After Tuesday's rather washed out test session at Barcelona there were better, if a little windy, conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 2nd. Felipe Massa, following suit to Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen on the first two days, was the ...
After Tuesday's rather washed out test session at Barcelona there were better, if a little windy, conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 2nd. Felipe Massa, following suit to Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen on the first two days, was the fastest of the 10 drivers on the list and clocked a best of 1:21.506. Massa tried out the new aero and mechanical additions to the F2007.
The second fastest slot was again filled by Red Bull's Mark Webber, three tenths off Massa, and the energy drink squad wasn't the only one that looked better this week. Toyota has been a little more enthusiastic and Jarno Trulli was third overall on Wednesday. The Italian had his first taste of the new aero upgrades, although he lost a little time with a gearbox issue.
"It seems like a step forward," Trulli said of the aero package. "But it's difficult to draw too many conclusions from today because the conditions have been a bit strange. The track was wet yesterday and it was gradually drying out during the morning. There has also been quite a lot of wind, which has a major effect on set-up around here."
Renault's Heikki Kovalainen was fourth on the time sheet and worked on set up, tyre evaluation and aero testing. "There were some interesting developments in chassis set-up, and I think they are promising for the coming races," said chief test engineer Christian Silk. "We are moving in the right direction, and we hope that our situation will improve a little in the coming weeks."
Fernando Alonso didn't run yesterday due to the rain but the champion put the McLaren on track today and was fifth quickest. He continued with work started by test driver Pedro de la Rosa on Monday, including aerodynamics, reliability and different race set ups for the Spanish Grand Prix. De la Rosa is scheduled to return to the cockpit on Thursday.
Robert Kubica took over from Nick Heidfeld at BMW Sauber and was sixth fastest. The Pole focused on set up and tyres for the next race and will continue his preparations tomorrow, as well as catching up on some of the programme that Heidfeld was unable to complete in yesterday's poor weather conditions.
Jenson Button took over from Rubens Barrichello for Honda and posted the seventh best time. Like most other teams Honda also has upgraded aero parts for the start of the European season and Button carried out evaluations of the package as well as set up and general preparation. Tester Christian Klien will be behind the wheel for the last day.
At Super Aguri it was Anthony Davidson's turn to drive after Takuma Sato was on duty the first two days. Like the rest, Davidson had a busy day catching up on lost time from yesterday and focused on tyres and set up. Super Aguri concluded its work today, whereas some other teams will stay on tomorrow.
"The team has worked extremely hard to enable developments to bebrought to the car for this test and in time for the forthcoming Grand Prix," said sporting director Graham Taylor. "A reliable three days were utilised to determine extremes of set-up and data collection for the new parts of the car."
Scott Speed was Toro Rosso's representative for the day and was ninth fastest to end the team's week. Over the three day schedule both Speed and teammate Tonio Liuzzi carried out a programme of tyre evaluation, aero components and brakes. "We will now have to study the data to see if these changes are an improvement and if we should use them for the race," said chief engineer Laurent Mekies.
"The rain hampered our progress, but today, Scott did nearly a hundred laps which allowed us to catch up with our programme. After a rushed start to the season, this session was a good opportunity to develop our excellent relationship with Ferrari, with whom we worked on improving performance and on the car's control systems."
Spyker was the third team to conclude its week's testing on Wednesday and Christijan Albers rounded off the time sheet in 10th. He completed 66 laps working on tyres, suspension and set up but experienced a mechanical problem later on. As Spyker was heading home anyway the team opted to cut the day short.
"We were working on some race set ups and I was quite happy as we improved the car's handling," Albers commented. "I did a lot of laps and I tried to push really hard before trying some new tyres in the afternoon, but then unfortunately we had a failure. It's a shame as it took our afternoon away, but I think we can be pleased with today -- overall it was a good day's work."
Williams was present but prematurely ended its test after Nico Rosberg suffered a heavy crash in the morning. Rosberg, who had not set a time, was unharmed but was taken to hospital for precautionary checks. The car was badly damaged on the front and right hand side and could not be repaired at the circuit. It's been a tough week for Williams as tester Kazuki Nakajima crashed on Monday.