F1

Vettel ends Jerez test fastest

The final test session of 2007 came to a close on December 7th and Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel was the man at the top of the time sheet. He set a best of 1:18.213 on slick tyres in the morning and focused on suspension in the afternoon....

The final test session of 2007 came to a close on December 7th and Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel was the man at the top of the time sheet. He set a best of 1:18.213 on slick tyres in the morning and focused on suspension in the afternoon. Teammate Sebastien Bourdais was eighth fastest, on grooved tyres all day, and worked on evaluating dampers and mechanical set up.

"This has been a very productive test, the longest of the year for us, with two cars running for four days," commented chief engineer Laurent Mekies. "During that time there were no driver errors, we completed a high mileage -- a total of 577 laps, equivalent to 2552 kilometres -- and made good progress with the 2008 systems."

Robert Kubica was second quickest for BMW Sauber, two tenths down on Vettel, and the team also had Marko Asmer back in the cockpit, 13th on the list. Birthday boy Kubica carried out a programme of 2009 spec tyres and 2008 electronics, as well as some mechanical development. Asmer was allocated set up work and provided some "positive feedback".

Nico Rosberg and teammate Kazuki Nakajima were on duty for Williams, third and fifth respectively. "Between them, Nico Rosberg, Kazuki Nakajima and Nico Hulkenberg managed to complete all the development work on our agenda over the four days and covered 2,085kms," said test team manager Dickie Stanford. "We also had a successful first outing on the slick tyres today."

Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa concluded Ferrari's work and clocked the fourth and seventh best times. The Scuderia's week focused on development of 2008 electronics and Schumacher also tried out the 2009 slick tyres. Timo Glock was sixth fastest for Toyota and Jarno Trulli was ninth. "We tried to achieve many things today so it was quite busy for me," said Trulli.

"I used the new slick tyres and they gave a lot more grip and were pretty consistent. We also tried the tyres with 2009 levels of downforce which was quite different and a bit tricky. It was not easy to understand everything because we tried so many different things during the day. We collected a lot of data and now we must study that and figure out the solution."

David Coulthard was the sole representative for Red Bull and was 10th on the time sheet. He experienced a couple of technical problems while working on 2008 electronics. Anthony Davidson switched over from Super Aguri to Honda for the final day and rounded off the week with slick tyre evaluation.

"The major talking point of this week was the opportunity to run the Bridgestone Potenza slick tyres which will be introduced in 2009," said head of race and test engineering Steve Clark. "Additionally these tyres are planned for use without tyre blankets and a much reduced aero package. The combination of cold tyres and low downforce made for some pretty interesting out-laps for our drivers but overall they enjoyed the experience."

Takuma Sato finished off Super Aguri's week, continuing with control systems work in the morning then moving on to slick tyres and set up in the afternoon. "It was my first experience of the 2009 slick tyre -- the first time since my Formula 3 days -- and it was a good experience," he said. "We have a lot of tuning to do before we move onto these tyres for racing, but overall I believe that it has been an extremely productive test."

For the last day Force India, which has been trying out various drivers this week, reverted to testers Giedo van der Garde and Roldan Rodriguez and they were 14th and 15th respectively. Chassis development, tyres and electronics were the main focus of the team's week but there was no hint of any imminent driver announcements for 2008.

Managing director Vijay Mallya said the test had been a 'very fruitful' one for the team. "Not only have we demonstrated the strong potential of the team by attracting five highly talented drivers to test for us, it's also been very motivating for the team to have the benefit of their experience to help develop the car," he commented.

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