It was young British driver Lewis Hamilton who topped the time sheets on the final day of testing at Valencia this afternoon. Driving his McLaren Mercedes, Lewis lapped the Spanish circuit in 1m 11.120s, beating Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari by 0.7s. BMWs Robert Kubica finished the day in a fine third, beating the second McLaren of Pedro De La Rosa by 0.2s, who in turn finished ahead of Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella by a further tenth of a second.
As Toyota and Williams finished yesterday – Williams to launch their car at home, and Toyota due to an overheating rear tyre issue – the track was somewhat less congested, and the teams were able to add a lot of mileage to their cars. Hamilton completed 120 laps, Raikkonen did 116 and Fisichella 100 with team mate Heikki Kovalainen lapping 98 times. BMW ran Kubica and their young test driver Sebastian Vettel, who finished the day in sixth place, just ahead of Kovalainen by 0.01s. Mark Webber drove the sole Red Bull, while Jenson Button drove the sole Honda.
Also in the news today, Super Aguri are upset with Spyker and up-and-coming Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde. The Dutch team Spyker announced yesterday that Giedo is now a part of their test team, which also consists of Fairuz Fauzy, Adrian Valles and Markus Winkelhock. However, Van der Garde tested for Super Aguri as recently as last Wednesday in Valencia, and while it would probably be a dream-come-true for Giedo to drive for a Dutch team, Super Aguri may have a fighting case if they have a contract with his signature on. It may also help his career somewhat by staying at the Honda-backed team who have improved dramatically over the winter – what is it with some of these drivers who think the grass is greener…?
The Super Aguri F1 Team has a valid contract with Giedo van der Garde to drive for the team in the position of Friday and Test Driver for the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship. The contract was submitted by the SAF1 Team to the Contracts Recognition Board on 23rd January 2007. Super Aguri Press Release.
Super Aguri have said that if they cannot fix this issue privately, they will go to the Formula One Contracts Recognition Board, much like how Honda did a couple of years ago in order to retain Jenson Button.
1. Lewis Hamilton – McLaren – 1m 11.120s
2. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1m 11.847s
3. Robert Kubica – BMW – 1m 12.242s
4. Pedro De La Rosa – McLaren – 1m 12.401s
5. Giancarlo Fisichella – Renault – 1m 12.566s
6. Sebastian Vettel – BMW – 1m 12.675s
7. Heikki Kovalainen – Renault – 1m 12.687s
8. Mark Webber – Red Bull Racing – 1m 12.781s
9. Jenson Button – Honda – 1m 12.992s