F1 » 8 February 2013
Raikkonen fastest on final day of Jerez test
The team worked for the rest of the morning to put right what turned out to be a gearbox issue and the afternoon proved more productive, especially as the end of testing was put back by half an hour. de le Rosa was thus able to complete his programme, which had been revised as a result of the long stop in the garage and focused mainly on testing various aerodynamic configurations.
“I had a lot of mixed feelings today,” the Spaniard admitted, “I was very excited to drive the car but, when I got out after the first two laps, I was not exactly happy. All my life I've been waiting for an opportunity like this and to see it end after just a few corners was definitely not nice, especially because I wasn't sure that we would be able to continue with the programme. It was vital to get back on track given how few days are available to us, and that will be very important when it comes to comparing the data with the simulator as we develop the car."
Charles Pic and Luiz Razia again occupied the bottom couple of spots on the timesheet for much of the day, as they continued to get to grips with the new Caterham and Marussia respectively. Several seconds divided the pair for much of the day, before Razia embarked on some performance tests and quickly closed the gap. Both ended the day some three seconds off Raikkonen's pace, but put in some good mileage, with Pic the third driver on the day to break 100 laps.
“109 laps today is a good way to finish the first test,” the Frenchman acknowledged, “The track was colder this morning than the first three days, so it was tricky getting the tyres to work, but we completed all the programmes we'd set for the day and we have some very useful information to work on - and some interesting options to look
at for the next test.
"One key part of this test was to work on getting the most out of KERS and we've definitely made good progress. There's still more to come from that, especially maximising its performance under braking, but I'm really happy with what we've worked through and can't wait to get back in the car in Barcelona.”
Further race distance mileage was the order of the day at Marussia, but the programme was not without its frustrations. Although Razia posted improved lap times through both the distance and performance work, his runs were somewhat stilted which prevented him gathering any real momentum.
"It is unfortunate that we didn't get the smooth day of running we hoped for, but we have to be happy to have completed most of our programme with the MR02 this week,” the Brazilian conceded, “Testing is the place to work through our problems, so we don't have to find them during the season, and resolving these is in itself good progress.
“I got the chance to do some of the planned performance work later on, but I didn't get a clear shot at it, so I don't feel like I ended the day where I could have been in terms of lap time. What is good is that there is a lot of potential and we can see this very clearly. I'm very excited about the next two tests and I expect to see us making good steps forward."
di Resta again returned to the track for a short cameo appearance in the Force India but, as on Thursday, remained in twelfth spot when the chequered flag fell, despite completing 49 laps after taking over from Bianchi.
Testing resumes in Barcelona on 19 February.
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