Jerez day one - Vettel sets the pace in Spain 22 Jul 2008
Toro Rossos Sebastian Vettel dominated the timesheets in Jerez on Tuesday, as this week's test got underway at the Spanish circuit. Vettel clocked a quickest lap of 1m 19.844s to finish over two tenths of a second ahead of McLaren tester Gary Paffett.
After enduring wet conditions at the previous multi-team test at Hockenheim, the days runners enjoyed bright sunshine and track temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius, as they began preparations for the forthcoming Hungarian Grand Prix.
Vettel covered 94 laps and focused his attentions on aero testing and mechanical work in the STR3. Paffett, meanwhile, completed 80 laps in the MP4-23. Third fastest was Luca Badoer for Ferrari. Badoer spent the morning comparing different aerodynamic solutions in the F2008, before running slick Bridgestone tyres in the afternoon, in preparation for the 2009 season. He covered 69 laps.
We completed our planned programme, explained the Ferrari test driver. "This morning it was important to go deeply into some technical elements to understand what happened last Sunday in Hockenheim. We picked up a lot of data, and that will continue over the next few days when we also test some solutions for the forthcoming races."
Williams tester Nico Hulkenberg finished fourth after covering 58 laps in the FW30. Hulkenberg was charged with evaluating set-ups before a technical problem in the afternoon cut short his running. He will hand over the car to Nico Rosberg on Wednesday.
Just over four hundredths of a second down on Hulkenberg was Red Bull test driver Sebastien Buemi, who covered 110 laps in the RB4, as he carried out suspension and aero development work. Mark Webber will take over testing duties for the team on Wednesday.
Renault also fielded their test driver, Romain Grosjean, who covered 71 laps. Grosjean will hand over the R28 to Nelson Piquet for the French teams second day of running at the Spanish track.
A hot day's work!, said Christian Silk, Renaults chief test engineer. It was the second day of running we have done with Romain and he did a good job on a circuit that was new to him. We concentrated on getting him comfortable with the car and he coped well with the difficult track conditions caused by the heat, which made the balance of the car quite tricky. Running in the heat may have been difficult, but some of the races coming up, such as Hungary are traditionally very hot and some of the things we have learned today will be relevant for those races."
Seventh fastest was Jarno Trulli for Toyota. Trulli spent the day on Bridgestones slick tyres as part of the team's early preparations for 2009. The Italian covered 96 laps and will continue in the TF108 on Wednesday.
"After a string of races and tests with mixed weather, it feels really hot here at Jerez, he explained. Today we have been concentrating on the new Bridgestone slick tyres for 2009. For that reason we have run with lower downforce to simulate the aerodynamics package that we will have next season. We have made a good start and collected some interesting data for the development of next year's car. Tomorrow I will begin work to prepare for Hungary."
Alexander Wurz finished eighth quickest for Honda. Wurz was charged with evaluating the RA108's new rear suspension as well as testing an aero upgrade for the Hungarian race. The Japanese teams reserve driver will continue his running on Wednesday when he is expected to shift his attention to evaluating the squads 2009 tyres.
Tuesdays final runner was Christian Klien for BMW Sauber. Klien had been charged with evaluating the teams new KERS system in a modified F1.07C. But when he returned to the pits, following an initial run, a mechanic was injured and the German-Swiss squad abandoned their programme for the day.
Testing continues at the Spanish track on Wednesday.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Jerez:
1. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:19.844
2. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:20.179
3. Luca Badoer, Ferrari, 1:20.697
4. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams, 1:20.953
5. Sebastien Buemi, Red Bull, 1:20.997
6. Romain Grosjean, Renault, 1:21.223
7. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:21.459
8. Alexander Wurz, Honda, 1:21.596
9. Christian Klien, BMW Sauber, no time