Felipe Massa was fastest on the final day of testing in Bahrain.
The Brazilian completed a faultless day in the Ferrari F60, topping the timesheets by a couple of tenths. He concentrated on reliability tests and long stints in preparation for the first race of the season which is around 1 month away.
German Nick Heidfeld was second, but he was once again hindered by two mechnical problems. However, some good setup work was completed.
“Although we lost some time due to a sandstorm last week, the long test in Bahrain was very productive,” said BMW Sauber’s technical director Willy Rampf. “We could work with the cars in temperatures we would not have encountered in Europe at this time of the year, making it good preparation for the first races of the upcoming season”
Timo Glock went from fastest to slowest as he propped up the sheets today, completing just 65 laps for the team.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:32.162 113 2. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:32.225 122 3. Glock Toyota (B) 1:32.445 65
Timo Glock was fastest in the third test of the week at Bahrain.
The German driver took his TF109 to the top of the timesheets after a trouble free day.
“That was another good day for us,” said Glock. “We didn’t have any major problems and we again made it through a lot of work. We concentrated on set-up and went through our programme smoothly.
“It has been a bit tricky to drive today because there was a lot of wind, which was also blowing from a different direction to yesterday when Jarno (Trulli) was driving. But in the end I’m happy that we did so much work and it’s positive that we found some useful directions to work with.”
Felipe Massa took over from Kimi Raikkonen for the first time this week, and ran into some trouble with a gearbox problem in the morning and then just before the end of the session an electrical fault.
Nick Heidfeld was 3rd, once again working on setups with the BMW Sauber F1.09, but he also endured a couple of major mechnical faults hindering mileage to just 82 laps.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Glock Toyota (B) 1:32.492 132 2. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:32.917 105 3. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:32.993 82
Also, just wanted to wish my good friend Dani a very happy birthday today!
Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets on the second day of testing in Bahrain this week.
The former world champion completed a good day of testing marred by only one incident involving the KERS system. It had a major internal problem with cooling.
Although a disadvantage in the fact it meant Raikkonen lost 3 hours of testing, it did allow Ferrari to try out some of their KERS safety systems.
Jarno Trulli was in second place for Toyota, once again evaluating race setups.
Nick Heidfeld couldn’t repeat Christian Klien’s timesheet topping brilliance of yesterday and propped up the leaderboad. Heidfeld took the opportunity to work on mechnical setups in his first warm test with the F1.09.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:32.102 103 2. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:32.230 149 3. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:32.585 104
Christian Klien was fastest one the first day of Bahrain testing this week.
The Austrian test driver took the BMW Sauber to the top of the timesheets, as all three drivers and teams took in well over 100 laps in better conditions than previously.
“Today was a very productive day,” said Klien. “We collected a lot of data and I even did a long run at the end of the session. Again we didn’t have a single technical problem, which is very encouraging.”
Kimi Raikkonen evaluated race set ups for Ferrari, and was happy with his progress.
Jarno Trulli completed some distance running in the TF109, completing over 2 race distances.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Klien BMW-Sauber (B) 1:32.544 131 2. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:32.804 116 3. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:33.064 141
There were two simultaneous tests on Friday 13th February 2009, and I shall bring you up to date with the times here.
Sebastien Bourdais was once again fastest, however he is still running the 2008 specification Scuderia Toro Rosso STR3, with slick Bridgestone potenza tyres. Thus, it is no suprise he’s fastest!
Of the 2009 cars, Lewis Hamilton was once again fastest. However, the Brit was still running the McLaren MP4-24 with the 2008 specification rear wing, are McLaren having problems with their 2009 spec one?
Fernando Alonso was 3rd, just a couple of tenths off Hamilton’s time silencing the critics from Thursday’s test where the Renault R29 was slowest.
“After doing so many laps with the car yesterday, we concentrated more on set-up work today to get a better understanding of the car and make it easier to drive,” said the Spaniard.
“Overall, we have to be very happy as we managed to do lots of laps and the car responded well to the set-up changes we made, so I think we’ve found some good solutions.
“Every day the driveability of the car is improving and although we still have a lot of work to do before the start of the season, we are definitely moving in the right direction.”
Webber was next, putting another 92 laps onto the RB5, and proving his fitness was back up to standard.
The Williams drivers was last but one and last, with Rosberg actually setting a time. Nakajima completed jus under 40 laps without a time.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:17.472 117 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:19.632 94 3. Alonso Renault (B) 1:19.846 109 4. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:20.738 92 5. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:21.217 70 6. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) No time 34
After disappointment for Ferrari, Toyota and BMW Sauber with sandstorms halting progress on Wednesday and Thursday, the cars finally managed to get some proper running in at the Sakhir Circuit.
Kimi Raikkonen was fastest in a successful test for the Ferrari F60, putting over 100 laps onto the new machine.
“The track was very slippery in the morning, due to the sand, but we managed to go ahead with our programme,” said Raikkonen. “It’s a pity for the time we lost over the last days, but it didn’t depend on us. This happens and you just have to accept it. My first day with the new F60 on a dry track was extremely positive.
“I immediately had a good feeling although it’s still too early to say where we are compared to our competitors. The car is improving and there are no especially critical areas. We used the KERS also today and I’m happy with how it works, apart from some minor childhood disease.”
Jarno Trulli was around a tenth slower, he put the most laps onto his car, 127, of the circuit.
Christian Klien propped up the table in 3rd.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:33.325 105 2. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:33.429 127 3. Klien BMW-Sauber (B) 1:33.666 125
Sebastien Bourdais was the fastest driver of the day at Jerez, but Lewis Hamilton was the fastest of the 2009 car runners at the circuit.
While Ferrari and Toyota were not running in Bahrain, Toro Rosso, McLaren and Red Bull amongst other teams were present in Europe for one of the first dry tests of the season.
Bourdais was clearly fastest, but mainly because the 2008 cars on slick tyres are just so much faster than 2009 cars.
While Hamilton was fastest of the 2009 bunch, the McLaren team are still running a 2008 rear wing on the MP4-24 so the times are not 100% accurate to the new regulations.
Sebastian Vettel was kicking at the World Champions heels in the new Red Bull RB5, with a time just 0.001 of a second slower. That Red Bull has the potential to be one of the best this season.
Nakajima and Fernando Alonso followed in 4th and 5th places.
“Today was all about getting mileage on the car, especially with the new KERS system,” said Alonso.
“It was my first full dry day in the car and so I was able to learn a lot. We completed lots of laps, which is encouraging and now we will start working on the set-up of the car so that I can get more comfortable with it.”
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:18.493 128 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:20.737 93 3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:20.738 92 4. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:20.898 92 5. Alonso Renault (B) 1:21.307 133
Meanwhile in Bahrain….
The Toyota F1 Team have admitted, that despite a £300,000 cost, the testing in Bahrain before the season starts is invaluable.
After Sam Michael of the Williams team criticised some teams for spending such an extortionate amount to test in the oil desert nation, Toyota’s Pascal Vasselon admitted that the guaranteed dry running was the big pull.
Poor weather in Portugal and Spain have seriously hindered tests for most teams, even in Italy poor temperatures and conditions have seriously affected Ferrari’s running at home. With the in-season testing ban coming, the teams need to get as much running in as possible before the start of the 2009 season.
“For us testing in Bahrain is just the best value for money,” said Vasselon, when asked by autosport.com about the value of getting dry running there.
“There is a risk in Europe in the winter of spending your time in conditions that are totally irrelevant in terms of the tyre working window. And this can put in doubt any kind of set-up result you get, because the tyres are not working in the right window.
“All of the couplings between the tyres and the other set-up parameters can be totally wrong. This can cost a lot in terms of pre-season preparation.
“For us it is just common sense to test in Bahrain. We would be ready to drop one of the two European test sessions to spend more time in Bahrain. It is the best value for money and the best preparation for the rest of the season.”
Felipe Massa set the fastest lap time of the final day in Bahrain testing before the 2008 season starts. The next time the drivers will be present at the track will be for the race in a few months time.
Massa, in the F2008 completed 91 laps of the Sakhir circuit on another hot day.
Timo Glock, who only this morning was complaining about the Toyota TF108 set the second fastest time of the day, the farthest Toyota have gone up the leaderboard in the entire week of testing.
Kimi Raikkonen, who had been fastest every single day so far was down in 3rd position.
Jarno Trulli was last, and felt that the Bahrain test had been very productive.
“I am quite happy with how things have gone here,” he said.
“We had another smooth day, completing a lot of laps and now we have to look at the data so we can improve the car.
“Generally I am pleased with the two tests in Bahrain because we have done a lot of set-up work and I think we are making good progress, although of course we still need to push hard to continue our improvement.”
Pre- Season testing continues at Jerez in Spain tomorrow.
Kimi Raikkonen has maintained his dominance during the Bahrain Testing week, over Saturday and Sunday with fastest times in both days.
Raikkonen and his F2008 have been the fastest car and driver on every single day of the tests so far.
Felipe Massa has replaced Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer behind the wheel and is being much more of a challenge for the reigning world champion Raikkonen.
Both have been continuing setup and technical work on the F2008, which is soon to recieve a major aerodynamic upgrade. Only minor problems have hit the Italian squad, no major engine woes as yet.
Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, in the Toyota’s, have been continuing their work on the TF108 which now seems to be paying dividends as they are close to the Ferrari’s. Last week they were over 2 seconds off the Maranello team’s pace, but this has now dipped below a second.
Toyota are the only team acompanying Ferrari at this test session, the majority of other teams toured Spain over a week ago.
“It was a good day,” said Jarno Trulli, after Sunday’s testing.
“We did a lot of laps and successfully simulated a race distance without any trouble.
“We did some set-up work this morning and the lap times show we are moving forward. We still have work to do but we are definitely going in the right direction and that is very positive.
“I was pretty happy with the car today, even during the long runs. Obviously there is still room for improvement so we will study the data and push hard to improve our car.”
The test continues at Sakhir tomorrow.
Testing Times – Saturday 9th February
Testing Times – Sunday 10th February
Kimi Raikkonen was amazingly fast in today’s Bahrain testing, with his Ferrari on top of its game.
The Finn set a lap time 2 seconds faster than last season’s pole position time, something utterly astonishing.
Its the first time we have seen the F2008 on this sort of pace.
Again, Luca Badoer was second in the other Ferrari, but over 2 seconds off Kimi’s pace. Badoer was doing general technical developments covering over 60 laps in the process.
Timo Glock was third in the Toyota, and after the test felt that the Japanese squad were making progress, only Ferrari’s pace was leaving them in the shade.
Jarno Trulli came to test for the first time here in Bahrain in 2008, taking over from Kamui Kobayashi but was left down in 4th place.
Kimi Raikkonen made a return to testing at the desert venue of Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit today, powering his Ferrari F2008 to the top of the timesheets.
The Iceman was clearly not flustered by warm conditions, his 1.32.0 lap was over 1 second faster than Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer who finished second.
Toyota were the only other team testing. Their new driver, Timo Glock powered into third place only a tenth of a second behind the Ferrari test driver.
“I had quite a good day and we did a lot of useful work,”
“In the morning there was a lot of sand on the track and from lap to lap we went quicker as the track got cleaner.
“It was difficult to get consistent track conditions but towards the end of the day it was better and we did some important tests. It has been a pretty good session and it was important to do these mechanical set-up changes. I hope tomorrow is less windy and we can continue this work.”
Toyota’s test driver, Kamui Kobayashi was in 4th and last place.