McLaren were out in force at yesterdays test session, given the new MP4-22 some runs at the Valencia circuit. Fernando Alonso took to the circuit proudly displaying the number one on the car, and sporting not only a new haircut, but also a new helmet design. The McLaren suffered a minor oil leak problem halfway through the day, but was rectified in time for Alonso to complete further laps in front of a large Spanish crowd.
I am very happy after today’s shakedown of the MP4-22. We achieved our principal objectives as regards how the car felt to drive.
Everyone is really focused on preparing the car for the first race and we are approaching the start of the new season in a good way. Fernando Alonso.
Renault were at Spain’s second testing circuit – Jerez – where Giancarlo Fisichella impressed with 115 laps in the new R27. To complete a full-race distance so early on with a new car is an achievement, and if this is anything to go by, the Renault should prove reliable if nothing else. Fisichella’s team mate – Heikki Kovalainen – was also present at the test, completing 44 laps in the sister Renault R27.
This is a brand new car, so to complete a full race distance on the first proper day of running, without any problems, is a very good achievement. Overall, I still have a nice feeling with the car, and I can feel it has good potential. Giancarlo Fisichella.
This was my first day in the car, so we didn’t complete many laps today as we checked everything over and got comfortable. Giancarlo has already shown that the reliability levels are good, so hopefully we can do more laps tomorrow and make good progress with the programme. Heikki Kovalainen.
Also at Jerez were Super Aguri with British driver Anthony Davidson. Anthony was still driving the interim Aguri, and spent much of the day getting used to the new Bridgestone tyres. Williams test driver Kazuki Nakajima completed his first full-race distance in the Toyota powered Williams, completing 140 laps and finishing third in the overall timings, ahead of Kovalainen by 0.3s.
Today proved a little different for the teams that were out testing – Renault, Williams and Super Aguri – as Anthony Davidson posted his Aguri at the top of the timing sheets, outpacing Giancarlo Fisichella by 0.1s. Davidson managed 145 laps at set a fastest lap time of 1m19.628s.
Despite having been beaten to the top, Renault still had a productive day with the R27. Some minor glitches hampered the progress, but the teams mileage is up on this time last year, and Fisichella is happy with the progress of his car.
We had another good day with the R27 as we started looking at some setup changes, and understanding the handling.
We made improvements through the day, and the progress confirmed the potential I could feel in the package during our reliability work yesterday. Giancarlo Fisichella.