F1: Jerez testing report 05/03/2009

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarThursday, March 5th, 2009

 
 

A dramatic final day of Jerez testing saw the weather dominate proceedings once more with only BMW’s Nick Heidfeld venturing out for a full programme, and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton crashing off the track.

A rainy day meant planned tyre tests were thrown into disarray for most teams. But BMW Sauber took to the track, putting in 123 laps and allowing Nick Heidfeld to become the fourth driver to top the timesheet in five days.

Ferrari was also able to salvage a decent day’s work from the washout, with Kimi Raikkonen managing 112 laps and a second-fastest time of 1:20.414.

In third place was Lewis Hamilton, whose day was curtailed at just 58 laps. He managed a fastest time of 1:21.272 before being blown off the track into a barrier with a displaced rear wing. The team elected to wrap up its final day of testing rather than try to repair the car.

McLaren said of its day’s work: “Today’s programme started with the controlled on-track draining of the tank to assess the effectiveness of MP4-24’s fuel collection. For the remainder of the day, the team worked on tuning the car’s set-up.

“The session ended prematurely at 15:30 when a sudden gust of wind swept Lewis off the track and into a tyre barrier. While the impact was only a mere 44km/h, the car went in rearwards, doing enough to dislodge the rear wing and lightly damage the car’s rear-end.

“With insufficient time to effect repairs before the end of the session, the team opted to finish early in order to commence preparations for next week’s four-day Barcelona test.”

In fourth place was Red Bull’s Mark Webber, unable to start his tyre-testing programme during the morning session, and held to a fastest lap time of 1:22.219.

Behind him was Williams racer Kazuki Nakajima with a fastest time of 1:22.226, and Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, who had his track time severely curtailed by the weather, on 1:23.119.

Renault and Force India had already concluded the week’s testing. Now the teams move to Barcelona for another session next week – the final test before the Australian Grand Prix.

Test times day five

  1. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber: 1:20.052 (123 laps)
  2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari: 1:20.404 (112 laps)
  3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 1:21.272 (58 laps)
  4. Mark Webber, Red Bull: 1:22.219 (47 laps)
  5. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams: 1:22.226 (54 laps)
  6. Jarno Trulli, Toyota: 1:23.119 (38 laps)

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