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Montoya quickest on day two

NEWS STORY
09/02/2005

McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya was the pace-setter on the second day of testing at the Circuito de Jerez.

Once again the Colombian's car featured a pair of horns, or in Ronspeak; "measures that work as an integrated package to help restore the aerodynamic performance of the car, which has been affected by the FIA's changes to the regulations".

Juan Pablo, who was partnered by Pedro de la Rosa, completed 100 laps, posting a best time of 1:16.816, over a second quicker than today's second quickest driver, Nick Heidfeld.

The German worked on set-ups before switching to tyre compound evaluations, while his Australian teammate, Mark Webber, focussed on set-ups. However, it was a difficult day for Webber who suffered a (rare) engine failure in the morning and then crashed in the afternoon. Consequently he only managed 34 laps to Heidfeld's 123.

It was another good day for Felipe Massa, who despite claims from the Swiss team that the C24 lacks pace, continued to give the opposition a run for its money.

"Today we worked with Felipe on further improvements to the car's set-up," said Jacky Eeckelaert, "and also ran Michelin tyre and brake tests. With Jacques we focused on brake evaluations and compared different dampers.

"For tomorrow we have scheduled for both drivers to work with Michelin on a tyre programme for Melbourne.

"Overall I'm quite happy with the performances today and the reliability of the C24."

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello was fourth quickest, outpacing teammate Luca Badoer by 1.238s. The day's technical programme focussed on tyres, set-up and engine testing. Tomorrow (Thursday), Michael Schumacher will join Rubens.

Fernando Alonso was fifth quickest in the Renault, however the Spaniard, like teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, suffered a number of technical problems which, three weeks ahead of the start of the season, are giving cause for concern.

The problems sidelined both drivers at different points of the day, preventing any coherent work either on tyre development or long-distance running. Both drivers nonetheless managed to begin tyre testing programmes in preparation for the Australian Grand Prix.

"It was frustrating to complete fewer laps than we had planned today," admitted Christian Silk, "but we nevertheless began our tyre testing for Melbourne and obtained some clear directions on our choices. Both drivers remained positive about the car's performance at this circuit, but we have not yet completed any dedicated set-up work for this circuit. Along with further tyre development, that will be our priority tomorrow."

Christian Klien was the quicker of the two Red Bull drivers on duty, outpacing teammate David Coulthard by 0.4s.

It was another difficult day for BAR, with Takuma Sato suffering his second accident in twenty-four hours. Although uninjured, the Japanese driver decided to call it quits and returned to his hotel, apparently nursing a sore knee. Earlier in the morning, Takuma has lost track-time as a result of an unspecified mechanical problem.

Teammate Anthony Davidson, on the other hand, completed a mammoth 153 laps in the second 007. It's understood that the Englishman had a trouble-free day.

Jarno Trulli and Ricardo Zonta were both over 2s off the pace in the Toyota TF105s, though between them they completed over 160 laps.

Weather: On the second day of testing at the Circuito de Jerez, conditions were perfect, with temperatures reaching 18 degrees C, and absolutely no wind in the afternoon.

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