Ferrari ruled day one of the final pre-season test at Bahrain today, with Felipe Massa going fastest and beating his team mate Kimi Raikkonen by 0.3s. Raikkonen ended his day in second going a further 0.3s faster than reigning champion Fernando Alonso in the McLaren. The Ferrari’s completed 197 laps between them, each completing a race distance and further developing the F2007. Alonso’s 2007 team mate Lewis Hamilton only lapped the Sakhir circuit 54 times, but managed fifth fastest in this time.
The BMWs continued to look strong, posting fourth for Robert Kubica and tenth for test driver Sebastian Vettel. Renault had a pretty terrible day though, as Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen had a big accident early in the day, destroying his R27 in the process. Although Kovalainen was unhurt in the smash, the chassis was pretty much ruined and his day ended early. Despite this though, Heikki still managed to stay in seventh place, and Giancarlo Fisichella pipped him to go sixth, just a tenth faster.
With Giancarlo, we concentrated on race distance work before starting to work on the set-up, which gave some good results. Heikki’s day was obviously interrupted by the accident. We were pleased to see him walk away unharmed, and the car did its job in protecting him. We hope he will be able to continue with his programme tomorrow. Christian Silk.
Toyota improved with Franck Montagny in eighth, but only after the French driver took over from Ralf Schumacher, who suffered problems with his back after spinning his TF107 over a curb. Both test drivers for Honda were on duty today with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello still in London following the launch of their livery yesterday. Christian Klien – who has received some praise from Honda recently – went eleventh after 89 laps, and James Rossiter was placed fourteenth, just 0.2s down on Klien.
1. Massa – Ferrari – 1m31.260s
2. Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1m31.590s
3. Alonso – McLaren – 1m31.851s
4. Kubica – BMW – 1m32.108s
5. Hamilton – McLaren – 1m32.193s
6. Fisichella – Renault – 1m32.556s
7. Kovalainen – Renault – 1m32.688s
8. Montagny – Toyota – 1m32.999s
9. Trulli – Toyota – 1m33.150s
10. Vettel – BMW – 1m33.219s
11. Klien – Honda – 1m33.378s
12. Coulthard – Red Bull Racing – 1m33.526s
13. Webber – Red Bull Racing – 1m33.540s
14. Rossiter – Honda – 1m33.597s
15. Sato – Super Aguri – 1m33.813s
16. Schumacher – Toyota – 1m34.030s
17. Speed – Toro Rosso – 1m34.057s