Difficult day at Sakhir
Sakhir, 17th February - Kimi Raikkonen's last day of testing at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain was extremely troubled. At the start everything seemed to go well, when he did several stints to check the different set ups. Just after 11:30am the car started to have a problem with the KERS' cooling circuit and the Finnish driver had to come to the box. Until then Kimi had driven 40 laps, the fastest in a time of 1.33.108.
The stop to repair the KERS took more than three hours: just after 3pm - the first lap was driven at 3:20pm - Kimi came back on the track. Nevertheless there was one positive aspect, as the Team was able to experiment with an emergency in case of a KERS failure. During the winter break lots of analytic work was done and the Team has been profoundly trained as far as the KERS is concerned. This knowledge could be used today. The Team followed all procedures in a rigorous and precise way, but especially under absolute safety. Obviously Kimi and everybody else at the Ferrari box at Sakhir and at the Gestione Sportiva in Maranello would have preferred to stay out on the track, but this unexpected incident was a useful experience for the future.
Just after the car was back on the track another unexpected event occurred: two dogs decided to go for a walk on the track and the stewards had to get out the red flag until the dogs were caught. The last part of the day Kimi dedicated to race simulations with a series of quite long stints and pit stops with refuelling. Like yesterday also today the session ended with start simulations from the grid.
The Finn from Ferrari was the fastest on the track. Kimi drove his fastest lap in a time of 1.32.108, followed by Trulli (Toyota) in 1.32.230 and Klien (BMW), third in 1.32.585. Meanwhile the Italian Trulli drove more laps than his colleagues (149), while Kimi, despite the KERS problem, drove 107, three more than Heidfeld.
"Until today the car's development went well, although we were mainly concentrating on its behaviour and the tyres," Kimi said at the end of the day. "Today we had a problem with the cooling system of the KERS, but these things can happen during the tests. Anyway we drove many laps. The whole car improved during these tests, but it's still too early to say where we are compared to our competitors. I think we have to wait until Melbourne for that. Today was the first time I could get close to a car in front of me; but I wasn't close enough to understand if the new aerodynamics really make overtaking easier."
The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro will proceed its tests tomorrow with Felipe Massa.