F1's ten teams kick off Paul Ricard test - times and debrief PDF Print E-mail
May 14 (GMM) F1's ten teams kicked off a three day group test at the Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet, located near Marseille in France, on Wednesday.

PosDriverConstructorTimeLaps
1Lewis HamiltonMcLaren1m05.60084
2Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1m06.098103
3Robert KubicaBMW Sauber1m06.177124
4Mark WebberRed Bull Racing1m06.34893
5Sebastian VettelToro Rosso1m06.37291
6Nico RosbergWilliams1m06.571154
7Alex WurzHonda Racing1m06.681131
8Timo GlockToyota1m06.93593
9Tonio LiuzziForce India1m07.346106
10Luca di GrassiRenault1m07.430146

In sunny weather, the teams began running on the short '2D-SC' configuration of the so-called High Tech Test Track to simulate the tight curves of the forthcoming Monaco grand prix.

On Friday, the circuit will switch to a lower downforce layout for Montreal preparations.

On day one, most teams are trialling visibly new bodywork pieces, most notably the Williams and Honda teams.

Williams' FW30 features a variety of the Red Bull and Renault-style engine cover fin, while Honda is experimenting with a couple of new versions of its novel nose horn winglets.

Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, is at the wheel of Toro Rosso's new STR3 chassis, which will make its race debut at Monaco next week.

Also of note, test drivers Vitantonio Liuzzi and Lucas di Grassi are in action for Force India and Renault respectively, while Alex Wurz returned to work for Honda following his race outing with Peugeot's Le Mans effort at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend.

--------------------------------

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes kicked off a three day test at the Paul Ricard High Technology Test Track this morning. Lewis is at the wheel of the sole MP4-23 today and his plan focused on the team’s preparations for the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix. Work included set-up development, Bridgestone Potenza tyre testing and evaluation of the Monaco-specific aero package.

Toro Rosso

Sebastian  Vettel  finally  got  his  hands  (and  his  feet  and  his  bottom)  on  our the new car,  the  STR3  today,  as  Scuderia  Toro  Rosso  began  a  three  day session  here  in  the  South  of  France.  Apart  from  the  usual  challenges  of running  a  new  car,  this  test  is  further  complicated  by  the  fact  the  first  two
days  are  held  on  a  tight,  short  track  designed  to  simulate  the  streets  of Monaco,  while  the  final  day  is  played  out  on  a  layout  with  a  far  longer straight, so that teams can work on their Canada settings. There were a few teething  problems  that  restricted  running  in  the  morning,  including  a  faulty
timing transponder, which is why our correct number of laps is 99 and not 91 as reported in other news sources.
Seb  ran  through  all  the  standard  new  car  checks:  set-up,  functionality,  car balance,  performance  as  well  as  trying  both  types  of  tyre,  the  "soft"  and "supersoft"  Bridgestones  that  will  be  available  in  Monaco.  Despite  the  fact these  tyres  are  really  a  bit  on  the  soft  side  for  the  smoother  but  more
abrasive Ricard track, Vettel was happy with the balance of the car. Tomorrow, Bourdais takes over in the cockpit.

Panasonic Toyota Racing started a three-day test programme in the south of France in preparation for the forthcoming Grands Prix in Monte Carlo and Montreal. Monaco and Canada place very different demands on car set-up, with the streets of the Principality requiring good traction allied to a high-downforce aerodynamic package. The variable circuit configurations at Paul Ricard mean that teams can conduct meaningful testing for both venues. Today the emphasis was on Monaco with Timo Glock at the wheel trying out different set-ups and aerodynamic configurations, as well as getting to grips with the Monaco-specification Bridgestone Potenza tyres.

Timo Glock- Chassis TF108-04
Best Lap Time: 1min 06.936s
Position: 8th
Total laps: 93
"The morning session was reasonable and then in the afternoon the track conditions improved quite a lot. It was a normal test day making Monaco preparations with the only problem being some big changes we made over the lunch break which took a bit longer than expected and cost us some track time. It was the first time I have run the car in such high-downforce configuration. I was quite happy with it but we still need to work a little to improve the traction. Overall though, the car felt pretty good."

Gerd Pfeiffer, Test Team Manager
"It was straightforward Monaco work trying to establish a baseline. We did some comparison runs in different aerodynamic specifications, trying different wings. There was also background work to be done with such things as launch systems and, of course, running the softer specification Monaco tyres, which are quite different from the hard and medium compounds which have been raced in Barcelona and Istanbul. While you cannot simulate Monaco grip levels and wind direction, you can prepare for the tight chicanes and hairpins you find there."

BMW-Sauber
On one of the short versions of the Circuit Paul Ricard Robert Kubica today concentrated on setup work regarding the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix. The team tried different solutions to fine tune the car’s aerodynamic, suspension and engine electronics for the slow and bumpy track in the streets of Monte Carlo.

In the morning Kubica brought the F1-08 back to the pits unexpectedly when the car developed an oil leak. After an precautionary engine change he continued the test as scheduled. With Kubica completing 124 laps (446 km) the team made good progress in setting up the F1-08 for the next race.

What comes next:
BMW Sauber F1 Team will continue testing in Le Castellet tomorrow with Robert Kubica at the wheel. Again on the 3.593 km version of the track tyre testing and more setup work are on the schedule in preparation for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Circuit: Paul Ricard HTTT, version 2D SC Short - 3.593 km Driver: Kimi Raikkonen Car: F2008 Weather: air temperature 18/24 °C, track temperature 20/32 °C. Sunny, but occasionally overcast.

First day of testing this week for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, working as from today at the "Paul Ricard" circuit at Le Castellet in the South of France. Kimi Raikkonen got on with preparations for the Monaco Grand Prix, running on a version of the track that simulates some of the characteristics of the Monegasque circuit. The Finnish driver worked on finding the best set-up and on development of new aerodynamic components. Kimi's day in figures is as follows: 103 laps completed, the quickest in a time of 1.06.098. Testing at this circuit continues tomorrow, again with Kimi Raikkonen on track.

The ING Renault F1 Team resumed its testing programme today, completing the first of three days at Paul Ricard. The team focussed on a busy programme of development work in preparation for the Monaco Grand Prix next week.

Lucas Di Grassi was in the cockpit as the team ran on a short configuration of the French circuit to try and simulate the conditions for Monaco next week. The Brazilian made the most of ideal weather conditions to complete 146 laps as he evaluated some development pieces that the team hopes to introduce in the coming races.

It was a productive day and the team was able to complete most of its goals. Nelson Piquet will be in action tomorrow, taking over from Lucas and will remain in the car for the rest of the week.

Lucas Di Grassi: “Today we were preparing the car for the race in Monaco next week and so we needed to test some new parts to make sure that everything was okay. The day was quite productive and we tested most of what we needed to, and I was happy to be back in the car and to complete so many laps. So a good day’s work.”

Christian Silk, Chief Test Engineer: “It was a reasonable first day of running, with good mileage and so we were able to complete quite a lot of our test objectives. We did so much running because the weather forecast for the rest of the week is a bit uncertain, and so if the weather does deteriorate we’ve got as much work done as possible. It was also important to give Lucas a good number of laps in the car, which is what he needs at the moment.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2008 22:20
 

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