Toyota ends Paul Ricard test on top

Toyota ends Paul Ricard test on top

The week's testing at three circuits came to a close on May 19th and Toyota concluded its work at the Paul Ricard HTTT at the top of the time sheet. The team's two test drivers were first and second fastest, Olivier Panis with a best of 1:27.143...

The week's testing at three circuits came to a close on May 19th and Toyota concluded its work at the Paul Ricard HTTT at the top of the time sheet. The team's two test drivers were first and second fastest, Olivier Panis with a best of 1:27.143 and Ricardo Zonta was a tenth behind in second. The work focused on the B spec chassis that will debut at Monaco.

Olivier Panis.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"Today, we had a few issues with the engine, which caused us to finish early, but these were normal test items," said Panis. "In the end, I am also more confident with the tyres and grip, having better results with the tyre warm-up. This specification seems pretty promising, but we will have to see how it handles on the streets of Monaco, which can be pretty tricky."

McLaren also had its testers on duty for the final day, Pedro de la Rosa third quickest and Gary Paffett rounded off the times in fourth. They focused on aero and engine work for Canada. Racers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya were on duty earlier in the week in preparation for next weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

"We worked through all our scheduled preparations for Monaco at the test, looking at areas such as the specific cooling and bodywork package that we will run on the unique track," said Montoya. "We had some positive running with that and also spent time on the Mercedes-Benz engine programme."

Williams was the only team remaining at Vallelunga and wound up its four day test with Mark Webber the quicker of the two cars, 1:1:02.634. Test driver Narain Karthikeyan was four tenths down. Set up, tyres, brakes and aero work were their programme.

"During the two days that I was in the FW28 I worked on various items in the schedule in preparation for the Monaco Grand Prix next weekend, including tyre compound evaluations with our tyre partner, Bridgestone," said former Jordan racer Karthikeyan.

"We also ran some specific tests on the aerodynamics which will be an important consideration in Monte Carlo which is a high downforce circuit. The test was very useful for me as it's given me more experience of the car, but I also hope I've assisted Williams with their current development programme."

After engine difficulties that prevented him running at Paul Ricard on Thursday, Felipe Massa was at Ferrari's home circuit of Fiorano to wrap the team's four day test. The Brazilian concluded a programme of car set up and development of new components for Monaco and set a best time of 57.099 over 108 laps.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa , Mark Webber , Olivier Panis , Kimi Raikkonen , Ricardo Zonta , Narain Karthikeyan , Felipe Massa , Gary Paffett
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Williams , Jordan