Barcelona day one - Raikkonen sets the pace 01 May 2007
Kimi Raikkonen was the quickest man on Monday, as testing got underway at Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya. Raikkonen clocked a best lap of 1m 21.194s to put Ferrari top of the timesheets during an eventful session at the Spanish track. The Finn was almost seven-tenths quicker than Super Aguri's Takuma Sato, who was second fastest.
With the 2007 testing regulations stipulating that teams are only allowed to run one car each day, Raikkonen took charge of the solitary F2007 and completed 97 laps. Although his technical programme focused on evaluating new aerodynamic components, the Finn also found time to begin set-up preparations for the forthcoming Spanish Grand Prix on May 13.
Super Aguri, meanwhile, were overjoyed with Sato's second place in the timings. Despite the blustery conditions, the Japanese driver was able to complete 98 laps, as he tested new aero elements and an upgraded Honda gearbox. He will be back in action on Tuesday, before handing over to team mate Anthony Davidson on Wednesday.
Test driver Pedro de la Rosa was third fastest after completing 101 laps for McLaren. Alongside cooling and systems checks, De La Rosa tested a radical new front wing on the MP4-22. He will be replaced by fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso on Tuesday.
Ralf Schumacher filled fourth slot for Toyota, after a busy day testing the TF107, which boasted several aerodynamic modifications and revised bodywork. Schumacher completed 93 laps as he focused on finding a better set-up to solve the front-end problems which he blames for his poor performances during the opening three races of the season.
In general it was a successful day and we made it through everything that we had planned, explained the German. Ive had some problems with the front end at the last couple of races in low grip conditions but it seems to be better here. We made quite a few changes in the set-up and after that I was able to brake and turn in the way that Im used to. So that helps me and we got along quite well with the car today.
Nick Heidfeld was fifth fastest for BMW Sauber, followed by Rubens Barrichello for Honda. The Brazilian completed a mammoth 132 laps, as he carried out set-up runs, tyre evaluations and some aero testing. Renaults Nelson Piquet Jr was seventh quickest for the French squad, ahead of Toro Rossos Vitantonio Liuzzi and Red Bulls David Coulthard. Piquet completed 125 problem-free laps, despite it being his first time in the car for almost two months.
I think that we've recorded interesting data for the engineers who will now get down to analysing them, explained the young Brazilian tester. We did a lot of running today, from 09:00 to 18:00 non-stop. So it wasn't the most restful of days for me! But it's good to be back behind the wheel again.
Spyker were the only team to run two drivers, with Adrian Valles, 10th, and Giedo van der Garde, 12th, both behind the wheel of the F8-VII. While Van der Garde focused on evaluating hydraulic systems and testing the Bridgestones hard and medium compounds, Valles completed several longer stints during the afternoon. The Spaniards day, however, ended prematurely after he ran wide at turn three on his final run. Although uninjured himself, the car sustained heavy damage and the Spyker mechanics will have their work cut out to be ready for Adrian Sutils arrival on Tuesday.
Completing Mondays line-up was Kazuki Nakajima, who ended the day in 11th for Williams. The young test driver, who was carrying out engine evaluations, only completed 43 laps before crashing his FW29 at turn nine shortly after lunch. The car is expected to be repaired in time for Tuesday's session.
Unofficial Monday times from Barcelona:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:21.194
2. Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, 1:21.858
3. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:21.906
4. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota, 1:21.983
5. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:22.114
6. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:22.655
7. Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault, 1:22.763
8. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso, 1:22.771
9. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:22.973
10. Adrian Valles, Spyker, 1:23.720
11. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:24.241
12. Giedo van der Garde, Spyker, 1:24.990