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    Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    *** Barcelona F1 Test Times ***

    Hamilton sets the pace at Barcelona...

    (25 February 2008)

    Lewis Hamilton maintained the slight speed edge that McLaren have shown against rivals Ferrari in Barcelona, when he topped the times on the first day of this week's final full pre-season test.

    The morning had started in damp conditions but a dry line appeared in the early afternoon to allow teams some chance to get on with evaluating their final developments ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

    Hamilton's best lap was just a few hundredths of a second faster than Kimi Raikkonen, with Michael Schumacher returning to action in the 2008 car to set the third best time.

    Kazuki Nakajima maintained the continued impressive pace of the Williams to end up fourth quickest, ahead of McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen and Williams teammate Nico Rosberg.

    Nick Heidfeld recovered from a mechanical problem in the morning, that left him stranded between Turns 4 and 5, to set the eighth best time.

    The other red flags were brought out by Sebastian Vettel, who went off at Turn 3 at 10.05am, and Nelson Piquet, who touched the pit wall entry just before 1pm.

    Adrian Sutil delivered some encouraging news for Force India as he set the 11th best time as they ran their 2008 car for the first time.

    The Toyota team had a low-key day, with Timo Glock down in 15th, right in front of test drivrer Kamui Kobayashi.

    "Again, these were not the ideal conditions for testing because of the damp start to the action," said Glock. "We did some running in the morning but not much because the track was changing so much. It became more stable during the second half of the afternoon and that went better for me.

    "We worked on finding a set-up direction to suit my driving style better. We found an improved car balance and I was much happier with it today. We couldn't try everything because we were a bit short of time in the afternoon but it was a good day."

    Today's times:

    Pos Driver Team Time (Laps)
    1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:22.276 (78 laps)
    2. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:22.319 (82)
    3. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:22.428 (83)
    4. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:22.724 (54)
    5. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:22.852 (71)
    6. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:22.974 (108)
    7. Alonso Renault (B) 1:23.021 (79)
    8. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.075 (75)
    9. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:23.091 (62)
    10. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:23.115 (71)
    11. Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:23.188 (95)
    12. Klien BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.239 (43)
    13. Liuzzi Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:23.270 (70)
    14. Piquet Renault (B) 1:23.442 (42)
    15. Glock Toyota (B) 1:23.609 (86)
    16. Kobayashi Toyota (B) 1:23.880 (29)
    17. Barrichello Honda (B) 1:24.460 (115)
    18. Wurz Honda (B) 1:24.667 (109)
    19. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:24.826 (25)


    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    Hmmm. The Force India car driven by Liuzzi was less than 1 second slower than the McLaren. I hope this is an indication that the field will be tighter this year in the middle tiers.

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    Schuey returns but Hamilton's faster...

    (25 February 2008)

    "Michael Schumacher clambered back into Ferrari's F1 hot seat today when he tested the new car at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. It was Schuey's first outing in this season's all-new F2008 racer. Last time the 39-year-old veteran went testing - back in December when he drove the 2007 Ferrari minus its driver aids - he set some of the fastest laps of the day.

    But it was Britain's Lewis Hamilton who prevailed during today's Spanish test session. He maintained a speed advantage over both the Ferraris in his McLaren-Mercedes, posting a best time of 1:22.276 and completing 78 laps during the session.

    Maranello's main man, Kimi Raikonnen, posted second fastest time of the day with 1:22.319.

    Schumacher was third fastest - not bad for his first outing in the new car -with a 1:22.428 best lap, one-tenth away from reigning champ Raikonnen's pace. Seven-time world champion Schuey managed 83 laps during the session.

    Tomorrow (Tuesday) Schumacher will be handing the F2008 back to its regular driver Felipe Massa after his one-off test. "We wanted to give Felipe a rest today," admitted a Ferrari spokesperson.

    Also making a late entry to F1 pre-season testing was Team Force India F1 - the re-branded Spyker outfit that's now funded by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya. Its new VJM01 racer debuted with Adrian Sutil at the wheel who managed an encouraging eleventh fastest time of the day at 1:23.188."


    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    JoeRockhead said:
    Hmmm. The Force India car driven by Liuzzi was less than 1 second slower than the McLaren. I hope this is an indication that the field will be tighter this year in the middle tiers.

    Bare in mind had been awful prior to testing so the track was soaking wet, making the gap between the drivers pretty small. The results would have been different if the track would have been dry.

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    Good to see that schumi hasn't lost his ability to drive! Go Hamilton, it's your turn in 2008 !!!!

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    I wish it were Hamilton's turn in 2008 but I suspect Kimi/Ferrari combination will be unbeatable..

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    McLaren duo on top at Barcelona

    (26 February 2008)

    McLaren once again outpaced main rivals Ferrari on the second day of this week's official test at Barcelona in Spain on Tuesday, with Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen topping the timesheets on a completely dry day.

    With the duo evaluating the latest developments to their MP4-23, the fact that Hamilton was able to lap almost half a second faster than third quickest Kimi Raikkonen will have provided a big confidence boost to the team - irrespective of the influence of fuel loads.

    McLaren concentrated on pitstop practice and qualifying simulation in the morning, working on longer runs in the afternoon. Both drivers stopped on track with fuel coupling issues, but the team said the problems were quickly resolved.

    Nico Rosberg showed once again that Williams could be one of the big surprises of the year as he set the fourth fastest time, ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella in the Force India.

    Sebastian Vettel showed a good dose of speed in his first run in the Red Bull Racing RB4, as he filled in for the injured David Coulthard, to set the seventh fastest time.

    The team will make a decision tomorrow morning on whether Vettel continues or Coulthard can return to action without the risk of aggravating his neck injury.

    Robert Kubica was eighth quickest, while Jenson Button finally delivered some improved performance from the Honda Racing RA108 to end up 10th overall.

    Former world champion Fernando Alonso ended up a disappointing 13th fastest, with Timo Glock at the bottom of the timesheets for Toyota.

    "After all the disruptions due to the weather it was good to get a full day of running at last," said Glock. "But it was a difficult day for me.

    "We spent the day looking at set-up but with all the changes we struggled to make the most of the improved track conditions and the extra grip. So we will have to analyse why that is overnight and aim to make a step forward tomorrow."

    Today's times:

    Pos Driver Team Time (Laps)
    1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:21.234 (81)
    2. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:21.434 (68)
    3. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:21.722 (72)
    4. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:22.309 (75)
    5. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:22.513 (102)
    6. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:22.516 (102)
    7. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:22.558 (109)
    8. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:22.625 (94)
    9. Button Honda (B) 1:22.659 (67)
    10. Liuzzi Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:22.942 (89)
    11. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:22.977 (100)
    12. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:23.023 (98)
    13. Alonso Renault (B) 1:23.112 (77)
    14. Barrichello Honda (B) 1:23.169 (74)
    15. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.284 (77)
    16. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:23.323 (98)
    17. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:23.458 (58)
    18. Piquet Renault (B) 1:23.467 (45)
    19. Glock Toyota (B) 1:23.561 (80)


    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    Barcelona - 26/02/2008

    1 . L. Hamilton - McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 - 1:21.234 (+ 0.000 ) - 82 laps
    2 . H. Kovalainen - McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 - 1:21.434 (+ 0.200 ) - 71 laps
    3 . K. Raikkonen - Ferrari F2008 - 1:21.722 (+ 0.488 ) - 72 laps
    4 . N. Rosberg - Williams Toyota FW30 - 1:22.309 (+ 1.075 ) - 75 laps
    5 . F. Massa - Ferrari F2008 - 1:22.513 (+ 1.279 ) - 102 laps
    6 . G. Fisichella - Force India Ferrari VJM01 - 1:22.516 (+ 1.282 ) - 102 laps

    cgt said:
    I wish it were Hamilton's turn in 2008 but I suspect Kimi/Ferrari combination will be unbeatable..

    Ferrari won't be unbeatable last year and they won't be unbeatable this year either.

    During pre-season testing Mclaren have been just as fast, if not faster than Ferrari. Hamilton has some sick speed in him and the MP-24 car is amazing. Not only that but Renault have a lot of work cut out for them and it looks like Alonso won't be fighting at the top. So if hamilton is to win an F1 championship then 2008 will be the year. All the pieces are in place.

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    I hope you're right my friend and we see a great season with battles on the track, not in the courtroom.

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    Why won't Schumacher come back??? For someone who has been out of a race car for almost 15 months, and first time in the F2008, that was pretty impressive!

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    WAY said:
    Why won't Schumacher come back???

    There is a time in an athletes life when it's time to be satisfied with what you have achieved and step down. The sun don't shine for ever. No matter how good you are you will eventually become worthless. MS has done the right thing leaving the sport when he has become old and is getting challenged by hungry youngsters. With his 8 championships under the belt he has nothing more to prove.

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    Yes he does have something to prove. He never got his eighth championship!

    The thing is, he is clearly still just as good as anybody out there, and most probably better over the course of a race!

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    cgt said:
    I hope you're right my friend and we see a great season with battles on the track, not in the courtroom.

    I think Hamilton will be even better without TC than with TC.. Cars will be harder to control without TC and his talent will be more seen. Like for example on two wet races last year (Fuji, China), Hamilton was in his own league...

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    From the info, every cars were seperated by very small fractions of second. It is clearly indicating that will be pretty tight races for top of the podium in this coming 2008 season. I am expecting another exciting season of F1 race.

    Go for the Champion, Red team!!!.

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    Force-India in 6th place..? Can't be right, can it..

    Re: Barcelona F1 Test Times...

    Tests are very difficult to understand: Where they running a Q3 lap?
    Were others? Who knows.



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