So this is it, the final test session before the 2009 Formula One championship kicks off in Melbourne at the end of the month. Not all teams are present in Jerez, some deciding that they have done enough running beforehand. However, Williams, Renault and Brawn were in Spain, and Rubens Barrichello once again put his car at the top of the timing sheet, just ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Renault. Barrichello was also the busiest man of the day, completing 107 laps.
We had a good day today, completing over a hundred laps. It is hotter than it was in Barcelona last week and therefore more representative of the temperatures that we can expect for the first few races, so it is good preparation for myself and the car.
The car ran very well once again and we are increasing our understanding of its characteristics every day. Rubens Barrichello.
Rubens is expected to continue tomorrow morning before Jenson Button takes over for the afternoon and the remainder of the test.
Williams sent Nico Hulkenberg out to evaluate the set up of the FW31, and was the only driver not to dip into the 79 second benchmark set by both Rubens and Fernando. It wasn’t the greatest of days for Alonso though, as a crash at Turn 8 after just a handful of laps sidelined the Spaniard for much of the session. The car was only repaired in time for Fernando to complete another 30-odd laps before the circuit was closed for the day.
Unfortunately I made a mistake this morning which was a shame as we lost a lot of track time, but sometimes this happens in testing when you are looking for the limits of the car. Fernando Alonso.
Notably, McLaren were present at Jerez, but the Woking-based team decided to keep to their original schedule and run the MP4-24 from Monday to Thursday, instead of Sunday to Wednesday like their rivals. Lewis Hamilton is expected to take to the track on Monday and Tuesday while Heikki Kovalainen will take over for Wednesday and Thursday.
Also of note are those teams that have actually decided to run during this extra test. McLaren and Renault are said to have issues with their car, McLaren admitting as much last week. Williams are probably looking for as much track time as well, the team not looking overly down on pace, but equally so, they’re not looking like Ferrari either. And of course, Brawn were present as they need all the running they can get, having only completed four-to-five full days previously.
|1.||Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP||1m19.236s||107 Laps|
|2.||Fernando Alonso Renault||1m19.819s||40 Laps|
|3.||Nico Hulkenberg Williams||1m20.015s||69 Laps|