F1

Ferrari back on top at Barcelona

Ferrari back on top at Barcelona

After its electronic problems on Monday, Ferrari was back at the top of the time sheet on February 13th at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. Felipe Massa's 1:21.181 was the fastest of the 18 drivers present and teammate Kimi Raikkonen was...

After its electronic problems on Monday, Ferrari was back at the top of the time sheet on February 13th at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. Felipe Massa's 1:21.181 was the fastest of the 18 drivers present and teammate Kimi Raikkonen was second, half a second behind. They completed their day's programme of F2007 development and carried out long runs.

Felipe Massa.
Photo by xpb.cc.

It was a slightly more familiar sight at the sharp end of the times as after the Ferraris came the Renaults and McLarens. Heikki Kovalainen was third quickest for Renault and teammate Giancarlo Fisichella was fifth. They too completed their scheduled programme of set up, tyres and aerodynamics and the team described the day as an "extremely productive session".

"I managed to complete my programme today, and we achieved the team's objectives for the day," said Kovalainen. "We did lots of laps, collected plenty of data, and the overall result looks positive. We will be aiming for the same again tomorrow on our final day in Barcelona."

In between the Renaults was McLaren's Fernando Alonso in fourth and his rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton was sixth behind Fisichella. Set up and aerodynamics were their focus and Hamilton also carried out some race simulation work, including pit stops, although red flags hampered his long runs.

BMW Sauber also had both its race drivers on duty, Robert Kubica seventh and Nick Heidfeld 12th. The team said the day was not without problems, although nothing was specified, but the results were positive. Kubica focused on dampers and Heidfeld on set up and aerodynamics. On Wednesday the plan is to add cooling and system checks to the workload.

Jarno Trulli was the quicker of the two Toyotas in eighth and team tester Franck Montagny was 11th. Set up and tyres were the general focus, although Trulli was delayed in the morning by an electrical gremlin. "The team has been working hard all winter but so far we haven't been very lucky and I haven't had a completely clear day of running," he said.

"We performed well here but there is still work to do. We should begin to get a clearer picture of where we stand during the next two tests in Bahrain. Hopefully the weather will be better because what I really need is a full day of running with no interruptions to get to grips with the car's set-up."

The Williams duo of Nico Rosberg and Alex Wurz completed the top 10 in ninth and 10th respectively. Wurz had a problem free day working on set up and cooling systems, but Rosberg had only managed 10 laps when a technical problem halted his running.

The Honda drivers were keeping a low profile, Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button in 13th and 14th. They worked on set up and aero development and were followed on the time sheet by the pair of Red Bulls. Mark Webber was 15th and David Coulthard 16th.

Anthony Davidson continued for Super Aguri and was 17th on the time sheet. Red flags delayed his race-distance runs in the morning but he carried on with set up analysis and did some pit stop simulations in the afternoon. Takuma Sato is due in the car tomorrow, the last day of the test.

Christijan Albers took over from Adrian Sutil at Spyker and rounded off the times in 18th. Long runs and data accumulation on the tyres were the focus of the day. "For the first time in months I was able to do over 100 laps so I was really happy," said Albers. "We worked hard with a lot of things to make the car quicker -- it's not easy, but we're doing our best and did a reasonable time."

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