For the third day of testing this week it was Kimi Raikkonen's turn behind the wheel for Ferrari and the Finn was the quickest of the 13 drivers present. Raikkonen's best time was 1:28.833 and today he worked on a longer track configuration in preparation for the North American rounds of the championship. He worked on set up, tyres and development of aerodynamic and mechanical components.
Scott Speed was second fastest for Toro Rosso, two tenths down on the Ferrari. The American assessed the 'super soft' tyre compound and worked with the STR2 running a low downforce set up as will be used in Canada. Sister team Red Bull had Mark Webber on duty and the Australian was fifth while working on suspension and similar downforce set up.
Heikki Kovalainen was behind the wheel for Renault and was third fastest. His programme focused on aerodynamic preparation for upcoming events and the team said his results were very promising. Giancarlo Fisichella is scheduled to be on track on Friday.
"It was interesting changing circuits today because of the new braking points, trajectories and another level of downforce," said Kovalainen. "It was a pretty busy day. We completed our programme and we got through all the points we had to review. I now feel ready for Monaco and the races to come."
Toyota employed test driver Franck Montagny, sixth overall. He focused on set up for Canada and brakes, although intermittent rain showers hampered his programme slightly. He had a late incident when he clipped the kerb quite heavily and the car stopped on track, bringing out the red flags.
"Today was quite okay," Montagny commented. "We didn't have a lot of mileage to do and so we tried to optimise the test but it was not easy with the wind conditions and the odd shower of rain. We collected some decent information though, working on Montreal set-up and also continuing the step-by-step progress we have made since the start of the year."
Alex Wurz put the Williams through its paces and was seventh on the time sheet. He was followed by McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa in eighth. The team worked on aero configurations for the North American races, as well as tyres and brakes. Wurz is scheduled to continue tomorrow.
Rubens Barrichello continued for Honda and was 9th and shared duties with test driver Christian Klien, who was 10th. Barrichello evaluated aero configurations and completed 71 laps before handing over to Klien. Unfortunately the Austrian suffered an engine failure after only 25 laps of tyre work. Jenson Button is due to conclude the test tomorrow.
Spyker also fielded two drivers, tester Markus Winkelhock in the morning and Christijan Albers in the afternoon. Winkelhock did some initial set up work in regard to Canada but Albers suffered an unspecified mechanical problem and could only do 16 laps before having to bring his day to a halt.
"The cause is fully understood and it can be corrected immediately, but it is frustrating for Christijan and the team to lose out on some valuable test time," said chief race and test engineer Dominic Harlow. "Still it is problems like this that we are here to uncover and fix as well as looking for performance improvements, and we expect to conclude the test tomorrow with another busy and productive day."