F1 News, Views and Reviews

Friday 13th February Testing Times

There were two simultaneous tests on Friday 13th February 2009, and I shall bring you up to date with the times here.

Jerez

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

Bahrain

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

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