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McLaren on top at last thanks to Kovalainen at Jerez

McLaren-Mercedes finally appeared at the top of the testing timesheets on the penultimate day of pre-season Formula 1 preparations before the teams travel Down Under to Australia – with Heikki Kovalainen lapping comfortably clear of Williams' Kazuki Nakajima at Jerez.

Granted, there were only two cars out on-track at the southern Spanish circuit, but still Kovalainen was almost a full second quicker than the fastest marker laid down by defending F1 World Champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton the previous day, and that will doubtless hand the Woking-based outfit a much-needed boost following the troublesome birth of its aerodynamically-afflicted MP4-24.

The Finn immediately resumed the team's week-long programme of introducing and evaluating aerodynamic modifications for its new challenger, with perfect weather conditions making for an extremely productive day, in terms of evaluating both the lap time potential of the new components and also their effectiveness over the course of a simulated race stint. Kovalainen will wrap up McLaren's pre-season work on Thursday.

Nakajima, for his part, similarly conducted final preparations of the FW31 for Williams, with the young Japanese ace focussing his efforts on set-up tuning, aero work, reliability checks and tyre testing.

“Kazuki spent our penultimate day in Jerez working on mechanical set-up and signing off final components for the first race in Melbourne,” revealed the Grove-based concern's technical director Sam Michael. “He'll be in the car again tomorrow for the final day of winter testing.”


Leading performances - Jerez (18 March):

1. Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1min 18.202secs 85 laps
2. Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1min 20.023secs 103 laps

Track/weather conditions: Very warm and sunny. Maximum track temperature 37.2°C; maximum ambient temp 20.9°C.

all times unofficial – courtesy of McLaren-Mercedes


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Savas - Unregistered

March 18, 2009 9:41 PM

binza it's the time that counts not the position in the test!And today Mclaren with the new diffuser that used was over a second faster than previous days!!It is the third time in the whole Jerez test and considering that it was the first test of the new parts today I wouldn't be suprised if Mclaren tomorrow achieves the best time and everybody stays with their mouths open!

cris - Unregistered

March 19, 2009 1:32 AM

Come on guys, just look at the times.. He is on the top of the time sheet on a 2 man testing day.. 1. Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1min 18.202sec 2. Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1min 20.023secs compared to.. Leading performances - Jerez (17 March): 1. Jenson Button Brawn GP-Mercedes 1min 17.844secs 2. Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1min 18.071secs Clearly, Heikki is slower then Nico Rosberg, and much much slower than Button.. If Button I running light then add atleast 5/10 of a second to get his race pace.. and if the times of Heikki is on fumes then he will still be slower than Button or Nico.. Clearly Mclaren still has troubles.. Sandbag my A**..



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