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.
|3||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||1m06.177||124|
|4||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing||1m06.348||93|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Toro Rosso||1m06.372||91|
|7||Alex Wurz||Honda Racing||1m06.681||131|
|9||Tonio Liuzzi||Force India||1m07.346||106|
|10||Luca di Grassi||Renault||1m07.430||146|
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.
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
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."
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.”