Jerez news

Clear sky and sunshine greeted teams at Jerez when they arrived for testing. However, local weather reports are predicting rain for the rest of the testing days, just like Valencia last week.

Marco Andretti got a second test in the 2006 spec Honda RA106, prompting his grandfather, 1978 world champion Mario Andretti, to turn up at the circuit. Felipe Massa was ill with a fever, meaning Luca Badoer got to take his place at the wheel of the Ferrari F2007.

At the front of the pack, track times were close with McLaren, Williams, BMW, Ferrari, Toyota and Honda all within a second of each other. Surprisingly, Renault failed to shine, and Red Bull look set to continue their poor run of reliability issues and lack of speed.

The Williams team made a late start to the day, with Alexander Wurz and Nico Rosberg out on track. Only the McLaren of Pedro de la Rosa was quicker than Wurz out of a field of 16 testers. Rosberg also acquitted himself well, finishing just half a second off the top runner’s pace.

At Honda, Jenson Button began the test programme in the RA107 car. His early laps were spent finding the right balance on the car, with his later laps concentrating on investigating different tyre and aerodynamic setups. Christian Klien completed just 33 laps, compared to Jenson’s 99, and completed some race start simulations and electronics control work.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber was seen in the new ‘Arai’ model of helmet, specially designed by Adrian Newey. The all-white helmet is designed to help channel the air in and around the RB3’s air box. Webber is more commonly seen in the Schuberth ‘Formel 1-Racehelm RF1’ helmet, which costs a cool $20,000 per helmet and is also the favoured helmet of Raikkonen, Ralf Schumacher, Heidfeld and Barrichello.