It was the third day of testing at Jerez on December 6th and a third different driver took to the top of the time sheet. After Nick Heidfeld was fastest on the first day, it was the turn of BMW Sauber teammate Robert Kubica on Thursday, his best a 1:19.157. Heidfeld was 10th overall and the pair worked on developing electronics and slick tyres.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who took the quickest honours on Wednesday, was second fastest, just under two tenths down on Kubica. Slicks and corresponding 2009 aerodynamic set up were the focus of the day for him and team tester Pedro de la Rosa, sixth.
Felipe Massa was joined by Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, the Brazilian the quicker of the two in third and Schumacher eighth. Development of new components and 2008 electronics were their programme, along with 2009 spec tyres. Mark Webber was fourth for Red Bull and teammate David Coulthard was 17th. They worked on electronics, aero and slicks.
Timo Glock took the fifth fastest spot for Toyota and Jarno Trulli was in the other Japanese squad car, 14th. Test driver Nelson A. Piquet concluded Renault's programme and was seventh on the time sheet. He practiced starts and carried out tyre tests and data acquisition, while the engineers calibrated mapping with the 2008 ECU.
"The team skipped its lunch break to get the most out of our final day of testing, so thank you to everybody!" Chief test engineer Christian Silk said. "The team never lets its head go down this year, in spite of all the difficulties we faced, and once again today they gave the absolute maximum. We collected a lot of interesting data today, and our focus is already firmly on 2008."
Rubens Barrichello was in the Honda cockpit and was ninth fastest, while GP2 try out Luca Filippi was back behind the wheel as part of the team's young driver programme. He was 16th overall. Over at Williams Nico Rosberg, 11th, was partnered by test driver Kazuki Nakajima, 15th.
"Kazuki rejoined the test today and worked on set-up developments with Nico Rosberg in the interim FW29Bs," said Williams test team manager Dickie Stanford. "Although hindered by several red flags, it was another helpful day for the team. Both drivers will return tomorrow for the final test day of 2007."
Toro Rosso continued with its pair of racing Sebs, Sebastian Vettel 12th and Sebastien Bourdais 13th, less than two tenths between them. They had a busy programme of 2008 electronics, mechanical set up, aerodynamics, brakes and dampers. Takuma Sato took over at Super Aguri and was 18th quickest, having his first taste of the 2008 spec electronics and slick tyres.
Force India continued trying out prospective drivers and it was the turn of ex-Toyota man Ralf Schumacher alongside Tonio Liuzzi, the former Toro Rosso pilot returning for another test with the team. They rounded out the bottom of the times, Liuzzi the quicker in 19th and Schumacher 20th, in what the team described as a 'disrupted' day.
"For Ralf it was difficult as we had some issues with the car initially, which unfortunately slowed things down, especially as it was his first time with the team and his first without control systems," said technical director James Key. "Over the longer runs it came together pretty well for him though and he was very consistent."