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Brawn GP in fast start to final test

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Brawn GP in fast start to final test

With remarks already emanating from the Formula One circus tent that the Brawn GP team might be for real and for fast, Rubens Barrichello topped timesheets again at Sunday's three-team test at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The Brazilian posted a...

With remarks already emanating from the Formula One circus tent that the Brawn GP team might be for real and for fast, Rubens Barrichello topped timesheets again at Sunday's three-team test at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The Brazilian posted a fast lap of 1 minute, 19.236 seconds in the BGP001, more than a half-tenth faster than Renault's Fernando Alonso. Temperatures on 2.75-mile Circuito de Jerez reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit in warm, sunny conditions. Barrichello logged 107 laps.

Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, BGP 001 .
Photo by xpb.cc.

"We had a good day of testing today, completing over a hundred laps of the Jerez circuit," Barrichello said. "It is hotter in Jerez than it was in Barcelona last week and therefore more representative of the temperatures that we can expect for the first few races, so it is good preparation for myself and the car. The car ran very well once again and we are increasing our understanding of its characteristics every day."

Barrichello, who with teammate Jenson Button has put the BGP001 at or near the top of charts since the former Honda team began offseason testing last week, evaluated setups, tested tires and worked on race starts.

Alonso managed only 40 laps in the R29 when a morning excursion through a gravel trap called for front-end repairs that took his track time. His best lap was a 1:19.819.

"Unfortunately, I made a mistake this morning which was a shame as we lost a lot of track time, but sometimes this happens in testing when you are looking for the limits of the car," Alonso said. "This afternoon the team put the car together as soon as possible and we tried to complete our main priorities for the day, which was testing some new parts on the car. In the end, we managed to do it and we were pleased with the results, although we certainly would have liked more laps. Tomorrow we will try and recover some of the time we lost today."

The Renault team looked at aerodynamic components. Alonso also did practice starts.

"We had a difficult start to the day, but the guys did a good job to get the car back out again for the afternoon," chief test engineer Christian Silk said. "What is important is not how many laps you do but what you learn in them, and we're quite happy with how things went. We had some new things to try out and the performance of the car was good, so overall we achieved our priorities for the day."

Test driver Nico Hulkenberg put miles on the Williams FW31. The German completed 69 laps with a best of 1:20.015.

The 17-race season begins March 29 in Melbourne, Australia.

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