Schumacher fastest on first day of Silverstone test

Schumacher fastest on first day of Silverstone test

Testing got under way on June 19th at two circuits, mainly in preparation for the British Grand Prix in the first week of July. All 11 teams were in action and cloudy Silverstone was the busiest location with 10 drivers from nine squads at work,...

Testing got under way on June 19th at two circuits, mainly in preparation for the British Grand Prix in the first week of July. All 11 teams were in action and cloudy Silverstone was the busiest location with 10 drivers from nine squads at work, while Honda and Super Aguri opted for the Spanish track of Jerez and warmer weather.

Ralf Schumacher, Toyota Racing, TF107.
Photo by xpb.cc.

At Silverstone Toyota's Ralf Schumacher topped the times with a best of 1:22.794. He worked on set up, practiced qualifying runs and carried out systems checks. "In general it was a successful day and we made it through everything that we had planned," Schumacher commented.

"We were concentrating on set-up work, primarily targeted at the British Grand Prix. We also looked at some different aero settings and did some qualifying runs. The conditions were very good, particularly in the morning, although the wind picked up in the afternoon. We had one stoppage after lunch while we changed some suspension settings but overall things went well."

Second on the time sheet was McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa, just over a tenth off Schumacher. He too focused on set up for the British race, as well as continuing developments to the MP4-22. Mark Webber was third fastest for Red Bull and evaluated a new aerodynamic update, despite a delay due to a hydraulic problem.

Heikki Kovalainen was Renault's representative and he was fourth quickest. His focus was aerodynamic set ups and tyre comparisons. "We are determined to continue our progress from recent weeks, and this is a very important test session for us," he said. "I collected some good data today, which we will analyse overnight and build upon tomorrow."

Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer set the fifth best time and as well as the ubiquitous set up he worked on the development of new components. "We have a completely different aerodynamic package to try at Silverstone," said head of track operations Luca Baldisserri. "So hopefully we can have another step aerodynamically."

Nick Heidfeld was sixth for BMW Sauber and his programme included new mechanical and aerodynamic components as well as tyre work. The German ended his day an hour early due to minor back pain. Still recovering from his Montreal crash, Robert Kubica will not take part in this week's test but is expected to race in France.

Toro Rosso kicked off its week with Tonio Liuzzi in the cockpit, seventh on the list. The quick-shift gearbox was his main focus and the team reported that it ran trouble free. Williams test driver Kazuki Nakajima clocked the eighth fastest time. An off-track moment damaged the front wing but he returned to work after a new one was delivered from the team factory. Despite that he managed the most laps, 124.

Two Spyker drivers shared a new F8-VII chassis; testers Adrian Valles (afternoon) and Giedo van der Garde (morning) were ninth and 10th respectively. The team lost a little time in the morning due to waiting for parts to arrive but the drivers racked up 64 laps between them working on tyre comparisons, control systems and brake development.

"Both drivers did well with a reasonable mileage overall and we completed some useful tyre work for the British Grand Prix that we will continue throughout the test," said technical director James Key. "We also tested some new items on the car, which are more for the longer term, but we made some good progress today."

Over at Jerez, Honda test driver Christian Klien shook down new mechanical parts in warm and sunny conditions. The team described it as an 'installation day' and Klien completed 77 laps -- no times were given. Super Aguri had tester James Rossiter behind the wheel and he did 76 laps while preparing for the mid-season races with chassis set up options. His best time was 1:20.926.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Luca Badoer , Nick Heidfeld , Heikki Kovalainen , Giedo van der Garde , James Rossiter , Christian Klien , Robert Kubica , Adrian Valles , Kazuki Nakajima , Luca Baldisserri
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso , Williams , Toyota Racing