Pre-season testing comes to a close

The bad weather continued at Imola on Thursday as the final pre-season test session came to a close. Ferrari, Williams and Toyota braved the cold, wet weather but Ferrari decided to give it up as a bad job in the morning. Toyota test driver Ryan...

The bad weather continued at Imola on Thursday as the final pre-season test session came to a close. Ferrari, Williams and Toyota braved the cold, wet weather but Ferrari decided to give it up as a bad job in the morning.

Toyota test driver Ryan Briscoe made the most of the cold conditions to set a best of 1:37.588 over 31 laps. The Australian worked on tyres but was hampered by an oil pump problem.

Toyota closed its winter test with three days at the circuit but race drivers Cristiano da Matta, who was third on the time sheet today, and Olivier Panis were not pleased about the disrupted schedule. "I can't say that I have been happy with this Imola test," said Panis.

"Our plan was to continue to work on fine-tuning the TF104 before we start the season next week in Australia, but we have had some difficulties which have not been helped by the persistently unsettled weather conditions."

Juan Pablo Montoya was the sole Williams on track and split the two Toyotas with second quickest. The bad weather gave opportunity to fine-tune the traction control systems and BMW was pleased with the engine reliability.

"It's been a long, but productive, couple of months testing during which we have uncovered and solved many faults on the FW26," said chief operations engineer Sam Michael.

"Everyone in the team has worked really hard over the winter and dedicated a lot of time and effort into the development of the car to ensure we have a really good start to the season."

At Silverstone, BAR wrapped up its four-day test which focused on race engines and systems for Melbourne. "We have had a good test here with the majority of tests running exactly to plan, which gives us good confidence for reliability at Melbourne," said technical director Geoff Willis.

"Although this has been primarily a reliability confirmation test, we have been pleased that the car has once again proved itself to be quick at Silverstone, as it has been at the other test circuits."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Williams