With less than two weeks until the first race of the 2006 season in Bahrain, some teams began their final test session of the winter at Valencia on February 27th. Five drivers from three teams took to the Spanish track and the Williams of Nico ...
With less than two weeks until the first race of the 2006 season in Bahrain, some teams began their final test session of the winter at Valencia on February 27th. Five drivers from three teams took to the Spanish track and the Williams of Nico Rosberg topped the time sheet with a best of 1:11.030. Teammate Mark Webber was third fastest.
"Today, Nico and Mark started the final test for the FW28 before the Bahrain Grand Prix," said technical director Sam Michael. "The track was damp and cold this morning, but it cleared up for the afternoon. During the course of the day, Mark tested tyres for Bridgestone to finalise our choice for the initial races, while Nico spent the time working on mechanical set-up."
Separating the two Williams cars was the McLaren of test driver Pedro de la Rosa in second, a couple of tenths down on Rosberg. In the MP4-21 de la Rosa worked on tyres and engine over long runs. Fellow team tester Gary Paffett rounded off the times in fifth in the MP4-20 and also worked on tyres. Kimi Raikkonen is scheduled to join de la Rosa on Tuesday.
Renault began its last pre-season test with Heikki Kovalainen piloting the sole car at work. The team's tester was fourth on the time sheet and suffered mechanical problems which interfered with his plan of completing a race distance. He was back on track later in the day to run through systems checks in preparation for tomorrow.
"It was a tough day for us because of the mechanical problems: we fixed them, but our programme was disrupted because of it," said chief test engineer Christian Silk. "However, the main thing for us is to be ready for Bahrain, and finding and solving these problems is very important for our preparation."
At Mugello, meanwhile, Ferrari had both of its race drivers on track, each behind the wheel of a 248 F1. In varying weather conditions, Michael Schumacher focused on aerodynamic set up and Felipe Massa on reliability. Schumacher set the best time of 1:22.623 and Massa was a second and a half behind with a 1:24.249.