McLaren and Honda fastest in testing

McLaren and Honda fastest in testing

There was a little more activity at the Paul Ricard HTTT test on April 6th, with 10 drivers from five teams working at the circuit. McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa was at the top of the time sheet with a best of 1:04.231 and fellow team test...

There was a little more activity at the Paul Ricard HTTT test on April 6th, with 10 drivers from five teams working at the circuit. McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa was at the top of the time sheet with a best of 1:04.231 and fellow team test driver Gary Paffett was fourth fastest.

Pedro de la Rosa.
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De la Rosa continued work in the MP4-21, focusing mainly on set up and suspension but also some tyre work. Paffett was again behind the wheel of the interim MP4-20 fitted with the restricted V10 and his programme was tyres for the upcoming European races.

Tester Robert Doornbos was on duty for Red Bull and was second quickest, just three hundredths behind de la Rosa. For the second and final day of its test, Red Bull borrowed Tonio Liuzzi from Toro Rosso and he was seventh quickest. Their programme was tyres, new aero and chassis parts and durability runs.

"Robert gave new chassis 05 its first shakedown today, while Tonio concentrated on longer runs to evaluate tyre durability," said chief test engineer Ian Morgan. "It's been a good test, as we got a lot of miles under our belt, went through our entire planned programme and found some performance."

Test driver Heikki Kovalainen was third fastest for Renault and Giancarlo Fisichella's first day saw him fifth overall. Fisichella work on chassis set up and tyres and was reportedly comfortable in the car and with the work done, although Kovalainen did little running.

"We were very productive this morning and our programme was mainly focused on chassis set up," said chief test engineer Christian Silk. "During the afternoon, we completed an interesting tyre programme with Michelin which should be important for Imola. Our results of the day were very positive."

Toyota continued with its testers Ricardo Zonta and Olivier Panis, sixth and 10th on the time sheet respectively. Tyres were their focus. "We tried numerous things today and continued our tyre test," said Zonta, who racked up 133 laps, a total of slightly over 500 klilometres.

"My car was reliable and therefore I could put in a lot of laps. We will do longs runs tomorrow as we did not have enough time to finish them today, because we had to concentrate on gaining results for the Imola tyre choice."

BMW Sauber was the other team present, Jacques Villeneuve eighth fastest and test driver Robert Kubica ninth. Villeneuve focused on set up and some aerodynamic testing while Kubica's work was tyres, evaluating specifications for the European GP. Nick Heidfeld is scheduled to take over from Villeneuve tomorrow.

Anthony Davidson.
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Testing wrapped up for the week at Vallelunga with Honda test driver Anthony Davidson the fastest man, his best time 1:14.504. He worked on tyres while race driver Jenson Button was third quickest. Button continued with chassis set up and tyres and the pair completed an impressive 276 laps between them.

"My main focus this week was tyre work, particularly looking at the options for Imola and also working on the tyre warm-up issues that we have been experiencing," said Davidson. "Although we have made good progress, there is more work to be done at Barcelona next week, but overall we are feeling positive about the car's performance."

Between the two Hondas in second was the Ferrari 248 F1 of Michael Schumacher, less than a tenth down on Davidson. He focused on new component testing on Ferrari's last day while team test driver Luca Badoer, fourth fastest, concluded tyre work in the 2004 chassis with the restricted V10 engine.

Williams test driver Alex Wurz rounded off the Vallelunga time sheet in fifth. He had an off track excursion but nothing too serious. "This morning was overcast and grey with low track temperatures and Alex suffered a low speed accident," said test team manager Mike Condliffe.

"Fortunately, he was fine but the car required some repairs which reduced our running time. In the afternoon session, with improved track conditions, we continued testing tyre compounds in preparation for Imola while we also carried out brake cooling modifications."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Pedro de la Rosa , Luca Badoer , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Ricardo Zonta , Anthony Davidson , Alexander Wurz , Robert Doornbos , Heikki Kovalainen , Gary Paffett , Robert Kubica
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso , Williams