F1

Testing concludes at Jerez and Valencia

Testing concludes at Jerez and Valencia

January 19th was the last day of the week's testing in Spain, with two teams finishing off at Jerez and one at Valencia. Perhaps spurred into action by Super Aguri topping the times on Thursday, Renault set a one-two at Jerez with Heikki...

January 19th was the last day of the week's testing in Spain, with two teams finishing off at Jerez and one at Valencia. Perhaps spurred into action by Super Aguri topping the times on Thursday, Renault set a one-two at Jerez with Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella. Kovalainen's best time was 1:19.183 while Fisichella was nearly 1.3 seconds down.

Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Renault's three-day test was the debut of the new R27, due to be launched in the Netherlands on January 24th. On this last day the focus for Kovalainen was endurance runs and set up work but Fisichella's programme was interrupted in the morning by gearbox problems. He was on track from lunchtime to continue with set up.

"The team has worked hard out at the track this week, and the initial results from our testing are encouraging: the drivers are comfortable with the car, and we have begun to explore some of the performance in the last two days," said chief test engineer Christian Silk. "We have taken a step forward in every area with the R27: firstly in terms of performance, but also with our team operations. It has been a very good start to the new year."

Takuma Sato took over from Anthony Davidson to conclude Super Aguri's week and was the third man on the time sheet. Davidson's work had been traction control and tyre tests while Sato followed up on the tyre programme and also did development of the control systems. "We have had a very satisfying test this week with the car displaying impressive reliability," said sporting director Graham Taylor.

Sato was pleased with his one day behind the wheel. "We tried various set-ups for a variety of conditions and learned a few things on the control side as well," he commented. "The car was very reliable so we were able to complete our planned programme with very good mileage. The team is working well together and we had a very good atmosphere here, so I am happy with this test."

At Valencia BMW Sauber finished its first test programme with the new F1.07. Nick Heidfeld was behind the wheel for the roll out on Tuesday and for the first full day on Wednesday. Robert Kubica had his first taste of the new car on Thursday and was back in the cockpit today, while second test driver Timo Glock took over the F1.06B from tester Sebastian Vettel.

"We are pleased with the first test of the F1.07," said technical director Willy Rampf. "No doubt that the car has much potential. "During the past two days we focused manly on the set-up of the car. It was good to see that the car reacts with good correlation to our simulations. This confirms that we have a solid basis for the ongoing development."

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