Champion Alonso Heads the Timesheets Manama, 24th February 2007: Reigning world champion Fernando Alonso ended the first three- day Formula One test at the Bahrain International Circuit at the top of the day's timesheets, with his young ...
Champion Alonso Heads the Timesheets
Manama, 24th February 2007: Reigning world champion Fernando Alonso ended the first three- day Formula One test at the Bahrain International Circuit at the top of the day's timesheets, with his young team mate Lewis Hamilton riding close behind. It was a demonstration of strength by the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team as 16 contenders for this year's FIA Formula One World Championship continued their pre-season preparations in a full day's running.
Honda driver Rubens Barrichello racked up an impressive 130 laps of the BIC through the course of the day on his way to sixth fastest time. Both of the Toyotas got past 100 laps in the hands of Jarno Trulli and Franck Montagny, with Anthony Davidson also putting a third successive day of hard running and long distance for Super Aguri.
While none of the runners got close to the pace of BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld's lap on Friday, the teams all focused on the various issues of pace, reliability and race simulation in readiness for the season opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15-16. The sight and sound of Formula One cars at their limit was meanwhile enjoyed by a crowd of over 3500 as the gates of the Bahrain International Circuit were thrown open to the public to get a taste of the action that awaits at this year's Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on April 13-15.
Among the many people thronging the circuit were His Highness the Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, tennis legend Boris Becker and Bahraini national football squad stars Talal Yousif and Sayad Adnan. As well as the on-track action the event saw the Ithmaar Group Yalla Bahrain! F1 Football Fever five-a-side tournament bring 36 teams together for a charity soccer marathon.
Formula One testing at the Bahrain International Circuit resumes on Tuesday 27th February for a further three days, with Public Day at BD1 per person entry fee on Wednesday 28th February.
Fernando Alonso, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (1st )
"It has been interesting to get the MP4-22 on track in the consistent weather conditions of Bahrain. We have been able to get a fuller understanding of the car and how it works in the warmer temperatures, including looking at areas such as the cooling system, which has been productive."
Christian Silk, Chief Test Engineer, ING Renault F1 Team
"Our car has been very reliable, and the car has responded well to the different set-up options we have studied this week. Both drivers were very focused for all three days. For Heikki, it's an advantage to gain further experience on the circuit where he will compete in his third Grand Prix. As for Nelsinho, it was a good chance to work with the race team. We have had some encouraging results this week, and we will look to build on them next week with Heikki and Giancarlo."