On the final day of testing at Valencia Renault's Fernando Alonso was once against the fastest man of the 10 drivers on track. The champion clocked a best of 1:10.530, his fastest time of the week, and test driver Heikki Kovalainen made it a...
On the final day of testing at Valencia Renault's Fernando Alonso was once against the fastest man of the 10 drivers on track. The champion clocked a best of 1:10.530, his fastest time of the week, and test driver Heikki Kovalainen made it a Renault one-two, four tenths down on the Spaniard. The pair racked up a considerable 310 laps between them.
"We completed another race distance today," said Alonso. "The conditions were good today, because there were fewer cars running, so we didn't have as many red flags as yesterday. This afternoon, I worked on the tyres and I think we are making steady progress towards some good solutions."
Nico Rosberg was third on the time sheet for Williams and the team also tried out Japanese F3 champion Jo?o Paulo de Oliveira, who was 10th. "Jo?o Paulo de Oliveira drove the FW27C for us today to put mileage on some of the engine and gearbox components. It was his first time in a Formula One car and he did everything well," said technical director Sam Michael.
"Today was the end of the first test for the FW28. It was a really good start for the new car, with no major problems that you might expect on a first run. We also completed a few aerodynamic tests and confirmed that everything on the new car is working as predicted by the wind tunnel."
Pedro de la Rosa was fourth fastest in the McLaren MP4-20 V10 and Juan Pablo Montoya was ninth overall in the MP4-21. De la Rosa continued with tyre work while Montoya focused on long runs. The Colombian suffered an engine failure followed by a hydraulic problem which ended his day early.
"The distances we are covering is allowing us to complete some key programmes with the car and I am looking forward to continuing this process next week in Jerez," said Montoya. "The car is getting better the more we run it and develop it, and the team are doing a really good job. We have had a couple of technical issues this week, but this is why we test and everything like this helps us learn more about the car."
Nick Heidfeld was fifth for BMW Sauber, in the F1.06, and team test driver Robert Kubica was eighth in the interim C24B. Heidfeld worked on tyres, fuel system and aerodynamic tests, while Kubica's programme was tyre compounds. Both will stay on at Valencia for a Michelin wet tyre test on Saturday.
Ralf Schumacher and tester Ricarda Zonta rounded off Toyota's test week with sixth and seventh fastest respectively. They concluded with set up and tyre work. "I think we had quite a positive test over the three days in Valencia," said chief race and test engineer Dieter Gass.
"The car was running very reliably and therefore we got a lot of work done with the tyres. We made some interesting progress with the tyres, trying some new specifications and working on the car set-up to adapt to the Bridgestone tyres."
Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Circuit length: 4.005 km
Lap record: 1:09.005 (Kimi Raikkonen, 2005, McLaren)
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:10.530 (Fernando Alonso, Renault)