The final test of the year got underway earlier today, this time the teams split between two different locations; Jerez in Spain and the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal. The Algarve test, which was the first for Formula One, was hampered by strong winds and both Ferrari and McLaren had to call it an early day, only managing to post 99 laps between them. Felipe Massa headed back to the pits after just 36 tours of the new facility, the Brazilian also feeling under the weather. Gary Paffett completed 63 laps and was 1.2s quicker, driving the MP4-23A with the revised front wing.
In Spain, BMW, Williams and Red Bull Racing all shared the familiar circuit, and once again it was Sebastien Buemi who set the pace for the rest to follow. However, the Swiss driver was piloting a 2008 Red Bull and was partnered with New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley. It had been rumoured earlier today that the Kiwi could replace Buemi at Red Bull as their tester; the Swiss driver almost certainly going to Scuderia Toro Rosso for 2009. Hartley completed 95 laps and finished his day 1.8s shy of his more experienced counterpart.
Nick Heidfeld split the Red Bulls in second, the German once again taking to the tarmac in a 2009 spec. BMW. It wasn’t plain sailing for Heidfeld though as the team had to make a precautionary engine change partway through the afternoon. BMW test driver Christian Klien piloted the F1.08K, fitted the KERS device and managed to set a fastest lap that was 0.4s down on Heidfeld. Nico Hulkenberg completed the table in the Williams, completing 100 laps (the most of the day) and finished 1.1s down on Klien.
|1.||Sebastien Buemi Red Bull Racing||1m17.704s||71 Laps|
|2.||Nick Heidfeld BMW||1m19.223s||75 Laps|
|3.||Brendon Hartley Red Bull Racing||1m19.586s||95 Laps|
|4.||Christian Klien BMW||1m19.655s||95 Laps|
|5.||Nico Hulkenberg Williams||1m20.704s||100 Laps|
|1.||Gary Paffett McLaren||1m31.788s||63 Laps|
|2.||Felipe Massa Ferrari||1m32.926s||36 Laps|
I see one thing standing in Brendon Hartley’s way to F1 stardom: his hair.
I passed him in the paddock when the British F3 visited Silverstone recently and had this uncontrollable urge to take a pair of scissors to ‘it’.
It could be worse, he could have Tom Chilton’s sense of style!
I’m curious about Massa’s lack of laps. Fair enough he wasn’t feeling well, but surely they need to take the off season testing a lot more seriously now it’s all they’ve got? Wouldn’t hurt to have Gene or Badoer on standby.
A fair point, but maybe the test was specifically for Massa, allowing him time to get used to the car or some part or something? Maybe acclimatising to slicks? In which case, there’d be little point wasting miles sending Badoer or Gene around spending fuel.
First off, great graphics having the flags next to the names. If that has been on here before, sorry for not having taken notice. As always, the only way it would (and hopefully in the near future) will look better is where there is at least one name with the Stars & Stripes next to it 🙂
Just one side note- I believe Klien is Dutch, but isn’t that the Austrain flag next to his name?
I posted, then suddenly realised I hadn’t uploaded the New Zealand icon. A moments panicking later and all was fine. But I will upload the Stars & Stripes later. Just in case.
Nope, Austrian. Christian Klien’s Wiki Entry.
The flags have been up since the off season, so not too long. This is what the tables will look like next year, if you’re interested (scroll right through the images).
Oh, and Gman asked me question earlier today on Facebook, and I cannot answer it because I don’t follow the series, so I thought may be some of you guys and gals could. Gman wanted to know if there were any good A1GP Season Review books available. Answers on a postcard, or alternatively, in the comments. 😉
Hey Oliver, great job on the tables. Really nice. Do you have any idea as to what happened to the new qualifying format? Will it be in place for 2009 or for 2010? And I read the article about two breaks and still standing. I must say, it is indeed commendable that you have returned to blogging. After the Italian GP of 2007, I got busy with college and have just not been able to get back to blogging. Really really well done. Great job!! Hope I get your spirit and start blogging again too. Let’s see.
Thanks Akshay, I appreciate your kind words. Blogging isn’t easy when you have a job, or are in school or college. I’m sending you some good spirit. 🙂
Little more has been said, but I believe the FIA are conducting market research before deciding. Quite what this market research is I do not know, but I doubt us bloggers will be involved or privvy to the results.