Continuing to test a new aerodynamic package and various race setups, Ferrari's Luca Badoer topped unofficial time charts for a second consecutive day of Formula One testing at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona, Spain. He cut nearly a ...
Continuing to test a new aerodynamic package and various race setups, Ferrari's Luca Badoer topped unofficial time charts for a second consecutive day of Formula One testing at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona, Spain. He cut nearly a second and a half off Thursday's time.
Circling under alternatively cloudy and sunny skies with a touch of morning damp, Badoer posted a fast lap of 1 minute, 21.013 seconds among the 85 he drove. Hydraulics held him up briefly, bringing forth one of three red flags. The others were for Nelsinho Piquet, whose Renault R28 suffered a gearbox problem, and Timo Glock's Toyota, also pestered by hydraulics hangups.
With Scuderia Toro Rosso joining, nine teams are participating in a three-day test that precedes seven consecutive races at European tracks. Only Force India is absent. While many teams are concentrating on the coming race in France, Ferrari are working on developments for a number of coming races. After France comes Britain, Germany, Hungary, the new street course in Valencia, Spain, then Belgium and Italy before the circus heads back to the Far East.
Behind Ferrari's veteran tester came that of McLaren Mercedes. Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa was second-quick with a best time of 1:21.374 in 111 laps. De la Rosa tested new aero parts developed for the French and British races.
Glock, in the Toyota TF108, was fastest of the race drivers present. His best lap was 1:21.573 among 87. Glock's pace continues a pattern of improvement for Toyota, the mega-manufacturer whose only lapses in world conquering have come in F1.
Nico Rosberg followed in the Williams FW30; fourth-fastest, his quick lap was 1: 21.614 set on the 46th lap of 86. Rosberg's objective was systems reliability as well as aero, suspension and brake testing targeting the races at Magny-Cours and Silverstone.
Dickie Stanford, Test Team Manager:
"In readiness for the forthcoming races, we concentrated on setup work of the FW30 throughout today's session and completed the scheduled program with no problems," test team manager Dickie Stanford said. "We'll now convert the car overnight for Nico Hulkenberg's return tomorrow for our last day of running."
Not affected by his team principal, Mario Theissen, declaring the team to have no designated No. 1 driver, Robert Kubica continued BMW Sauber's work on aero and mechanical setups pointing toward the next race. He also completed laps toward development work for what BMW Sauber labels "the intermediate future." He was sixth-quickest with a 1:21.761 fast lap among 114 laps.
Rubens Barrichello stepped into the Honda RA108 while race-driver teammate Jenson Button continued preparation for Sunday's Royal Windsor triathlon with his physical trainer Mike Collier. Barrichello put in a quick lap of 1:21.950 among 122 run to place seventh on time charts. He continued setup work for France during which he focused on aero evaluation then comprehensive chassis setup.
Piquet put in the most laps, 129, on the way to a 1:22.037 best lap in aero and chassis development work.
"It was a good day's work and, despite losing some time before lunch, I was able to do most of what we had planned," Piquet said. "We spent the day evaluating some new things that the team will use in France next week and that all went well. Another full day of running tomorrow should put us in good shape for next week."
No doubt happy to have a trouble-free day after a Canadian Grand Prix not to his liking, Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais tested aero components for Scuderia Toro Rosso in preparation for his home grand prix. He tested a new chassis, STR3-04, that tried a new front suspension. His 1:22.395 was best among 101 laps run.
Among F1 test drivers signed up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday are Alex Wurz of Honda, Christian Klien of BMW Sauber, and Marc Gene of Ferrari. They join a cast of former F1 drivers, including Pedro Lamy, Stephane Sarrzin, who drove one race for Minardi, Franck Montagny, Ricardo Zonta, who will forever be remembered as the third party in The Pass that Mika Hakkinen put on Michael Schumacher on the Kemmel Straight at Spa in 2000, Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 World Driving Champion, former Toyota drivers Allan McNish and Olivier Panis, Tomas Enge, Jos Verstappen, Mika Salo and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. The 1996 winner, Wurz is the youngest-ever winner of the 24 Hours.