F1

Alonso takes over at Silverstone

Alonso takes over at Silverstone

Testing at Silverstone continued apace on April 26th, with 15 drivers at work on the rather chilly British circuit. Renault monopolized the top of the times with its pair of race drivers, Fernando Alonso fastest and Giancarlo Fisichella second.

Testing at Silverstone continued apace on April 26th, with 15 drivers at work on the rather chilly British circuit. Renault monopolized the top of the times with its pair of race drivers, Fernando Alonso fastest and Giancarlo Fisichella second. Alonso's best was a 1:18.634 and Fisichella was a couple of tenths behind.

Fernando Alonso.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"We looked at set-up changes in the morning and then focused on tyre development to make up for running time we lost yesterday," said chief test engineer Christian Silk. "We obtained good results and the drivers were very pleased with the car and its behaviour."

Jenson Button led the Honda charge in third and teammate Rubens Barrichello was sixth on the time sheet on his first day. He worked on tyre evaluation and aerodynamics, while Button focused on tyres for the upcoming European races.

Juan Pablo Montoya, fastest man on Tuesday, was fourth on the time sheet for McLaren and teammate Kimi Raikkonen was one behind in fifth. Michelin tyres were the main focus for the pair, although Raikkonen's schedule was cut short by a hydraulic problem.

Scott Speed's Toro Rosso was sixth and teammate Tonio Liuzzi was 13th, on duty for Red Bull for a change. However, it was not a good day for Liuzzi as he crashed into the barriers at around 270 kmph through Becketts. Red Bull did not know what caused the accident but Liuzzi was pronounced fine after a precautionary visit to the medical centre.

Mark Webber led the Williams duo in seventh, with Nico Rosberg 10th. "Mark and Nico tested alternative brake materials in the morning and then concentrated on tyre compound tests in the afternoon," said test team manager Mike Condliffe.

Tester Robert Kubica was the lead BMW Sauber in ninth and Jacques Villeneuve was 11th. Nick Heidfeld was briefly at work and clocked 14th on the time sheet but had muscle pains in his back and Kubica took over. David Coulthard was 12th for Red Bull.

MF1 Racing's Tiago Monteiro rounded off the times in 15th. "We had a productive session today, running through a complete programme," he said. "We went through an interesting tyre test in the morning with many different sets. In the afternoon, we did some setup work and tested some updates to the car."

Meanwhile, at the Paul Ricard HTTT in France, Toyota and Ferrari were at work. Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta was the quickest of the three drivers present, 58.262 on the 3E SC short track layout. Jarno Trulli was second quickest for the Cologne squad.

"This is the first time that we have used this circuit layout, so we had to work on our set-up to adjust to this," said Zonta. "In the morning, the track was very dirty, with pollen and dust from the trees, therefore, we also spent a lot of time cleaning the track."

Ferrari's tester Luca Badoer completed 150 laps focusing on Bridgestone tyre development and Scuderia racer Felipe Massa was at work at Fiorano. Electronic solutions for set up were the Brazilian's programme and he will continue on Thursday.

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