Honda fastest as testing resumes

Honda fastest as testing resumes

While Renault was enjoying the glitz of Monaco at the launch of the R26 on January 31st, some other teams were back at work on a decidedly wet test track. The rain in Spain was firmly on Valencia on Tuesday but eight drivers from five teams braved...

While Renault was enjoying the glitz of Monaco at the launch of the R26 on January 31st, some other teams were back at work on a decidedly wet test track. The rain in Spain was firmly on Valencia on Tuesday but eight drivers from five teams braved the conditions to continue with their respective winter programmes.

Rubens Barrichello.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Honda took the top two slots on the time sheet with Rubens Barrichello clocking a best of 1:19.384, six tenths ahead of team test driver Anthony Davidson. The pair practiced procedures for the new qualifying format and also worked on tyres. Jenson Button is scheduled to take over from Davidson on Wednesday.

Michael Schumacher was on duty for Ferrari and worked with both the F2004 chassis and the new 248 F1. Tyre development was his focus and he covered a total of 88 laps and his best time in the F2004 (1:20.361) put him third on the time sheet. His best time in the 2006 chassis (1:20.519) was also quick enough to take the third slot.

Due, to the rain MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi, who is testing for the Scuderia this week, had to content himself with just an installation lap once the conditions improved slightly. It was not a great success for the Italian, as he spun the Ferrari into the gravel after a few corners.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest in the MP4-21 and team tester Gary Paffett was seventh in the interim MP4-20 using the restricted V10 engine. Raikkonen completed systems checks of the new car and practiced wet launches; he had an on-track stop during fuel system checks, which the team said was planned. Paffett worked on tyres.

Williams had Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg on track and they posted fifth and eighth quickest respectively. "Considering the circuit was wet throughout the day, we completed a good programme on both the FW28 and FW27C," said technical director Sam Michael.

"Even with its tight packaging around the exhaust and cooling systems, the FW28 has not experienced any issues with burning or cooling, which is great. Mark drove the FW28 and completed 340kms on wet tyres with some long runs to check heat rejection numbers for the new car."

"Nico drove the FW27C and completed 316kms undergoing wet tyre testing for Bridgestone. It was evident from the lap times during the day that Bridgestone have an advantage in wet conditions. We should get some dry weather running tomorrow which will allow us to continue our programme."

Christian Klien was the sole Red Bull present and was sixth overall. He worked on tyres in the wet conditions. "I seem destined to be a rain driver," he said, in regard to his recent, equally wet, tests. "You never really learn that much about a car in the wet, but hopefully when it's my turn to drive again on Thursday, the weather will have improved."

Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Circuit length: 4.005 km
Lap record: 1:09.005 (Kimi Raikkonen, 2005, McLaren)
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:12.440 (Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber)

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Mark Webber , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Valentino Rossi , Nico Rosberg , Gary Paffett , Christian Klien
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams