Friday, September 19, 2008

Formula One Testing: Jerez Summary

Teams went back to the test track this week in Jerez, Spain, deep within the sherry producing region of Spain.

On Day 1 (Tuesday), BMW-Sauber, Williams and Honda began the final testing session of the season with Renault, Toyota, McLaren, Toro Rosso, Red Bull expected to join on Day 2. Ferrari chose to test privately at Mugello and Fiorano starting Wednesday and Force India chose not to test. Notable events were that Williams and Honda tested their KERS system. For Williams it was their first test of the system. BMW-Sauber's Marko Asmer was quickest with a 1:20.189 lap.

On Day 2, the 8 teams scheduled were on track and again BMW-Sauber topped the sheets this time with official test driver Christian Klien. He focused on aerodynamic developments that will be used during the rest of the season. His time was 1:19.537. McLaren tested their KERS system for the first time with test driver Gary Paffett. Paffett did a check of the system, and tried some new aerodynamic developments. Williams tested their new 2009-specification rear end with Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel. Sebastian Vettel was at the wheel of a Red Bull-Renault getting more familiar with the team he will be racing for next year. The team focused on car setup and data acquisition.

On Day 3, Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time again at the wheel of a Red Bull-Renault. BMW-Sauber with Nick Heidfeld at the wheel set the 2nd fastest time, while working on the mechanical and aerodynamic set-up. It rained during the test, so they also worked on wet weather set-ups. Renault had Lucas Di Grassi testing various updates to the car and he set the 3rd fastest time of the day. McLaren continued their KERS development with long time tester, Pedro De la Rosa. Takuma Sato made his return to Formula One with Toro Rosso in which he worked on set-up to get a feel for the car and some aerodynamic tests which according to the team produced positive results.

On the final day of testing, McLaren-Mercedes tester, Pedro De la Rosa went quickest with a lap of 1:18.992. The focus of the program was to continue with KERS testing and some aerodynamic work. Honda and Williams continued their development work with the KERS. Renault's Lucas DiGrassi continued to work on aerodynamics and car set-up. Toyota had a productive day of testing with Timo Glock behind the wheel. Glock did aerodynamic comparisons in preparation for the races in Singapore and Japan as well as testing brakes and other systems.

As mentioned previously, Ferrari chose to test at Mugello and Fiorano. On Day 1, tester Luca Badoer worked on developing aerodynamic solutions for final 4 races. He also did some work on car set-up. Day 2 saw Raikkonen (Mugello) and Massa (Fiorano) in action where Raikkonen continued with the aerodynamic work. Felipe Massa carried out the shakedown of the cars the team will use at the Singapore Grand Prix. Day 3 saw Massa move to Mugello to complete the test program.

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