Barcelona, Test Day 3: Ferrari confirms excellent competitiveness 

Written by David on November 16th, 2007 at 10:13 amLast Update: November 16th, 2007 at 10:13 am

Ferrari F1 Team Hungarian Grand PrixFelipe Massa finished on top of the times in the last day of tests at Barcelona, confirming an excellent competitiveness for Ferrari. Massa had a best time of 1’21”044 preceding ING Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen, who was quickest during the final laps of the session. However, Kovalainen’s time, was cancelled after it was found he had cut the final chicane.

Luca Badoer, Ferrari’s test driver, took over from Michael Schumacher in the second Ferrari after the German wrapped up his two-day test yesterday.

Franck Montagny was third fastest as he and Jarno Trulli were again the men in charge of testing duties for Toyota. Montagny completed his final day of work at the Japanese team. “It was my last day driving for the team and it has been a good day, which I am happy about,” said Montagny. “Yesterday was not so great, we made a mistake on tyre pressures and we had a few problems, but today everything went pretty well – we set decent lap times and everything was very consistent. We worked hard and I think we have made a good step forwards. Even though this car is not the 2008 version, it still has quite a few new items on it and we have made good progress with them. I hope for the team that we have moved in the right direction. I would like to thank all the team for everything throughout the year because at times it has been a bit frustrating with a lot of watching and not as much driving. But everyone in the team has been very supportive and good with me and I have enjoyed working with them, so I thank them for that.”

Sebastian Vettel placed the fourth quickest time for Toro Rosso team, finishing in front of Red Bull’s David Coulthard. Robert Doornbos returned to F1 action following his season in Champ Car, the Dutchman testing in the second Red Bull.

Jenson Button’s Honda was joined by GP2 racer Mike Conway, who made his debut at the wheel of a Formula One car, placing the 18th fastest time. Button completed his two days of work and was pleased with the characteristics of his car without traction control. “After a couple of hard weeks of physical training, it was a pleasure to be back driving again this week and starting our on-track preparations for the new season,” said Button. “This was the first time that I’ve driven the car with the new electronics system and it is a great feeling that you are properly in control of the car without having driver aids such as traction control. This suits my driving style so I am pretty happy with the changes to the regulations. Our focus this week was on putting mileage on the new electronics system, addressing any issues caused by its introduction and working out the optimum set-up on the car. It was a good two days and we were able to run reliably which is pleasing.”

Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett completed McLaren’s program for the week despite completing limited mileage to ensure plenty of running time is still available for the final test of 2007 in Jerez.

James Rossiter returned to the Super Aguri team after testing for Honda earlier in the week, the Briton finishing near the bottom of the times. “We had a useful day developing the car with the MES system and trying to understand it more,” said Rossiter. “We were interrupted by red flags on track, but we completed the planned programme during the week’s testing and are happy with the results.”

There were a total of 12 red flags during the session, the first caused by Christian Klien stopping on track with his Force India at 9’15”. The Austrian tested again alongside Tonio Liuzzi, as both men work towards a race deal with the Indian squad. “I think the second day went even better than the first,” he said. “We kept working on the car, there is still a lot to find obviously and it was interesting to work with the engineers. We kept improving over the day and I think there is still some more lap time to find. The car felt good in the long runs, the rear tyres were consistent and also the braking stability on the new electronics was quite good. There is still quite a lot to improve on this car and I am very optimistic. The team worked hard and I think, all in all, it was a good two days for me here.”

Conway, Massa, BMW’s Robert Kubica, and Badoer caused two stoppages each, while Trulli, Montagny, and Sebastien Bourdais stopped on track one time each.

Formula One teams will be back for testing at Jerez on December 4th.

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