Testing continued apace at Jerez on January 12th and 14 drivers were at work for nine teams at the Spanish circuit, once again only MF1 being absent. Rubens Barrichello made his mark on his Honda debut by setting the fastest time of the day, ...
Testing continued apace at Jerez on January 12th and 14 drivers were at work for nine teams at the Spanish circuit, once again only MF1 being absent. Rubens Barrichello made his mark on his Honda debut by setting the fastest time of the day, 1:16.714.
The Brazilian spent the morning familiarizing himself with the team's 2005 chassis and restricted V10 engine in preparation for taking the wheel of the V8 '06 Concept car for a few laps in the afternoon. Honda also had test driver Anthony Davidson on track, eighth overall, working on tyres.
McLaren continued with testers Pedro de la Rosa, second fastest, and Gary Paffett, 11th, in the MP4-20s with the restricted V10 engines. De la Rosa was less than a tenth behind Barrichello and tyre work was once again the programme. De la Rosa bought out the red flags at the end of the day with an engine failure.
Ferrari tester Marc Gen? was third on the time sheet in the F2004M, 1:18.548 over 46 laps, continuing development work on the V8 engine. He also ran the F2005 with the restricted V10, in which he clocked a best of 1:20.538 over 47 laps to conclude Ferrari's week.
Fernando Alonso, after suffering minor muscular pain in the morning, got his first taste of the Renault R26 V8 and was fourth fastest. Teammate Giancarlo Fisichello conducted system checks in the R26 initially then swapped to the R25 V10 to carry out tyre work. The Italian was 10th overall.
"I had a very good first day in the R26 today," said Alonso. "I was hoping that it would feel similar to the R25, because that was a very good car for the drivers. The good news for me is that the new car was still easy to drive, it was consistent when we did some longer runs, and we didn't have any mechanical problems today."
Mark Webber was the quicker of the two Cosworth V8-powered Williams cars on track in fifth, and teammate Nico Rosberg was seventh. "Nico was joined by Mark in Jerez today for the second day of the test. Both drivers had a productive morning working through various se-up changes and aero tests," said technical director Sam Michael.
"This afternoon, we experienced some gearbox problems that are minor in terms of the solution required, but they caused us to lose track time in the afternoon. Mark will continue his programme tomorrow and Alex (Wurz) will be back in the other car."
Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta split the two Williams in sixth and Jarno Trulli was ninth to conclude Toyota's test programme for the week. Set up and tyres were the order of the day and a couple of minor spins were the only incidents. Technical director Mike Gascoyne was satisfied with the work.
"Our first lap pace has looked pretty good too, and there have been no major reliability issues," he commented. "Overall it has been a rewarding three days and we look forward to continuing the progress here in Jerez next week. We feel that we are in a good position and pretty confident for the season."
Nick Heidfeld was again the sole representative for BMW Sauber and was 12th on the time sheet. The German tested different tyre specifications and will work on brakes, set up and system checks on Friday.
Scott Speed concluded Toro Rosso's two day programme with 13th fastest. The team was not quite as satisfied as yesterday, as red flag periods and a fuel pressure problem interfered with Speed's running, but the American managed to complete 65 laps.
"Things did not go as well as yesterday," said team principal Franz Tost. "Nevertheless Scott was able to do a reasonable number of laps and, overall, these two days have given us a good basis on which to prepare for our next test, starting on 25th January in Barcelona."
Christian Klein had his first taste of the Red Bull RB2 and rounded off the times in 14th after an equally troublesome day. A transmission problem cost him time in the morning and the team also commented on the amount of red flag periods that disrupted the running.
"In the afternoon, Christian was settling in to the new car and we had made progress on the set-up front," said head of race and test engineering Paul Monaghan. "We were hoping to validate that with a better time at the end of the session, but one of many red flags on the day spoilt our plan!"