on Michelin]



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