Rain may affect Jerez test

Wed, 7 February 2007, 10:15

A clear sky of Spanish sunshine greeted runners at Jerez as the next major group test got going on Tuesday.

Local weather reports in the sherry-producing region, however, predict that rain is more than likely to fall perhaps for the remainder of the three-day test.

Last week’s Valencia runs were badly affected by the winter weather.

A couple of notable personalities stood trackside on Tuesday; 1978 world champion Mario Andretti and his son Michael, who are in town to watch the next-generation Andretti – Mario’s grandson Marco – get a second test in a 2006-spec Honda RA106.

Missing, however, was Felipe Massa, whose fever meant that Luca Badoer got a day at the wheel of the F2007. Brazilian Massa, 25, is expected to test on Wednesday.

On track, lap times were close, with new cars fielded by McLaren, Williams, BMW, Ferrari, Toyota and Honda respectively all within one second of the leading pace.

Red Bull’s poor reliability and speed, however, looks set to continue at Jerez, and the new Renault also failed to shine, albeit in the absence of the French squad’s race lineup.

Indeed, former Toyota tester Ricardo Zonta was making his debut in the ‘R27’.

The red flags flew three times; once for Mark Webber, once for Franck Montagny’s broken Toyota gearbox, and finally for the recovery of Wurz’s impressive FW29 late in the day.


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