De la Rosa tops last day at Jerez

De la Rosa tops last day at Jerez

For the final day of testing before the summer ban there was again 14 drivers on track at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa topped the times with a best of 1:16.919, despite a gearbox problem, and fellow team...

For the final day of testing before the summer ban there was again 14 drivers on track at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa topped the times with a best of 1:16.919, despite a gearbox problem, and fellow team tester Alex Wurz was fourth fastest. Tyres were the main focus of the day for both drivers.

Pedro de la Rosa.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"I was concentrating on set up work in the morning moving onto the Michelin tyre programme in the afternoon," said de la Rosa. "I completed several long stints this afternoon and we will now sit down with the engineers to evaluate all the information and select the tyres for the forthcoming grands prix."

After a difficult couple of days Williams had a better time on Friday with Nick Heidfeld second fastest, about three tenths off de la Rosa. "Today we continued testing using the FW27A (V10 engine) chassis which Nick ran all day," said technical director Sam Michael.

"Nick spent the whole day working on mechanical and aerodynamic set-ups which included some quite different spring and roll bar settings. It has been a productive test on the FW27A which has confirmed many different items over the last three days."

Toyota had three drivers sharing the duties, tester Ricardo Zonta the quickest of the trio in third, Ralf Schumacher 12th and second test driver Olivier Panis 14th. Work over the three days included tyres, brakes and aerodynamics for Schumacher and Zonta, while Panis tried out Toyota's new RVX06 V8 engine.

"My first impression, not surprisingly, was that it was quite a bit slower than the V10," Panis commented. "You notice that the acceleration is not as strong and that the g-forces in the corners are less. But when you consider that the engine has around 200bhp less than a V10, that is to be expected and will be the same for everyone."

Takuma Sato was fifth on the time sheet for BAR and team testers Anthony Davidson and Enrique Bernoldi were seventh and 13th. The team's three day test focused mainly on aerodynamic upgrades and chassis development, as well as tyres.

"This week has been incredibly hot, which has been the perfect preparation for the next three races in Hockenheim, Budapest and Istanbul," said chief test engineer Mark Ellis. "Once again we have been able to test many new components, thanks to the hard work at the factory, in our efforts to get back on terms with the championship leaders."

Testers Franck Montagny and Heikki Kovalainen were on duty for Renault, sixth and ninth fastest respectively. Jacques Villeneuve took over from teammate Felipe Massa at Sauber and was eighth quickest.

"The car was fast immediately, which enabled us to start with the scheduled programme straightaway," said Sauber test engineer Paul Russell. "In the afternoon we worked with Michelin and finished the tyre selection process for the forthcoming races in Hockenheim and Budapest. In addition, we did some long-runs and conducted further aerodynamic tests."

Red Bull's David Coulthard and Tonio Liuzzi were 10th and 11th on the time sheet. At the Paul Ricard hi-tech test track in France, Ferrari and Jordan concluded their testing week but currently no timing details have been given -- we can probably safely assume Ferrari was faster. Both teams worked mainly on tyres over the three days.

Minardi carried out a one day test at Vallelunga, near Rome, with test driver Chanoch Nissany behind the wheel. Systems checks on the spare chassis, along with assessment of new components and software was the programme. Nissany completed 93 laps with a best time of 1:07.624.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Enrique Bernoldi , David Coulthard , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Ricardo Zonta , Franck Montagny , Alexander Wurz , Felipe Massa , Heikki Kovalainen , Chanoch Nissany , Mark Ellis
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan