Jerez day four - Vettel fastest at the finish 08 Dec 2007
Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel set the pace at Jerez on Friday at the conclusion of 2007 Formula One testing. It was the end of a week that gave more than a nod towards the sports future, with several teams trying out potential 2009 set-ups, including slick tyres and reduced downforce levels.
Vettels best time was one of those set on slicks, the young German outgunning BMW Saubers Robert Kubica by two tenths of a second. He was joined by 2008 team mate Sebastien Bourdais, who spent the day assessing different mechanical set-ups on the 2007 grooved tyres and finished in eighth.
Kubica celebrated his 23rd birthday with the second fastest time. The Polish driver was on the slicks for part of the day, but also carried out set-up work for the teams 2008 electronics. Marko Asmer was back in the second BMW Sauber after his successful outing on Tuesday and finished in 13th.
The quickest Williams driver was Nico Rosberg, who clocked the third best time in the interim FW29B. Rosberg was joined by 2008 team mate Kazuki Nakajima, who finished in fifth. Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher was in action for Ferrari for a second day alongside former team mate Felipe Massa. The duo finished fourth and seventh respectively as they wrapped up the Italian teams test programme for the year.
Timo Glock took up sixth slot for Toyota while Jarno Trulli clocked the ninth-quickest time in the second TF107. Both drivers sampled the slick tyres with Trulli also enjoying stints driving with reduced downforce in preparation for the 2009 regulation changes.
David Coulthard, 10th, was the only Red Bull driver in action, working exclusively on the teams 2008 electronic systems. He finished almost two-tenths ahead of fellow Briton Anthony Davidson, who took charge of a Honda for the day, carrying out an evaluation of the slick tyres for the Japanese team.
Davidsons 2007 team mate Takuma Sato, meanwhile, was in action for Super Aguri. Sato, 12th, was tasked with continuing the teams MES control system tuning programme.
At the bottom of the timesheets were Force India testers Giedo van der Garde and Roldan Rodriguez, the former Spyker team rounding off a week in which they have also tested Giancarlo Fisichella, Ralf Schumacher, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Franck Montagny and Christian Klien.
The test has been a very fruitful one for the team, said Managing Director Vijay Mallya. Not only have we demonstrated the strong potential of the team by attracting five highly talented drivers to test for us, it's also been very motivating for the team to have the benefit of their experience to help develop the car.
This week has had a very positive impact on the motivation of the mechanics, engineers and all involved and has shown the sporting community that we are serious about what Force India wants to achieve in Formula One.
With testing for 2007 now over the teams have returned to their respective factories to continue preparations for next season behind closed doors.
Unofficial Friday times from Jerez:
1. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:1:18.213
2. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:18.410
3. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:18.796
4. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 1:19.136
5. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:19.611
6. Timo Glock, Toyota, 1:19.961
7. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:20.000
8. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 1:20.033
9. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:20.229
10. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:20.657
11. Anthony Davidson, Honda, 1:20.821
12. Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, 1:21.092
13. Marko Asmer, BMW Sauber, 1:21.333
14. Giedo van der Garde, Force India, 1:22.321
15. Roldan Rodriguez, Force India, 1:22.508