F1

Raikkonen quickest at Valencia

Raikkonen quickest at Valencia

McLaren concluded its winter testing at Valencia on March 1st with Kimi Raikkonen quickest of the seven drivers from five teams present at the Spanish circuit. In the MP4-21 V8 the Finn topped the time sheet with a 1:09.416, the best time of the...

McLaren concluded its winter testing at Valencia on March 1st with Kimi Raikkonen quickest of the seven drivers from five teams present at the Spanish circuit. In the MP4-21 V8 the Finn topped the time sheet with a 1:09.416, the best time of the week and best unofficial V8 time at the circuit to date.

Kimi Raikkonen.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Tester Pedro de la Rosa made it a McLaren one-two with second fastest in the MP4-20 V10, four tenths down on his teammate. Development work and preparation for Bahrain was Raikkonen's focus while de la Rosa worked on intermediate and dry tyres.

"I have completed 11 and a half test days in the MP4-21, and covered just over 3250km during these days," Raikkonen said of his winter work in the 2006 car. "I am now looking forward to getting back behind the wheel in Bahrain next week and driving the car in a competitive environment to see where we really are performance wise."

Anthony Davidson continued solo for Honda and the test driver was third overall on the team's second day. Red Bull joined the action at Valencia and David Coulthard was the single driver at work for the team in fourth fastest. Aerodynamics, tyres and engine work was the Scot's programme.

Toyota was on its first day of two at the track and had Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli fifth and sixth respectively. Ralf had a minor electronic glitch but put mileage on the car working on set up, while Trulli had a trouble free day and focused on set up and tyres.

"Although both drivers carried out their own individual tyre testing programmes, Ralf focused on testing the new car and getting a feel for it, while Jarno tried simulating some race conditions in one of the older cars, as his new car is being prepared for the first grand prix," said test team manager Gerd Pfeiffer.

Williams test driver Alex Wurz rounded off the times in seventh to bring the team's winter work to a close. Race drivers Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg had their last day on Tuesday and today Wurz finished up the test with tyre and set up work.

At Mugello Ferrari had poor weather; overnight rain and sleet left the track temperature low and more rain in the afternoon caused the team to stop early. Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa continued work in a pair of 248 F1 chassis but covered less than 50 laps between them. Schumacher was the quicker with a best time of 1:23.564.

Valencia: Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Circuit length: 4.005 km
Lap record: 1:09.005 (Kimi Raikkonen, 2005, McLaren)
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:09.416 (Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren)

Autodromo del Mugello
Circuit length: 5.245 km
Lap record: 1:18.704 (Rubens Barrichello, 2004, Ferrari)
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:21.974 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari)

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