The testing action at Jerez got busy on January 11th when 16 drivers were at the Spanish circuit, with nine of the teams represented. McLaren took to the track in its interim orange livery and test driver Pedro de la Rosa topped the times with a...
The testing action at Jerez got busy on January 11th when 16 drivers were at the Spanish circuit, with nine of the teams represented. McLaren took to the track in its interim orange livery and test driver Pedro de la Rosa topped the times with a best of 1:16.504. The team also had second tester Gary Paffett at work, 13th overall.
Both drove the MP4-20 fitted with restricted V10 engines and tyre development was the programme for the day. An initial minor software glitch for de la Rosa was the only hitch the team reported. The Mercedes V8 engine is not due to reappear until the MP4-21 chassis is ready, possibly later this month.
Michael Schumacher was second fastest, again in the F2004M fitted with the Ferrari V8, and was nearly one and half seconds off de la Rosa. Team tester Luca Badoer continued in the F2005 with the restricted V10 and was 10th overall, working on tyre development. Second tester Marc Gen? is scheduled to take over on Thursday.
Test driver Ricardo Zonta headed a trio of Toyotas in third, with Ralf Schumacher seventh on the time sheet and Jarno Trulli 12th. Their day was not without problems; Zonta had minor electrical gremlins and Ralf a spin at turn one but nothing to get excited about. Set up and tyres were the focus of the programme.
Trulli was back to work for the first time this year: "I did only a couple of runs today and so it is not possible to say much, but it was good to be back behind the wheel again," said the Italian. "It felt as if we have made some improvements to the gearbox but I will have a better idea tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso was fourth in the Renault R25, working on tyres, while Giancarlo Fisichella continued to put mileage on the new R26 and V8 engine. "It was another encouraging day for me with the R26," said Fisichella, who will hand over the new chassis to Alonso tomorrow.
"We did not run much this morning, but it was much better this afternoon when we managed some long runs. The lap-times look reasonable, but the important thing is that they are very consistent, because we haven't touched the set-up at all yet."
Nick Heidfeld was the sole representative of BMW Sauber and was fifth on the time sheet. In the C24B chassis, which sported plain white livery, and V8 engine, Heidfeld ran system checks and evaluated traction control, as well as working on tyres. The programme continues on Thursday with additional brake tests.
Williams had Nico Rosberg and newly signed tester Alex Wurz in eighth and 15th respectively. "Today Alex started driving for WilliamsF1 and spent the morning working on systems checks before concentrating on set-up work in the afternoon," said technical director Sam Michael. "Alex is a fantastic addition to the team and has fitted in well immediately."
"Meanwhile, Nico worked on set-ups and started some tyre testing for Bridgestone before experiencing a gearbox problem, caused by a high mileage component. Mark will be joining Nico tomorrow before Alex resumes testing on Friday."
Anthony Davidson, recently confirmed as official third driver, and development driver James Rossiter commenced Honda's testing for this year with ninth and 11th on the time sheet. Systems checks, tyres and aerodynamic work were the order of the day for the pair. Rubens Barrichello will have his first test with the team tomorrow.
Toro Rosso began its first full F1 season with Tonio Liuzzi 14th on the time sheet. Using the RBR1 chassis, Liuzzi racked up 91 laps while assessing brake discs and the team reported a trouble free day with good feedback from the Italian driver.
"This was pretty much a perfect start to our testing and Michelin should be complimented on providing us with tyres that, despite the cool weather, allowed us to run our brake programme," said Chief engineer Laurent Mekies.
Sister team Red Bull rounded off the times with David Coulthard in 16th, the Scot again suffering from technical gremlins. An unscheduled engine change curtailed his running to half a day's work and he completed 31 laps. Teammate Christian Klien takes over on Thursday.
"Along with our engine partner, we will of course be investigating what caused the engine to fail," said head of race and test engineering Paul Monaghan. "We had a couple of new car gremlins that we addressed during the day, and with every run we're learning more about our new package."