MARCH 2, 2009
Keep an eye on Jerez
Yesterday in Jerez all the available current F1 machinery came together for the first time, giving teams the chance to begin assessing the performance of their rivals, many of which have not yet been running with the cars in full 2009 spec, as they are saving their latest developments for Australia, thus avoiding giving away too many secrets too early in the game. Revealing good ideas at this stage means that rivals can react quickly and so some of the teams are waiting for Melbourne because rival teams will not be able to duplicate the advantage gained until at least the start of the European season as the four races in five weekends that come in April will see everyone flat out.
The first day of the Jerez test saw Sebastian Vettel leading the way in his Red Bull-Renault RB5, ending the day 1.3secs in front of Felipe Massa in his Ferrari. Massa was doing set-up work and lost time with an off in the early afternoon.
Toyota was third fastest with test driver Kumui Kobayashi getting his first proper chance to try out the TF109.
Nico Rosberg was fourth fastest in the Williams but he was more than two seconds a lap off Vettel's pace, but was ahead of Robert Kubica's BMW Sauber, Giancarlo Fisichella in the new Force India-Mercedes, Pedro de la Rosa in his McLaren and Nelson Piquet's Renault R29.
The testing continues today. The Toro Rosso and Honda/Brawn Racing cars are expected to be seen for the first time in the next few days. The Toro Rosso is, of course, a reiteration of the Red Bull.
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