F1

Gremlins halt Ferrari test at Bahrain

As if to prove the need for preseason tests, Ferrari reliability came unstuck Sunday in Formula One testing at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. Neither World Champion Kimi Raikkonen nor this teammate Felipe Massa could ...

As if to prove the need for preseason tests, Ferrari reliability came unstuck Sunday in Formula One testing at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain.

Neither World Champion Kimi Raikkonen nor this teammate Felipe Massa could complete planned programs despite clear weather and air temperatures ranging from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and track temps of 75 to 90 degrees.

Despite troubles with the F2008s, the Ferrari drivers were fastest overall. Raikkonen, working on development and set-up, was stopped by an oil leak. He completed 61 laps with a quick lap of 1 minute, 30.015 seconds on the 5.412-kilometer (3.362-mile) circuit.

Massa was attempting to simulate a full race when engine problems stopped him. The Brazilian completed 70 laps overall with a quick lap of 1:30.190.

Toyota had no such interruptions to its simulations, though the Germany-based team's times, unofficial as they are, continued to lag behind Ferrari's.

Toyota ran through fake practice and qualifying sessions and staged a race distance run that included pit stops with fuel and tire changes. Strong reliability and flawless crew work marked the day's work with the new TF108s.

Drivers Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock covered 91 and 93 laps, respectively, Trulli posting a quick lap of 1:30.944 and Glock a 1:31.213. Trulli, who qualified ninth for last year's race in the TF107 at 1:34.154, paced .754 behind the Ferraris.

"We did a lot of laps and successfully simulated a race distance without any trouble," Trulli said. "We did some set-up work this morning and the lap times show we are moving forward. We still have work to do but we are definitely going in the right direction and that is very positive."

Having been out of F1 race driving for awhile, Glock had a higher hill to climb.

"In the morning I did a qualifying run in a Formula 1 car for the first time in a few years, in our Q1 simulation, and that went really well," the German driver said. "The Q3 simulation, with a bit more fuel on board, also went well and I had good speed, but when we got to the race simulation I didn't have the ideal set-up. It wasn't quite what I wanted because the first few laps were good but then the handling dropped off a bit.

"However, it was a good experience for me and it will help us understand which direction to go in when it comes to setting up the car for a race distance. It was also useful to get experience of driving a full Grand Prix distance because I have not done that since 2004, although I am fit so it was no problem for me."

Chief engineer for races and tests Dieter Gass again praised the reliability of the TF108. He praised crew work during pit stops as well.

"It was encouraging to see the TF108 is a big improvement over the TF107 if you compare the times today with last year's race," he said. "We ran different settings during the simulation and it was positive to see how consistent the cars were during the race, especially Jarno's car. We learn about different aspects of the car's behavior during a race simulation, and we are able to compare things between the two cars so we have gained a lot of useful information.

"Again it was very good to see the TF108 running reliably, which it has done all year so far, and the pit crew did a good job with the four stops we made during the race."

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