Kovalainen tops Valencia test times

Kovalainen tops Valencia test times

Testing took place at three circuits on February 28th, with four teams in action at Valencia, Ferrari at Mugello and MF1 and Super Aguri at Silverstone. Of the six drivers on duty at Valencia, Renault tester Heikki Kovalainen posted the fastest...

Testing took place at three circuits on February 28th, with four teams in action at Valencia, Ferrari at Mugello and MF1 and Super Aguri at Silverstone. Of the six drivers on duty at Valencia, Renault tester Heikki Kovalainen posted the fastest time of the day, 1:10.436, to conclude the team's winter programme.

Heikki Kovalainen.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"The team is really pleased with the work we have done so far," said chief test engineer Christian Silk. "We have made good progress, and everybody has worked extremely hard to be as ready as possible for the start of the season. It is important to say a big thank-you to every member of the test team for the hard work they have done over the last eight weeks."

Anthony Davidson was the single Honda driver present and the team's tester clocked the second best time, less than a tenth down on Kovalainen. Set up and tyre evaluation for the upcoming races were Davidson's focus and he racked up 142 laps. He will continue for the next two days.

Kimi Raikkonen was the quicker of the two McLarens on track in third and test driver Pedro de la Rosa was fourth. Raikkonen was delayed by an early hydraulic problem with the MP4-21 but he worked on set up and tyres in the afternoon. De la Rosa drove the MP4-20 and also worked on tyres. The pair conclude the test on Wednesday.

The two McLarens were followed by two Williams' with Nico Rosberg in fifth leading teammate Mark Webber, who rounded off the times in sixth. It was the last day of winter work for the race driver pair before Bahrain; tester Alex Wurz will take over on Wednesday.

"Mark and Nico both worked on tyre testing, while Nico also did some brake cooling work," said technical director Sam Michael. "We had a small problem with the gearbox on Mark's car which was the only hindrance as it cost us some downtime during the day. Alex will drive tomorrow to conclude our winter testing programme."

MF1 and Super Aguri were at Silverstone, in changeable conditions. Tiago Monteiro and testers Giorgio Mondini and Markus Winkelhock were on duty for MF1, all sharing the shakedown of the second M16 chassis. Pit stop practice was also part of the programme for MF1's last day of winter testing. Winkelhock was the quickest of the three with a best of 1:37.350.

"Unfortunately, we weren't able to do much hard running today, as it was freezing cold and actually snowed quite a bit!" Monteiro commented. "But we did manage to shake down the new car, test out the new gearbox and practice some pit stops and refuelling, so it was a pretty useful test."

Race drivers Takuma Sato and Yuji Ide were present for Super Aguri and the team displayed a slightly different livery, the previous plain white being adorned with red line detailing and partner logos. The SA05 ran the revised aerodynamic package the team will use at the start of the season. Super Aguri has yet to confirm any lap times.

At Mugello Ferrari continued its programme with Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa. In the 248 F1 Schumacher again worked on set up and aerodynamics while Massa focused on the overall reliability of the car. Schumacher was quickest, 1:21.974, and Massa was half a second behind. Both are scheduled to continue on Wednesday.

Valencia: Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Circuit length: 4.005 km
Lap record: 1:09.005 (Kimi Raikkonen, 2005, McLaren)
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:09.987 (Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren)

Autodromo del Mugello
Circuit length: 5.245 km
Lap record: 1:18.704 (Rubens Barrichello, 2004, Ferrari)
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:21.974 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari)

Silverstone
Circuit length: 5.141 km
Lap record: 1:18.739 (Michael Schumacher, 2004, Ferrari)
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:25.604 (Robert Doornbos, Red Bull)

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Pedro de la Rosa , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Mark Webber , Kimi Raikkonen , Anthony Davidson , Felipe Massa , Robert Doornbos , Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen , Yuji Ide , Markus Winkelhock , Giorgio Mondini
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams