Alonso fastest on last day at Barcelona

Alonso fastest on last day at Barcelona

Testing wound up at Barcelona on February 24th with Renault's Fernando Alonso the fastest of the 10 drivers working at the Spanish circuit. The world champion set a best time of 1:14.085 and teammate Giancarlo Fisichella was third quickest.

Testing wound up at Barcelona on February 24th with Renault's Fernando Alonso the fastest of the 10 drivers working at the Spanish circuit. The world champion set a best time of 1:14.085 and teammate Giancarlo Fisichella was third quickest. Practicing for the new qualifying format and simulated pit stops was their programme on the final day.

Pitstop practice for Fernando Alonso.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"We have had an important and productive week," said Alonso. "We made good progress for the first race, and now I want to see how we will perform in race conditions against the competition. I am feeling confident, the car is performing well and the team is more motivated than ever."

Rubens Barrichello separated the Renaults in second, three and a half tenths down on Alonso, and team test driver Anthony Davidson was fifth overall. Set up, tyres and aerodynamics was the schedule for the last day and Davidson will conclude Honda's winter programme at Valencia next week.

"The pace of the car has been improving every day, along with the reliability and with the amount of laps we can cover, this has given me more time to become familiar with the car," said Barrichello. "I feel happy with the car and am really looking forward to my first race as a Honda Racing F1 Team driver."

Christian Klien was fourth for Red Bull but teammate David Coulthard suffered a trapped nerve in his back and only managed four laps to clock the ninth best time. Klien worked on set up and simulated qualifying, while tester Robert Doornbos took over from Coulthard to practice pit stops. Red Bull will join Renault and Honda at Valencia next week.

The Williams of Nico Rosberg was sixth on the time sheet and team test driver Alex Wurz rounded off the list in 10th. Tyres were Rosberg's focus while Wurz concentrated on long runs working on mechanical set up and brake cooling. "We tested some new aerodynamic parts for the FW28 this week and confirmed they are all working as expected," said technical director Sam Michael.

The Toyota duo of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher were seventh and eighth respectively. Much the same as the other teams, Toyota's week focused mainly on tyres. "We worked on long and short runs, but the temperature has been too cold for us," said Trulli. "I am sure that a warmer temperature will ensure that we are more competitive."

BMW Sauber wrapped up its Imola test early due to bad weather, with Jacques Villeneuve and tester Robert Kubica unable to complete any timed laps today. This was BMW's final winter test before the start of the season and technical director Willy Rampf was happy with the reliability of the car.

"We had scheduled a very ambitious test programme and were able to work through it almost completely," he said. "It ranged from the initial system checks all the way to a complete race simulation including pit stops. As far as performance goes, we're also making good progress there, but of course the only real benchmark will be the first race in Bahrain."

Barcelona: Circuit de Catalunya
Circuit length: 4.627 km
Lap record: 1:15.641 (Giancarlo Fisichella, 2005, Renault)*
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:13.920 (Jenson Button, Honda)

Imola: Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari
Circuit length: 4.933 km
Lap record: 1:20.411 (Michael Schumacher, 2004, Ferrari)
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:30.804 (Jacques Villeneuve, BMW Sauber)

*According to the official F1 website

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Jacques Villeneuve , Anthony Davidson , Fernando Alonso , Alexander Wurz , Robert Doornbos , Nico Rosberg , Christian Klien , Robert Kubica
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Williams