FEBRUARY 14, 2009
A summary of testing
The F1 teams were busy last week with two tests sessions going on: one in Bahrain and the other at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. There were three teams in Bahrain and five in Jerez, leaving just Force India and Honda not testing, as neither currently has a car available.
The decision to test in the more expensive Bahrain was taken because of the poor weather in Europe, but on this occasion it did not pay off as the kingdom had two days of sandstorms which made running at Sakhir impossible. In an effort to make up for lost time the three teams present did more mileage on the final day of the test.
Ferrari completed a total of 740 miles of running despite the two lost days and Kimi Raikkonen emerged fastest overall with a lap of 1m33.325s. The times were very tight, however, with Jarno Trulli second quickest for Toyota with a 1m33.429s, Timo Glock with a 1m33.501s, Felipe Massa with a 1m33.615s, Christian Klien (BMW Sauber) with a 1m33.666s and Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) with a 1m33.702s. The BMWs completed a total of 815 miles of testing while Toyota clocked up 750.
In Jerez there was no significant disruption from the weather and Lewis Hamilton ended the test with a best lap of 1m19.632s with the McLaren team having completed a total of 980 miles of running. Heikki Kovalainen's best was a 1m20.799s.The team spent most of the time working on learning about set-ups and putting miles on the KERS system.
Fernando Alonso was the second fastest of the 2009 cars in his Renault, just a couple of tenths shy of Hamilton. The Renault team did 900 miles of running with Nelson Piquet managing a best lap of 1m21.908s.
Williams completed a total of 1016 miles, the bulk of which were done by Kazuki Nakajima. He ended up with a best lap of 1m20.898s, while Nico Rosberg stopped the clocks at 1m21.217s and Nico Hulkenberg did a 1m22.443s. The main target of the test was finding the right balance on slick tyres.
Toro Rosso completed the most running of all the teams with its 2008 cars, completing 1350 miles with both Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastien Buemi driving. Bourdais ended up with the fastest time of all during the test with a lap of 1m17.472s, while Buemi's best was a 1m17.591s.
The new Red Bull RB5 ran in the hands of both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber and completed a total of 825 miles over the four days of running. Vettel set a best lap of 1m20.738s and Webber clocked a 1m21.313s.
Trying to read anything into the times at the moment remains a dangerous business as they teams are still using different combinations of wings as the drivers get used to running with the new slick tyres.