Renault's Jarno Trulli led the way in Friday's extra two hours of testing for teams signed up to the Heathrow Agreement, outpacing Sepang polesitter Fernando Alonso, and representatives from Jaguar, Jordan and Minardi.

The session began dry but, in accordance with most forecasts, under heavy and threatening skies. Although rain was not predicted until after much of the day's activities had taken place, the heavens could not contain themselves for the entire two hours, and deposited the first of what is expected to be many showers on the track before the closing stages. The three teams in action therefore got an early chance to try both wet and dry set-ups, which could prepare them well for the sessions ahead.

Trulli's best lap of 1min 14.262secs was some way off last year's pole time - set by Juan Montoya in a time of 1min 13.413secs - but was good enough to see of his closest rivals by a couple of tenths.

Surprisingly, however, it was not Alonso, who set pole and finished third in the Malaysian GP two weeks ago, who was closest to the Italian, but Brazilian rookie Antonio Pizzonia, who also put his knowledge of the track to good use in out-pacing Jaguar team-mate Mark Webber. The Australian finished the session third overall, 0.028secs behind Pizzonia, but a couple of tenths quicker than Alonso in the second Renault.

The anglo-French team were again the only one to use a third driver as allowed by the rules, but Allan McNish, once more focusing on the team's race preparations, trailed the leading Jordan of Giancarlo Fisichella by around a second after succumbing to an early gearbox problem. The Italian was himself four-tenths adrift of Alonso, who ended the session in the gravel trap after being caught out by conditions.

1.Jarno TrulliItalyRenault-Renault1min 14.262secs
2.Antonio PizzoniaBrazilJaguar-Cosworth1min 14.464secs
3.Mark WebberAustraliaJaguar-Cosworth1min 14.492secs
4.Fernando AlonsoSpainRenault-Renault1min 14.680secs
5.Giancarlo FisichellaItalyJordan-Ford1min 15.092secs
6.Allan McNishBritainRenault-Renault1min 16.087secs
7.Jos VerstappenHollandMinardi-Cosworth1min 16.322secs
8.Ralph FirmanBritainJordan-Ford1min 16.559secs
9.Justin WilsonBritainMinardi-Cosworth1min 16.615secs

 

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