The last test session before the summer break concluded at Jerez and Mugello on July 26th with eight teams fielding one driver each at the former and two teams with a driver apiece at the latter. Williams' Alex Wurz topped the times in Spain with...
The last test session before the summer break concluded at Jerez and Mugello on July 26th with eight teams fielding one driver each at the former and two teams with a driver apiece at the latter. Williams' Alex Wurz topped the times in Spain with a best of 1:19.962 and he finished with set up preparations for the Hungarian Grand Prix, completing 87 laps.
"The boys have also done a great job today," said Williams test team manager Dickie Stanford. "Despite a number of scheduled changes, they managed to keep the car out on track for nearly 90 laps. Overall the test has been really positive, the team have worked through an intensive programme and done extremely well to finish everything on time."
BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica was second fastest, less than half a tenth off Wurz. Set up for the forthcoming races and confirmation of systems settings from earlier in the week were his programme and the team finished an hour early with its schedule and engine mileage complete. Kubica racked up 863 kilometres over the two days of BMW's test.
McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa was third on the time sheet as he concluded set up for Hungary and general aerodynamic work. The team didn't have much to say about its work but was making headlines elsewhere -- the World Motor Sport Council decided no penalty would be imposed on McLaren in regard to the Ferrari 'spy' drama.
Rubens Barrichello wrapped up Honda's week with fourth fastest. He completed a programme of mechanical and aerodynamic developments started by tester Christian Klien on Tuesday. "We have experienced three very productive days of testing in very hot weather conditions," said engineering director Jacky Eeckelaert.
"The focus of our programme was preparing set-ups for the high downforce configuration of the Hungaroring circuit and putting new mechanical and aero parts through their paces. The car ran reliably throughout so we were able to complete a lot of running and we found a little more performance."
Red Bull Junior Sebastien Buemi was back behind the wheel for the energy drink team and was fifth overall. He finished the test week with aero and suspension development. "It was a trouble free day and we got through all the high priority items" said chief test engineer Ian Morgan. "Sebastien did a good job, making no mistakes, achieving good lap times and providing useful feedback."
Jarno Trulli was Toyota's representative for the last day and clocked the sixth best time. His day was hampered by an oil leak in the morning which prompted an engine change but in the afternoon he managed 70 laps with a busy set up programme including practice starts, suspension, brakes and aero work.
"The main thing to say about today was that it was so hot!" Trulli commented. "When the asphalt is as hot as this it makes it difficult to get consistent data. Still, it was quite a positive day, we tried out various things in preparation for the next race in Hungary, which is likely to be just as hot and could be even hotter."
Renault's Heikki Kovalainen was seventh on the list and his day was not without problems. A change of the gearbox and the engine during aerodynamic evaluations curtailed his track activity and also meant that team tester Nelson A. Piquet, who was scheduled to be in the cockpit this afternoon, didn't have time to get any work done.
"First and foremost, we must give great credit to the mechanics who have continued to work exceptionally hard on demanding conditions," said chief test engineer Christian Silk. "This was not an easy day, but we still managed to collect good data that will allow us, after our analysis back at the factory, to make further progress with our set-up ahead of the next race."
Super Aguri's Takuma Sato rounded off the list in eighth and completed front aerodynamic work and electronic systems checks in the morning. In the afternoon he carried out a comprehensive set up evaluation and finished the day by practicing starts. The team reported no problems throughout the week.
At Mugello Ferrari's Felipe Massa was the quicker of the two drivers on track with a best time of 1:20.194. He wrapped up a programme of mechanical and aerodynamic development and completed 68 laps. Team test driver Luca Badoer will shakedown the cars for the Hungarian Grand Prix at Fiorano next week.
Scott Speed finished Toro Rosso's schedule with validation of aero components and assessment of brake materials. The American suffered lower back pain that first materialized on Wednesday but combated it with ice packs between runs. He still managed to complete 74 laps and was 3.3 seconds off Massa's pace.