Just four drivers from three teams were present at Valencia on March 2nd and Honda tester Anthony Davidson's best time of 1:08.544 wrapped up the team's winter work with an unofficial lap record. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was the previous holder,...
Just four drivers from three teams were present at Valencia on March 2nd and Honda tester Anthony Davidson's best time of 1:08.544 wrapped up the team's winter work with an unofficial lap record. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was the previous holder, from 2005, with a 1:09.005 and the Finn also posted the best V8 time to date yesterday, 1:09.416.
Some will mutter about a low fuel load, but whatever the case Davidson undercut Raikkonen's V8 time by just under nine tenths and the V10 time by just under half a second. During this week's three-day programme Davidson was the sole Honda driver present and focused on race preparations, tyres and engine work.
"The car feels good and it has been generally fast and well balanced all week," Davidson commented. "It was great to finish off the long winter testing season by breaking the unofficial lap record today! We're all looking forward to Bahrain now, I think we'll be strong there and I can't wait to get back to driving on Fridays again."
Second fastest, nearly two seconds off the Honda, was the Red Bull of David Coulthard. The Scot worked on aerodynamics and set up then switched to tyres in the afternoon. However, the RB2 had an engine problem and Coulthard spun on the resulting oil leak.
"We therefore lost some time in the afternoon, fitting a new engine, but after that we had a productive time," said chief test engineer Ian Morgan. "The car's actual pace seems pretty good, as David put in some quick laps late in the day, even though by then it was very windy."
Toyota concluded its off-season testing with Ralf Schumacher third quickest and Jarno Trulli rounding off the times in fourth. "The drivers have been motivated throughout the whole programme and have proved very helpful in the development of the new cars," said test team manager Gerd Pfeiffer in regard to the winter work.
"I think we can be happy with the progress and the stage that we have reached with the test programme. With every kilometre driven, we gained useful information and have a good understanding of the cars and their performance."
At Mugello Ferrari again struggled with the weather and Michael Schumacher was the sole driver. Track conditions were poor due to rain and Schumacher completed 43 laps before deciding to call it quits for the day and hope for better weather tomorrow. His best time was a 1:29.047.
Valencia: Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Circuit length: 4.005 km
Lap record: 1:08.544 (Anthony Davidson, 2006, Honda)
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:08.544 (Anthony Davidson, Honda)