Kovalainen tops the times at Jerez

Kovalainen tops the times at Jerez

Testing continued at Jerez on July 6th with 14 drivers from eight teams working at the Spanish circuit. Renault test driver Heikki Kovalainen was the fastest man of the day with a best time of 1:16.852 and the team also had development driver Jose...

Testing continued at Jerez on July 6th with 14 drivers from eight teams working at the Spanish circuit. Renault test driver Heikki Kovalainen was the fastest man of the day with a best time of 1:16.852 and the team also had development driver Jose Maria Lopez behind the wheel, 13th overall.

Heikki Kovalainen.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Jenson Button's Honda set the second fastest time, three tenths down on Kovalainen. He worked on tyres and set up but lost some time due to an engine failure. Rubens Barrichello was eighth on the time sheet and carried out aero evaluation and tyre work on Honda's final day.

"We had some new items to test this week and were able to get some encouraging results, although our pace is still not quick enough to compete with the top teams," said Button. "We have some work to do before next weekend but today's running has provided us with a lot of data to study."

The BMW Sauber's of tester Robert Kubica and Jacques Villeneuve were third and fourth respectively. Tyres for the French Grand Prix and aerodynamics were their focus for the day and they will continue with a similar programme on Friday.

Pedro de la Rosa was the lead McLaren in fifth and Gary Paffett was ninth on the last day of the team's test. Tyres were their main work over the three days, in preparation for France and Germany, and also developments to the cooling package.

"Pedro, Gary and the test team have had an intensive and constructive three day session this week at Jerez, putting in over 2,200km," said CEO Martin Whitmarsh. "With the upcoming break in testing in August, we have some key proving of components to complete as we work hard towards consolidating the performance of the MP4-21."

Toyota swapped its test drivers for its racers and Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher were sixth and 12th respectively. Tyres were their main work although Ralf was hampered in the afternoon when the suspension on his car needed checked and brakes changed.

Trulli had a better day. "We had a trouble-free day with the car and put in quite a few laps," he said. "My programme was mainly focused on tyres as well as doing some race simulation and set-up work for Magny-Cours. It was difficult to do some long runs with the red flags we had today, but this is normal and we will make up for this tomorrow."

It was Ferrari's first day at Jerez, with test driver Luca Badoer and Michael Schumacher behind the wheel. Development of aerodynamic and mechanical components was their foucs, along with tyres. Badoer was the quicker of the two in seventh and Schumacher was 10th.

Christian Klien's Red Bull was 11th quickest and the Williams of Mark Webber rounded off the times in 14th. "Mark was driving for us today and completed useful aero work on new parts for Magny Cours," said test team manager Mike Condliffe. "In the afternoon, we started a tyre compound test which was compromised to some extent by red flags."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Pedro de la Rosa , Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Mark Webber , Jacques Villeneuve , Heikki Kovalainen , Gary Paffett , Christian Klien , Robert Kubica , Jose Maria Lopez
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams