FEBRUARY 16, 2008
This is the story - don't trust it!
The Formula 1 teams were testing over a four day period last week in Jerez de la Frontera with the McLaren team topping the timesheets thanks to Heikki Kovalainen's 1m17.974s after a total of 180 laps during his two days. Lewis Hamilton did all days of the test and set a best of 1m19.102s after 240 laps (the fifth best time of the week) while Pedro de la Rosa did just one day before handing over the Kovalainen, his best being a 1m19.287s after 88 laps, the seventh best time of the week.
Making rather more of an impact than has been the case of late was Red Bull Racing which ran both of its race drivers on all four days of the test with David Coulthard and Mark Webber both doing 400 laps and the Scot setting the second fastest time overall with a 1m18.485s, half a second down on Kovalainen's best but two-tenths faster than Webber's best of 1m18.628s.
Fourth fastest overall was Nico Rosberg who completed 292 laps during his three days of running, setting a best of 1m19.091s. His Williams team-mate was sixth fastest with a 1m19.117s after 376 laps over the four days.
Eighth overall was Robert Kubica, who did 336 laps in three days with a best of 1m19.535s, which was four-tenths faster than his team-mate Nick Heidfeld who completed 319 laps for a best of 1m19.934s, the 13th best time of the test. Between the two BMWs were the Renaults of Nelson Piquet Jr and Fernando Alonso. Piquet did 364 laps in his three days for a best of 1m19.660s, the ninth best time of the week, while Alonso did just one day, which involved 104 laps and a best of 1m19.710s for the 11th best time. The second Renault was also driven by tester Lucas di Grassi who completed 132 laps in his two days but his best was only a 1m21.200, which was the 18th fastest time overall.
On the same sort of pace as the Renaults were the two Toro Rossos of Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais. Both did three days, Vettel completing 220 laps with a best of 1m19.688s (10th overall) and Bourdais 259 laps with a best of 1m19.848s (12th).
Force India had one car in action for three days with the car shared by Giancarlo Fisichella, Tonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil. Fisichella was 14th overall with a 1m20.669s after 89 laps, Liuzzi did 103 laps for a best of 1m21.553s (21st) and Sutil was 23rd fastest with a 1m22.244s after 86 laps.
The Hondas were still at an early stage of development (one hopes) with Jenson Button 15th overall after 160 laps in two days with a best of 1m20.988s while Rubens Barrichello was 17th after 129 laps with a 1m21.133s. Test driver Alexander Wurz was also in action and did 166 laps for a best of 1m21.605s (22nd).
Between the two was the Super Aguri of Anthony Davidson which did just one days with a best of 1m21.010s after 53 laps. Takuma Sato was also running and was 20th with a 1m21.376s after 191 laps.
The only other man in action was Williams tester Nico Hulkenberg, who did just 32 laps for a best of 1m21.335s (19th).
Ferrari and Toyota were not in Jerez as they have been testing in Bahrain and there is still much wariness about the times being produced as some teams are going for the fastest lap times. Others are doing longer runs and thus not truly showing their hands.