Jerez day three - Vettel ends the year on top 17 Dec 2008
Sebastian Vettel was fastest at Jerez on Wednesday as Red Bull and the two other teams present completed their 2008 test programmes.
Vettel and Red Bull tester Sebastien Buemi worked on evaluating various mechanical set-up changes in conjunction with the 2009-specification Bridgestone slick tyres. The RB4s ran reliably all day and overnight work on Vettels car meant it was more to his liking. The German completed 107 laps, the Swiss 92.
Weve had pretty smooth running at this test and have completed a lot of mileage before the end of the year, commented Vettel. I think weve done everything we could here, learning about the tyres and next years regulations and hopefully we will start next year with a car strong enough to challenge the big boys.
BMW Saubers Christian Klien spent the morning in the teams KERS-equipped F1.08B, working on different energy strategies. "We made good progress today," said the Austrian after 38 laps. "We still have a lot of work to do on the KERS system, but the promising test results show we are moving in the right direction."
In the sister BMW - without KERS - Robert Kubica tried numerous set-up solutions aiming to improve on the results from using the new slick tyres. He switched to the KERS-equipped car in the afternoon, but had to abandon the scheduled programme due to a mechanical failure. He completed 100 laps overall.
The final runner was Kazuki Nakajima, the Japanese driver running a mammoth 131 laps as he wrapped up Williams 2008 programme.
Our schedule over recent tests has focused on set-up work for Bridgestones slick tyres, consideration of aerodynamic regulation changes (including the driver-adjustable front flap) and the KERS, explained Sam Michael, Williams technical director. Kazuki also completed a significant number of laps which helps with the three race engine life required in 2009.
Were making good progress and are looking forward to returning to the test track after the Christmas break with the FW31. Thanks to the test team and everyone in the factory for all the effort theyve put into the interim car over the past few months.
Formula One testing will resume in mid January, 2009.
Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:16.617
2. Sebastien Buemi, Red Bull, 1:16.998
3. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:19.013
4. Christian Klien, BMW Sauber, 1:19.066
5. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:19.341