The first day of one of the final group tests before the start of the 2009 season at the end of this month commenced this morning, with eight teams attending and putting in a few laps. A midday shower briefly interrupted play, but it was only a short downpour and the squads were still able to get some decent mileage in. Sebastian Vettel topped the tables in the new RB5 and outpaced Felipe Massa by a comfortable 1.3s.
Felipe Massa was working hard with the Ferrari F60, trying out some set ups with the car to see how it handles in different situations. The Brazilian completed 63 laps on his way to second in the tables, although the Ferrari did have a small off after lunch.
Toyota test driver Kamui Kobayashi brought the Japanese team back to European soil after they spent a lot of time in Bahrain completing hundreds and hundreds of laps. Kobayashi spent most of the day evaluating the aerodynamics on the TF109 and noted that the car was much easier to set up than TF108 was last season.
From the first run the car felt easy to drive so we were able to get straight into our programme of aero work. It certainly feels like a step forward from last year. Kamui Kobayashi.
Giancarlo Fisichella debuted the new Force India VJM02 to the public after it was privately tested earlier in the week. Fisichella was sixth at the end of the day and only 0.4s behind Robert Kubica in the BMW.
Pedro De La Rosa was on track for McLaren and finished seventh after 94 tours of Jerez. De La Rosa was concentrating on the slick tyres, trying to learn as much as possible about them. At the very bottom of the tables sat Nelson Piquet Jr., the Brazilian suffering a few problems with his new Renault R29.
We had a few issues with the car today which limited our mileage, but we still managed to evaluate some of the new parts we brought to this test,” said the Brazilian. “The track was improving throughout the day as we had a lot of cars running and so it should get better and better throughout the week. Nelson Piquet Jr.
Testing continues at Jerez on Monday.
|1.||Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing||1m19.055s||87 Laps|
|2.||Felipe Massa Ferrari||1m20.330s||63 Laps|
|3.||Kamui Kobayashi Toyota||1m20.699s||79 Laps|
|4.||Nico Rosberg Williams||1m21.171s||71 Laps|
|5.||Robert Kubica BMW||1m21.292s||47 Laps|
|6.||Giancarlo Fisichella Force India||1m21.584||31 Laps|
|7.||Pedro De La Rosa McLaren||1m21.831s||94 Laps|
|8.||Nelson Piquet Jr. Renault||1m22.011s||52 Laps|