The first post-season testing session got underway earlier at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, and somewhat surprisingly Michael Schumacher went fastest in the F2007. Schumacher was given the task of testing the throttle systems on the car since traction control will be outlawed in 2008. With Schumacher’s knowledge of driving cars without TC, the seven-times World Champion is the ideal person to test this. The 38-year-old went around the track 64 times and managed to top the timing sheet with a respectable 1m21.922s. Second in the table was long-time Ferrari tester Luca Badoer, setting a time 0.2s shy of his German team mate. A banner in the grandstand simply read: “Schumi, we’ve missed you so much”.
Force India were out in force as well, sporting a new livery which F1Fanatic author Keith has managed to post about, including photographs. The new look is apparently just an interim colour scheme as it is exected for the team to run in green, white and orange next year – the colours of the Indian flag. Force India test drivers Giedo van der Garde and Roldan Rodriguez were at the helm of the cars today. Resigned to the pit lane, Vitantonio Liuzzi looked on ahead of his try out for the squad later in the week.
Honda and Super Aguri appeared, both teams decked out in plain white cars, Honda running a heavily revised RA107 and Aguri running the standard RA107. British test driver James Rossiter drive for the Honda factory team while Super Aguri ran with Anthony Davidson and GP2 driver Andreas Zuber. We are still waiting for comment from the Briton as to how he found the handling of the bedraggled 2007 Honda.
Following on from his win in Mexico in the Champ Car series, former champion Sebastien Bourdais arrived to start his new job with Scuderia Toro Rosso. Heikki Kovalainen drove the Renault despite his future potentially hanging in the air, and Kazuki Nakajima started his full-time job with Williams. BMW were on track with both drivers, Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica. Kubica managed to go fifth while Heidfeld sat back in tenth. Indian GP2 driver Karun Chandhok also spent the day getting used to Formula One machinery with the Red Bull Racing squad alongside David Coulthard in the sister car.
Toyota ran both Jarno Trulli and Franck Montagny, although I was under the impression Franck had left the team. Maybe that doesn’t come into effect until the new year.
It was nice to be back behind the wheel apart from the fact I was a bit sick today with a fever, so it wasn’t the best way to get back in the car. Jarno Trulli.
Pedro De La Rosa and Gary Paffett appeared for McLaren and they spent much of the day working on the new standard ECUs due to introduced for next season. The Spaniard went third fastest but was 0.7s down on Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari. Both drivers are keen to know what will be happening next year regarding the driver lineup at McLaren, Pedro recently stating to the press that he feels he would be ideal to partner Lewis Hamilton.
|3.||Pedro De La Rosa||McLaren||1m22.687s|
|8.||David Coulthard||Red Bull Racing||1m23.332s|
|13.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m24.048s|
|14.||Andreas Zuber||Super Aguri||1m24.065s|
|15.||Sebastien Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m24.193s|
|16.||Anthony Davidson||Super Aguri||1m24.246s|
|18.||Karun Chandhok||Red Bull Racing||1m24.896s|
|19.||Giedo Van Der Garde||Force India||1m25.317s|
|20.||Roldan Rodriguez||Force India||1m26.973s|