Although a little late – but I think that’s the fashion these days – here are the times from the final days of testing at both Jerez in Spain and Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal. Sebastian Vettel managed to demote Mark Webber stand-in Sebastien Buemi down to second, ending the Swiss driver’s run of five fastest laps from the previous five testing days at Jerez. The Red Bull racers were a country mile ahead of nearest team BMW, although the differences between the 2008 RB4 and the interim F1.08K are substantial.
Both Red Bull drivers spent a lot of time adjusting to the slick tyres, due to be re-introduced for the 2009 season. Buemi and Vettel concentrated on the set-ups of the cars and how the different rubber affected the way the car handled.
We’ve had pretty smooth running at this test and have completed a lot of mileage before the end of the year. I think we’ve done everything we could here, learning about the tyres and next year’s regulations and hopefully we will start next year with a car strong enough to challenge the big boys. Sebastian Vettel.
BMW fielded Robert Kubica and test driver Christian Klien, but only Klien could complete mileage in the KERS car due to a mechanical issue with the device fitted on Kubica’s. However, Klien was pleased with the progress he had made and the team were once again trying out various configurations and strategies, strongly suggesting they are ahead of everyone else in this area.
The final position of the day went to Kazuki Nakajima, piloting the Williams interim car, the Japanese driver managing to complete 131 laps behind the wheel of the 2009 spec car. Nakajima was the busiest driver of the day.
Unlike last week when the weather was quite bad, I’ve covered a lot of mileage with the car, which was good for me as it’s allowed me to get used to all the changes.
In terms of what we’ve been testing, we’ve worked on set-up and the aero package for next year, but we mainly concentrated on the slick tyres this week. It is quite interesting to drive on slicks. Kazuki Nakajima.
Further north in Portugal, McLaren and Ferrari continued their testing at the new Portimao circuit on the Algarve. McLaren test driver Pedro De La Rosa finished the day with the fastest lap, some 1.2s ahead of Ferrari tester Luca Badoer. De La Rosa was driving the interim McLaren while Ferrari just used clean bodywork and slicks.
|1.||Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing||1m16.617s||107 Laps|
|2.||Sebastien Buemi Red Bull Racing||1m16.988s||92 Laps|
|3.||Robert Kubica BMW||1m19.013s||100 Laps|
|4.||Christian Klien BMW||1m19.066s||38 Laps|
|5.||Kazuki Nakajima Williams||1m19.341s||131 Laps|
|1.||Pedro De La Rosa McLaren||1m28.993s||74 Laps|
|2.||Luca Badoer Ferrari||1m30.163s||75 Laps|