Jerez day three - Wurz fastest for Williams 27 Jul 2007
Alexander Wurz was the quickest driver on Thursday in Jerez as the three-day multi-team test drew to a close. Wurz clocked a best time of 1m 19.962s in the Williams, finishing just ahead of the BMW Sauber of Robert Kubica.
Sweltering conditions persisted at the Spanish circuit, as Wurz covered 90 laps in the FW29. The Austrian finalised his set-up preparations for the forthcoming Hungarian Grand Prix. Kubica was equally productive, completing 92 laps, as he concluded BMW Saubers programme for Budapest.
McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa took over from Wednesday pacesetter Lewis Hamilton and clocked the third-fastest time in the MP4-22. De la Rosa focused on set-up and aero developments and completed 111 laps. The Spaniard was just three-hundredths of a second quicker than Hondas Rubens Barrichello, who finished fourth. Barrichello continued to assess the RA107s revised aerodynamic additions.
This week's test has been quite a challenge because of the very intense heat but this is good preparation for me because I hear that this year's Hungarian Grand Prix will be the hottest on record, explained the Brazilian. We have made a lot of set-up adjustments with the car to establish a good baseline and the mechanical and aero parts seem to be an improvement. I hope we have the basis for another small step forward next weekend.
Fifth fastest was 18 year-old Sebastien Buemi, who returned to the Red Bull cockpit for a second day. Aero and suspension testing were the order of the day for the junior driver, who ran 68 laps in the RB3. He finished just ahead of Toyotas Jarno Trulli in sixth. Although Trulli was forced to miss some running in the morning due to an oil leak on the TF107, once the team changed his engine, he covered 70 laps as he carried out set-up work.
The main thing to say about today was that it was so hot! said the Italian. When the asphalt is as hot as this it makes it difficult to get consistent data. Still, it was quite a positive day, we tried out various things in preparation for the next race in Hungary, which is likely to be just as hot and could be even hotter. We missed some track time in the morning due to an oil leak. In the end we made it through our planned 70 laps.
Renaults Heikki Kovalainen ended the day seventh, after enjoying an unscheduled second day in the R27. Test driver Nelson Piquet Jr had been due to take over for the final day, but it was decided Kovalainen should continue and complete the evaluation of aero components he had begun on Wednesday. Despite gearbox problems in the morning, the Finn covered 65 laps in total.
It is always frustrating when you have a stop-start day of testing, but it was important to run this extra day and make progress with our development programme, he explained. In between the stoppages, we did some useful tests, and the data we have collected should allow us to carry on making progress as we try to improve the car even more ahead of the next races.
The final runner was Super Aguris Takuma Sato in eighth. Sato completed a front aero test and a short electronic check before running a chassis set-up programme after lunch.
With the summer testing ban now in place, the next multi-team session is scheduled for Monza in August, just ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
Unofficial Thursday times from Jerez:
1. Alexander Wurz, Williams, 1:19.962
2. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:20.004
3. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:20.220
4. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:20.250
5. Sebastien Buemi, Red Bull, 1:20.318
6. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:20.377
7. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:20.828
8. Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, 1:21.186