Day 3 round-up

On a wet and dreary day in Jerez, the McLaren Mercedes squad took the decision to limit the running of their new MP4-22 cars. Alonso had already done extensive testing last week in the wet on the new Bridgeston Potenza tyres, and so chose to do just nine laps in the morning. De la Rosa also worked on a limited programme, extending the understanding of the car setup during wet conditions.

Over at Honda, Marco Andretti tested the new RA106 and completed 63 laps in the wet, although he was the slowest driver of the day, some 2.9 seconds off the pace. Barrichello was also out on the circuit, aiding the team with the balance and setup of the new chassis in his 66 laps of testing.

At Renault, Fisichella has succumbed to a bug meaning Nelson Piquet Jnr was roped in to replace him. Renault were the first team to complete their testing, with neither Piquet nor Zonda putting in flying laps.

Red Bull had a poor day – Coulthard span off early in the day into gravel, and a mechanical problem forced Mark Webber to stop on-track.

Overall, Nick Heidfeld put the best time of the day in at 1:29.497 – 10 seconds slower than dry-running times. Wurz continued Williams’ impressive pace and came in second, just half a second behind Heidfeld, with test driver Timo Glock in third. Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth, having completed 89 laps, with Rubens Barrichello coming in fifth, despite having a suspected electrical failure mid-morning.

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