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Jerez day three - Kubica quickest in Spain for BMW Sauber 07 Dec 2007

Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.07. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, Thursday, 6 December 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR02 Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, 06 December 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Timo Glock (GER) Toyota. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, Thursday, 6 December 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22 leads Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault R27 on slick tyres. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, Thursday, 6 December 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India F1. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, Thursday, 6 December 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton

BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica was the fastest man in action on Thursday at Jerez during the third day of testing at the Spanish circuit. Kubica clocked a best time of 1m 19.157s - almost two-tenths of a second quicker than the McLaren of Wednesday’s fastest runner Lewis Hamilton.

Kubica was testing for the first time on non-grooved tyres, as Bridgestone continued to evaluate slicks ahead of their possible return in 2009. The Polish driver was joined for a second day by team mate Nick Heidfeld who finished tenth quickest in the times.

The duo spent the day carrying out development work for 2008. Kubica will drive for a third day on Friday alongside British Formula Three champion Marko Asmer.

Hamilton, meanwhile, continued to work through his aerodynamic programme for McLaren. It was the British team’s final test day of 2007 and Hamilton was joined by Pedro de la Rosa, who was charged with evaluating Bridgestone’s slick tyres. De la Rosa eventually finished the day in sixth.

The fastest Ferrari driver was third-placed Felipe Massa, while Michael Schumacher, back in the F2007 cockpit, clocked the eighth-quickest time. The pair carried out development work and electronics evaluations for 2008 and covered over 130 laps in total. Both will continue to test on Friday.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber was another runner to try out Bridgestone’s slick tyres, finishing the day fourth in the times. Webber covered 63 laps before an unscheduled engine change cut short his afternoon programme. He was joined by team mate David Coulthard, who finished 17th, after evaluating the squad’s 2008 electronics. Coulthard will be the only driver in action for the team on Friday.

Fifth place went to Timo Glock, who was charged with testing the slick tyres and carrying out set-up work for Toyota. Glock, however, only managed to complete 40 laps after a hydraulic problem interrupted his programme. The German was joined by Jarno Trulli, who covered 99 laps and finished in 14th. Both drivers will be back in action on Friday.

Nelson Piquet wrapped up Renault’s 2007 test programme and ended the day in seventh. Piquet continued to compare the performance of the 2007-spec tyres with Bridgestone’s 2009 prototypes, as well as carrying out set-up and start procedure work. The Brazilian encountered no problems during the day and covered 90 laps.

Rubens Barrichello was the quicker of the two drivers in action for Honda, the Brazilian going ninth fastest to Luca Filippi’s 16th. Nico Rosberg just missed out on a top-ten spot in 11th for Williams, while Kazuki Nakajima in the second interim FW29B finished the day in 15th.

Toro Rosso once again fielded 2008 team mates Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais. Vettel, 12th, evaluated the team’s 2008 electronics while Bourdais, 13th, worked on damper performance and mechanical set-up. The two ‘Sebs’ will be in action again on Friday.

With Super Aguri’s Takuma Sato in 18th, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Ralf Schumacher completed Thursday’s line-up in 19th and 20th respectively for Force India. Although the programmes of both Liuzzi and Schumacher were interrupted by several lengthy red flag periods, the duo managed to gather some significant data on the team’s 2008 control systems.

“Overall it was a difficult day with several stoppages, however this morning was quite productive,” explained Force India’s technical director James Key. “Tonio got a fair few laps in and gave some good feedback, which seemed to take the car in the right direction and his shorter runs were consistent.

“For Ralf it was more difficult as we had some issues with the car initially, which unfortunately slowed things down, especially as it was his first time with the team and his first without control systems. Over the longer runs it came together pretty well for him though and he was very consistent.”

Testing continues at Jerez on Friday.

Unofficial Thursday times from Jerez:
1. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:19.157
2. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:19.331
3. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:19.333
4. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:19.605
5. Timo Glock, Toyota, 1:19.687
6. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:19.787
7. Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault, 1:19.834
8. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 1:19.885
9. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:19.905
10. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:20.125
11. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:20.301
12. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:20.339
13. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 1:20.507
14. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:20.775
15. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:20.802
16. Luca Filippi, Honda, 1:20.915
17. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:21.055
18. Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, 1:21.093
19. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 1:21.194
20. Ralf Schumacher, Force India, 1:21.853