Trulli top as rain hits Ricard

Canadian Grand Prix test hampered by bad weather

Rain fell on the final day of this week's Formula One group test at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France, leading to a 13-second gap separating the 11 drivers on track.

The 10 teams present spent Wednesday and Thursday optimising set-up in preparation for next weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

However, to conclude the test, the teams used a track configuration which replicates aspects of Montreal's Gilles Villeneuve circuit, venue for next month's Canadian Grand Prix.

Unfortunately, because of the prevailing conditions - extreme wet tyres were used at one stage - many of the teams were unable to get much in the way of meaningful dry running.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli managed just 26 laps, but nevertheless set the day's best time on the 5.255km circuit - a lap of one minute 31.360 seconds.


Explaining the situation, Trulli said: "With the first two days of this week's test devoted to Monaco preparations, we had scheduled an intensive programme today.

"Montreal is a very different type of circuit and we wanted to try out different aerodynamic and mechanical solutions.

"You run less downforce in Montreal compared to Monaco, so the car set-up is very different and we had planned a lot of work on this.

"So it was frustrating the rain came early in the day and meant we could not collect any dry data."

After 193 laps on the shorter version of the circuit on Thursday, Nelson Piquet managed 60 laps in his Renault and was second quickest, just over a quarter-of-a-second down on Trulli.

McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa was third quickest, within 0.8secs of Trulli, followed by Sebastian Vettel in the new Toro Rosso.

Felipe Massa was fifth fastest in his Ferrari, with Nick Heidfeld sixth for BMW Sauber, Red Bull tester Sebastien Buemi seventh and Giancarlo Fisichella eighth in his Force India.

Jenson Button was ninth for Honda, followed by Force India's Adrian Sutil who managed the least number of laps with 13, with Williams test driver Nico Hulkenberg bringing up the rear.

Paul Ricard testing, day three:

1 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:31.360 26 laps
2 Nelson Piquet Renault 1:31.634 60
3 Pedro de la Rosa McLaren 1:32.143 53
4 Sebastian Vettel Toro Rosso 1:32.480 49
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:33.246 19
6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:33.371 30
7 Sebastien Buemi Red Bull 1:34.064 16
8 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India 1:34.071 31
9 Jenson Button Honda 1:36.501 19
10 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:43.877 13
11 Nico Hulkenburg Williams 1:44.741 36