Jerez day four - Rosberg at the last 23 Jan 2006
A late effort from Nico Rosberg put Williams top of the Friday timesheets at Jerez in the weeks final day of testing at the Spanish circuit. Running was only possible after lunch, with heavy fog preventing any morning activity.
Rosbergs time of 1m 18.309s was two tenths quicker than that of Hondas Rubens Barrichello. Both teams were running interim V8 cars ahead and both will debut their 2006 machines in the coming week.
Today we finished testing in Jerez with Nico and Alex (Wurz), the last day before we run the FW28 in Valencia, after the launch, reported Williams technical director Sam Michael. Although the circuit was closed in the morning due to fog, we managed to have a productive afternoon testing various tyre options with Bridgestone to further improve our understanding of the compound and construction requirements.
Our Bridgestone engineers have responded exceptionally well to the direction taken from the November and December tests and we are seeing the results of that already. We also verified several new mechanical components for reliability.
Honda had a very busy afternoon in what was the final outing for their hybrid Concept car. Barrichello completed 103 laps, while team mate Jenson Button added another 120 to the tally, with less than a tenth of a second separating them in the times.
"I am continuing to learn with every day that I spend with the team and am very happy with the progress that we have made over the last two weeks, said Barrichello. Even though we started quite late today, we have still been able to do many laps this afternoon and have seen some good results. I hope that my input helps the team continue this development and progress further when we have the new car available next week."
"Testing went really well this week, particularly taking into account the lack of running time in the mornings, added Button. I completed a lot of laps as we are focusing mainly on tyre testing and reliability work at the moment. This is our last test with the Concept car and I'm really looking forward to testing the new car next week."
This week the teams move to Barcelona, where the new McLaren MP4-21 is expected to make its first appearance and Hondas 2006 machine, the RA106, is due to break cover on Wednesday.
Unofficial Friday times from Jerez:
1. Nico Rosberg, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:18.309
2. Rubens Barrichello, Honda (Michelin), 1:18.529
3. Jenson Button, Honda (Michelin), 1:18.550
4. Alexander Wurz, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:18.831