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Bahrain day four - Raikkonen fastest as test resumes 13 Feb 2009

A sandstorm stops running on day three. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, 12 February 2009. © Ferrari Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF109 Formula One Testing, Autodromo Algarve, Portimao, Portugal. 20 January 2009 Christian Klien (AUT) BMW Sauber Test Driver during the driver press conference. BMW Sauber F1.09 Roll-Out, Valencia, Spain, 20 January 2009.

After spending two days dodging sandstorms, Ferrari, Toyota and BMW Sauber were finally able to carry out some productive running as their four-day Bahrain test concluded on Friday. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was the fastest man around the Sakhir circuit, clocking a best time of 1m 33.325s.

Raikkonen covered 105 laps in the F60, despite a brief hydraulic problem in the afternoon, and focused on evaluating set-up options. The Finn also tested the Italian team's KERS device.

"The track was very slippery in the morning, due to the sand, but we managed to go ahead with our programme," Raikkonen said. "My first day with the new F60 on a dry track was extremely positive. I immediately had a good feeling although it's still too early to say where we are compared to our competitors."

Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, meanwhile, finished the day in second. Working on set-up and tyre evaluations in the TF109, Trulli completed 127 laps.

“After the interruptions of the last two days, we enjoyed fine weather with perfect sunshine throughout the sessions,” explained Toyota’s chief engineer Dieter Gass. “There was still some wind which made the comparisons harder, but we were able to get through a lot of laps.

“We looked at different tyres and some set-up development directions. It is not often that we get through two race distances in a day so that bodes well for our reliability. Overall it has been a positive end to the week."

Tester Christian Klien was in action for BMW Sauber. Klien, who took up the third slot on the timesheets, concentrated on set-up work and tried different tyre compounds in the F1.09. With the car running for 125 laps, the engineers were able to collect a great deal of data and Klien was pleased to get his first taste of the team's 2009 machine.

“In the morning the track was still slightly wet as a result of being cleaned after yesterday’s sandstorm,” said the Austrian. “Because of this it took some time to build up a proper grip level. That gave me the opportunity to get used to the BMW Sauber F1.09, which I drove for the very first time. In the afternoon the track conditions were much better and we were able to go ahead with our test programme as scheduled.”

Ferrari, BMW Sauber and Toyota will stay in Bahrain over the weekend and resume testing at the Sakhir track on Monday.

Unofficial Friday times from Bahrain:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:33.325
2. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:33.429
3. Christian Klien, BMW Sauber, 1:33.666