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F1 Testing Reports :- Valencia


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Reigning world champion Fernando Alonso set the standard on Tuesday in the McLaren, as the first major multi-team test of the year got underway in Valencia. Alonso, who was driving the new MP4-22 at the Spanish circuit, clocked a best time of 1m12.563s - almost a second faster than Kimi Raikkonen’s quickest time in the Ferrari.

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Alonso took advantage of the damp conditions in the morning to evaluate Bridgestone’s wet weather tyres, but as the track dried out in the afternoon he concentrated on continuing system checks for the new car. The Spaniard covered 102 laps before, with five minutes of the session remaining, stopping out on track with a minor oil leak. He will be joined by McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa on Wednesday.

Over in the Ferrari garage, Raikkonen got his first taste of his new team’s 2007 challenger, the F2007. The Finn, who completed 47 laps, was joined by Luca Badoer, Ferrari test driver. Badoer was less fortunate, ending the day the slowest runner, after the 248 F1 he was driving suffered technical problems. Felipe Massa will replace Badoer for the second day of testing.

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Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella was third fastest in the new R27. After waiting for the track’s slippery conditions to improve, Fisichella only began running in the afternoon and covered just 37 laps. The Italian was joined by Renault test driver Nelson Piquet Jr, who covered 31 laps in the second R27 and finished the session eighth. As a result of their interrupted programme, the team plan to stay on at the circuit for an extra day on Friday.

“It was pretty frustrating today, waiting for the track conditions to improve,” commented Fisichella. “We basically lost a day’s work but that can happen at this time of year. We still have three days left though, and I am sure we can make some good progress during the rest of the week.”

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Toyota, meanwhile, left the circuit pleased with the performance of the TF107, after its first public outing. Third driver Franck Montagny kicked off his career with the team in style, clocking the fourth-quickest time on the timesheets, while race driver Jarno Trulli ended the day sixth. After several tentative outings on the damp track in the morning, the pair went out on dry tyres in the afternoon, gradually upping their lap times.

“With rain and low temperatures early this morning we decided not to do many laps until the track temperature increased as we did not want to waste our tyres,” explained Toyota test team manager, Gerd Pfeiffer. “The weather improved but on a drying track it is difficult to make comparisons during the day. Both drivers were able to set competitive times and their first impressions of the new car were very positive.”

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BMW Sauber third driver Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest, after completing 79 laps during his maiden run in the team’s new car. Nick Heidfeld was in charge of the second F1.07 and ended the session seventh quickest, despite losing track time after suffering a small mechanical problem in the afternoon.

At Honda, Rubens Barrichello and test driver James Rossiter were in charge of testing duties. While Barrichello ended the day ninth quickest in the team’s new RA107, Rossiter drove last year’s car and clocked the 11th-best time. The weather in the morning only permitted the duo to complete short runs on wet tyres, but after lunch, they swapped to dry rubber and began working on the balance of their respective cars.

Williams test driver Kazuki Nakajima, 10th, was at the wheel of an interim car, ahead of the launch of the team’s new car on Friday. Nakajima concentrated on software and gearbox tests and covered 81 laps. Other solo runners were Mark Webber for Red Bull and Takuma Sato for Super Aguri. Webber ended the session in 13th in the RB3, while Sato scored the 12th-best time in Super Aguri’s interim car.

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Testing continues at Valencia on Wednesday.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Valencia:

1. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:12.563

2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:13.529

3. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 1:13.550

4. Franck Montagny, Toyota, 1:13.672

5. Sebastian Vettel, BMW Sauber, 1:13.678

6. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:13.735

7. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:13.858

8. Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault, 1:13.871

9. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:14.016

10. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:14.519

11. James Rossiter, Honda, 1:14.646

12. Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, 1:15.674

13. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:15.729

14. Luca Badoer, Ferrari, 1:16.388

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I hope the results are an exception, it'd be a pretty boring season if McLaren would dominate the races.

Toyota seems to be doing pretty good in the testing as well.

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McLaren always do well in pre season testing, but saying that I would like them to dominate this year. Another thing that has not been mentioned much is the fact that all teams are now using Bridgestone tires, which could make a lot of difference.

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I'm sorta anoyed that the mclaren has broken down. It is a big factor why they didn't do so well. the car just broke all the time.

Hopefully this new car sorts them problems out. I expect a fantastic season with McLaren, Ferrari, Renault doing some great races and keeping the title race on till the last race

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Yer the reliability is not there with McLaren, it has not been for a while, perhaps even since 98/99. There is no excuse for it really, they have more resources than most other teams, but have worse reliability.

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McLaren's realiability sucks. I am going with Toyota or BMW Sauber this year. Though I am a fan of Kimi.. probably I will end up supporting Ferrari unless Pedro De La Rosa drives for McLaren!

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Valencia day two - Alonso still fastest in Spain

World champion Fernando Alonso revealed he has no intentions to relinquish his Formula One crown as he dominated testing on Wednesday for the second day in succession. McLaren’s Alonso lapped the Valencia circuit in 1m 12.581s, outpacing former Renault team mate Giancarlo Fisichella by just under two-tenths of a second.

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Although the track remained wet from overnight rain, Alonso ventured out early in the team’s new car, the MP4-22, to test Bridgestone’s wet weather tyres. In the afternoon, he was joined on a drying track by McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa, who clocked the 12th best time. De la Rosa will hand over testing duties to Lewis Hamilton on Thursday, as the team continues to work through an ongoing development programme.

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It was another promising day for Renault, with Heikki Kovalainen clinching the third slot, just behind Fisichella's second place. Although the duo waited until after lunch to begin any meaningful running, they covered 85 laps during the day, as they continued set-up and chassis development work in the two R27s. Only a mechanical failure for Fisichella and a shower of rain in the late afternoon hampered the team’s progress.

"The weather dictated our running once again today,” explained the Italian. “We waited for a long time, which ate into our programme, but these things happen. I had a mechanical problem but I'm not worried - the team is working to find out what happened, and it is always better to have these problems in testing. We will carry on with the programme tomorrow, hopefully with some better weather!"

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Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest and team mate Felipe Massa eighth, as the two Ferrari drivers continued to evaluate the performance of the team’s new challenger, the F2007. Despite the poor weather, the pair completed over 100 laps and will continue testing on Thursday.

Nick Heidfeld, meanwhile, was joined by team mate Robert Kubica for BMW Sauber. Although the damp track forced the team to abandon plans to test aerodynamic developments on the two F1.07s, the duo did complete a tyre and electronic systems evaluation during the day. Heidfeld was fifth fastest, while Kubica, who only managed 38 laps after a hydraulic leak and fire curtailed his running, clocked the seventh quickest time.

Toyota’s Jarno Trulli ran another 46 laps in the TF107 on his way to sixth in the times, while team mate Ralf Schumacher covered 31 laps and finished in 11th. For Schumacher it was the first day he has spent in the team’s 2007 car since its initial shakedown run in January.

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“We had damp conditions in the morning so we had to wait a while before we could go out,” commented Schumacher. “After that is was a good day and we made some good progress. The car felt good again, just as it did on the first day I drove it at Paul Ricard for the shakedown. I must say it seems to be a step forward but we have to wait a little longer to see what the others are up to.”

Rubens Barrichello and James Rossiter were ninth and tenth respectively for Honda. While Barrichello took charge of the new RA107, completing 73 laps, Rossiter continued in the team’s 2006 car and covered 29 laps. Jenson Button will take over testing duties from Barrichello on Thursday.

Williams test driver Kazuki Nakajima, 13th, had another productive day in the team’s interim car, while David Coulthard finished the session in 15th in Red Bull’s 2007 challenger, the RB3.

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Completing the timesheets were Takuma Sato and tester Giedo van der Garde for Super Aguri. While Sato finished in 14th after completing 37 laps in the Japanese team’s interim car, Van der Garde ended his debut Formula One appearance in 16th. The Dutch 21 year-old had hoped to accrue some of the necessary mileage for his FIA Super License application, but only managed four laps of the Spanish track before a mechanical issue curtailed his running.

Testing continues in Valencia on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Valencia:

1. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:12.581

2. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 1:12.731

3. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:12.769

4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:12.861

5. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:13.024

6. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:13.297

7. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:13.303

8. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:13.574

9. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:13.680

10. James Rossiter, Honda, 1:13.734

11. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota, 1:13.839

12. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:14.283

13. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:14.406

14. Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, 1:14.812

15. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:15.948

16. Giedo van der Garde, Super Aguri, 1:26.348

Valencia day three - Schumacher tops the times

Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher was the fastest runner during testing on Thursday in Valencia. Schumacher took advantage of drier conditions at the Spanish circuit to clock a best time of 1m 11.297s - just over two-tenths of a second quicker than Giancarlo Fisichella in the Renault.

Schumacher was Toyota’s only driver for the day and covered 50 laps in the team’s 2007 car, the TF107, working through a variety of systems checks. The German’s team mate Jarno Trulli, who had been scheduled to take part, was forced to sit out, after a technical problem was recorded on his car.

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“Obviously today did not go as planned due to the high temperatures around the rear crash structure that we discovered last night,” explained Pascal Vasselon, Toyota’s senior general manager chassis. “Unfortunately this meant we were not able to run a two-car programme as planned. The guys worked hard to make sure Ralf had a chance to put some more miles on the TF107 in the afternoon and that gave us some important information.”

Renault continued to enjoy positive results, with Heikki Kovalainen taking the third slot, just behind his second-placed team mate Fisichella. Both took charge of R27s and focused on testing the reliability of the French team’s 2007 challenger. The day proved extremely productive, the pair covering 230 laps in total.

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McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who had clocked the fastest time during the previous two days, had to be satisfied with the fourth-quickest time on Thursday. He was joined by test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who ended the session in seventh. Alonso and De la Rosa both took charge of MP4-22s and concentrated their attentions on set-up and aerodynamic development. Lewis Hamilton will be back in the cockpit on Friday, replacing Alonso.

Nick Heidfeld was back behind the wheel of the BMW Sauber F1.07, setting another convincing time in fifth as he completed set-up work and tyre evaluations. Joining him for a second day was fellow race driver Robert Kubica, who finished in ninth. Unlike Heidfeld’s 100 laps, Kubica only managed to cover 19, before technical problems curtailed his running. Third driver Sebastian Vettel will join Kubica on track on Friday.

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Ferrari's day proved far more low-key, with Kimi Raikkonen sixth fastest and team mate Felipe Massa in eighth. While Raikkonen remained behind the wheel of the F2007, Massa took charge of the team’s 2006 car. The Finn, however, was forced to abandon testing halfway through the afternoon session because of unspecified technical problems.

Jenson Button and James Rossiter ended the day in 10th and 13th respectively for Honda. Button took over from team mate Rubens Barrichello in the RA107, continuing the set-up and evaluation of the new chassis. Rossiter, in the older RA106, only completed an early installation run, before the team decided to focus its attentions on Button’s programme.

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In 11th spot was Anthony Davidson for Super Aguri. Davidson’s programme focused on tyre evaluation of the compounds available from Bridgestone, but he also managed to fit in some brake material analysis and control system testing.

“It was a good day,” explained Davidson. “We completed 133 laps and made up for lost time due to bad weather during the test. We got some important tyre work done and it was interesting working with the different tyre options. We achieved some good longer runs towards the end of the day and generally I was happy with the balance of the car.”

For the first time during this week’s Spanish test, Red Bull fielded both David Coulthard, 12th, and Mark Webber, 14th. Kazuki Nakajima, meanwhile, continued alone for Williams and finished at the bottom of the timesheets in the team’s interim car.

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Testing continues in Valencia on Friday, with most teams staying on for an extra day to catch up on work missed due to the poor weather earlier in the week.

Unofficial Thursday times from Valencia:

1. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota, 1:11.297

2. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 1:11.522

3. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:11.648

4. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:11.710

5. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:11.993

6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:12.360

7. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:12.361

8. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:12.418

9. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:12.846

10. Jenson Button, Honda, 1:12.924

11. Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri, 1:13.143

12. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:13.450

13. James Rossiter, Honda, 1:13.716

14. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:13.801

15. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:13.944

Valencia day four - Hamilton makes his mark

Lewis Hamilton put the memory of last week’s crash firmly behind him on Friday as he topped the times for McLaren in this week’s final day of testing in Spain. Hamilton was the busiest man on track, completing 120 laps - including a full race distance - in the new MP4-22, as he clocked a best of 1m 11.120s, over half a second up on the second-placed Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

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After the rain earlier in the week, the showers mercifully held off for the extra day’s running, allowing Raikkonen to add116 laps to his tally in the new F2007. The Finn finished around half a second ahead of BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica, who worked on set-up and a new Bridgestone tyre compound until an oil leak ended his programme early.

Pedro de la Rosa was fourth in the second McLaren. His car suffered a Mercedes engine failure in the afternoon, but only after the V8 had run well beyond its scheduled lifecycle, having already completed over 1,100 kilometres in Fernando Alonso’s hands.

Giancarlo Fisichella was the leading Renault driver, fifth fastest to team mate Heikki Kovalainen’s seventh. Both the Italian and the Finn focused on endurance in the new R27, running 100 and 98 laps respectively.

Sebastian Vettel was sixth for BMW Sauber, the German youngster concentrating on set-up and aero work in the latest F1.07, while Mark Webber was Red Bull’s sole runner in eighth. For Red Bull, it marked the end of the new Renault-powered RB3’s first full test.

"We had some teething problems which means we did not complete as many laps as we would have liked," said the team’s head of race and test engineering, Paul Monaghan. "However, we learnt a lot and came up with fixes for some of the problems we encountered and we made progress throughout the four days. We are already building up a good relationship with the guys at Renault and we are now looking forward to an even more productive test at Jerez (next week)."

Jenson Button rounded out the times in ninth, the British driver concluding Honda’s four-day programme with the new RA107.

Testing resumes in Spain next Tuesday, this time at the Jerez circuit.

Unofficial Friday times from Valencia:

1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:11.120

2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:11.847

3. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:12.242

4. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:12.401

5. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 1:12.566

6. Sebastian Vettel, BMW Sauber, 1:12.675

7. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:12.687

8. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:12.781

9. Jenson Button, Honda, 1:12.992

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Massa: BMW Sauber is fastest

09 February 2007

According to Felipe Massa, BMW Sauber is leading the way in pre-season testing. The Hinwil-based team finished fifth in last year's constructors' championship but Massa, a former Sauber driver himself, thinks the team is ahead of Ferrari and McLaren in overall performance

"The McLaren for sure seems quick but I think the BMW is the best of them all at present," the Ferrari driver told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper following his test at Jerez on Thursday.

"I'm not just saying that based on this final day (of the Jerez test), but on the consistency with which they achieved long-distance simulations. BMW impressed in Valencia and here also their testing was extremely noteworthy," the Brazilian said.

"The McLaren is the fastest on a single lap but BMW are surprisingly consistent even if maybe the car is not as reliable yet. At the moment, I would place them above Ferrari and McLaren," he added.

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I remember last year when a BMW was following a ferrari on a straight and it was just about keeping up but not enough to over take.

Nice to know BMW Sauber has got a better car, not that was nothing wrong with last seasons car.

They had 3 drivers over 18 races. Heidfeld and Villeneuve had 4 retirements each, and with Kubica only getting disqualified.

Also what was up with the little paddles things on the front?

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Zanardi is a funny guy.. I couldn't find the interview in English but as far as I can tell the following bit is fairly accurate translation. Trolls in F1?

"Raikkonen went to Ferrari because he always broke his McLaren,? Zanardi continued: ?Peculiarly now the Ferrari is broken and the McLaren works like a clock.

Of course McLaren has had as many engine failures (if not more) than Ferrari.. not to mention that Ferrari was in much worse shape last year at this time.

Source: http://www.f1-live.com/f1/es/actualidad/no...207180435.shtml

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