The first official test of 2008 got underway today at Spain’s Jerez circuit. It was the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen who dominated in the new F2008 car, only recently launched earlier in the month. Although Raikkonen set the quickest time by 0.3s, Massa’s day wasn’t without hindrance as he ground to a halt partway through the session. However, from the times set it does look like the 2008 Ferrari, which is still being heavily developed, will surely be able to compete for another title this season.
Both Toyota drivers completed the most laps, also in the new chassis, with Jarno Trulli and Timo Gock both completing 87 and 58 laps respectively. While new-comer to Formula One Sebastien Bourdais popped in a 1m20.997s to go an admirable sixth, although team mate Sebastian Vettel managed a 1m20.732 to go fourth.
Renault ran Nelson Piquet Jr today and Fernando Alonso is expected to take over tomorrow, while McLaren ran Pedro De La Rosa in the afternoon, going third fastest. Heikki Kovalainen also made his testing debut in the McLaren after lunch, familiarising himself with the MP4-23 and finishing his day in fifth. Red Bull Racing will only run one driver during this test, alternating David Coulthard with Mark Webber. Williams also ran their first of six celebratory liveries with both 2008 drivers taking to the circuit, Nico Rosberg ending up seventh and Kazuki Nakajima going twelfth.
|3.||Pedro De La Rosa||McLaren||1m20.548s||MP4-23|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m20.732s||STR2|
|6.||Sebastien Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m20.997s||STR2|
|9.||Nelson Piquet Jr||Renault||1m21.595s||R27|
|10.||David Coulthard||Red Bull Racing||1m21.745s||RBR3|
|11.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India||1m23.035s||F8-VII|
|14.||James Rossiter||Super Aguri||1m34.852s||SA07|