Testing in preparation for the final three races of the season got under way on September 18th with nine drivers on duty at the Spanish track of Jerez. BMW test driver Timo Glock was at the top of the time sheet with a best of 1:20.606 and he...
Testing in preparation for the final three races of the season got under way on September 18th with nine drivers on duty at the Spanish track of Jerez. BMW test driver Timo Glock was at the top of the time sheet with a best of 1:20.606 and he worked on development parts for 2008, aerodynamics and general set up.
Tonio Liuzzi's Toro Rosso was second fastest, just under seven tenths off Glock. New mechanical set up configurations were his focus, along with evaluation of brake material. Sister team Red Bull had Junior driver Sebastian Buemi behind the wheel and he was third overall despite a transmission problem that ended his day prematurely.
Toyota tester Franck Montagny was fourth on the list and his programme was aerodynamic and mechanical set up work in preparation for the Japanese GP. "We got through a lot of work, most of it in race specification, and it was interesting," said the Frenchman.
"I had a few problems with oversteer in the morning, which was wearing the rear tyres, but part of that was down to track conditions. The situation improved in the afternoon when we changed the set-up and worked on the front and rear wings and the floor -- basically the latest aero package for Fuji. By the end of the day I think we had quite a good understanding of things."
Pedro de la Rosa, fifth, was in the cockpit for McLaren and the team's test driver focused on preparation for 2008 when no driver aids are permitted. Renault also employed its tester; Nelson A. Piquet was sixth fastest and worked mainly on 2008 software systems as well as aero and brakes. He was hampered by a mechanical problem in the afternoon.
"I felt comfortable with the car straight away, and the pace was okay," said Piquet, who will be on duty for the duration of the test. "I will be aiming to bring the maximum to the team tomorrow as well, to ensure we have done the best possible preparation for the final three races of the year."
Honda's Rubens Barrichello was seventh and Williams test driver Kazuki Nakajima was eighth. "In readiness for the remaining three rounds of the season, we've been working through some fairly thorough systems checks, with much of the emphasis on Fuji," said Williams test team manager Dickie Stanford. "Nico (Rosberg) will take over tomorrow."
Like most other teams, Ferrari had its test driver on track and Luca Badoer rounded off the times in ninth. His programme was solely the development of 2008 electronics and finding the best set up of the car in that configuration. He was not far off three second adrift of Glock's top time.