Michael Schumacher was absent from the Ferrari F2007 today as Felipe Massa and Luca Badoer took over the testing duties at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Perhaps it was this that lead to Ferrari having their dominance broken, Renault driver Heikki Kovalainen topping the timing sheets on the third and final day of the test. Felipe Massa came in second and almost 0.5s adrift of the Renault and 0.3s clear of Franck Montagny, who drove the Toyota for the last time today. Ferrari test driver Badoer lapped the circuit in 1m21.741s and was placed sixth at the end of the proceedings, having been beaten by an impressive lap from Sebastian Vettel in the Toro Rosso and David Coulthard in the Red Bull.
McLaren were out in force with testers Pedro De La Rosa and Gary Paffett, despite the team attending the FIA hearing in London. The verdict of which is due tomorrow, and I’m sure the headlines haven’t been missed by anyone throughout the day. The words have been said and despite McLaren insisting they aren’t looking for the drivers title, their lawyers appeared to have missed the memo. And of course, Ferrari have retaliated with warnings about the damage this may cause to Formula One. Honestly, I think the damage has already been done, but a change in winner certainly wouldn’t help.
But back to the test, De La Rosa led the Mercedes powered team with a seventh fastest time, while Paffett ended the day down in tenth. Champ Car retiree and F1-newbie Sebastien Bourdais impressed in the second Rosso going ninth for the squad just behind Williams charger Nico Rosberg. Both BMW drivers were working hard again as was second Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima.
Christian Klien took to the Force India car for the second time in his bid to secure the drive for next year, as did Rosso-refugee Vitantonio Liuzzi. Klien went fastest of the two in fifteenth and Liuzzi managed seventeenth, sandwiching Jenson Button in the Honda. Mike Conway took to the second Honda while James Rossiter returned to Super Aguri to run the RA107. The Red Bull of Robert Doornbos propped up the timing sheet.
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m21.486s|
|5.||David Coulthard||Red Bull Racing||1m21.555s|
|7.||Pedro De La Rosa||McLaren||1m21.805s|
|9.||Sebastien Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m21.939s|
|15.||Christian Klien||Force India||1m23.084s|
|17.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India||1m23.206s|
|19.||James Rossiter||Super Aguri||1m23.931s|
|20.||Robert Doornbos||Red Bul Racing||1m24.102s|