Alex Wurz brought the three-day test at Jerez to a close with the fastest time of the day in his Williams-Toyota as the sun continued to beat down on the Spanish circuit.

With McLaren having annexed the top times on the first two days of running, Wurz replaced test driver Kazuki Nakajima to go fastest, the Austrian not close to Lewis Hamilton's test topping time from yesterday but doing enough to be the class of the eight-driver field.

Completing a total of 86 laps, Wurz, who came fourth at last weekend's rain-soaked European Grand Prix, showed just as much speed in the dry as the Williams team worked on preparations for the next round in Hungary.

"For the last day in Jerez, Alex finalised the necessary set-up preparations ahead of next weekend's race in Hungary and set the fastest time of the session with a 1:19.962.

"The boys have also done a great job today," said Dickie Stanford, Williams Test Team Manager. "Despite a number of scheduled changes, they managed to keep the car out on track for nearly 90 laps. Overall the test has been really positive, the team have worked through an intensive programme and done extremely well to finish everything on time."

Robert Kubica remained in the BMW F1.07 for the second day in a row and lowered his time by a good seven tenths to just miss out on the top spot by a mere tenth. Nonetheless, the Pole completed 92 laps, the team even finishing up an hour early after completing their scheduled activities.

That included working on set-up for forthcoming races before hitting the test track again at Monza in August, and system settings that backed up their findings from Wednesday's running.

de la Rosa was back testing for McLaren and although their day was likely to have been taken up by the ongoing spying saga that came to a conclusion today in London, the Spaniard notched up some 111 laps, the most of any driver.

Rubens Barrichello hauled Honda up to the fourth fastest and with the likes of Honda, Red Bull and Toyota behind them, they will hope it is a sign of things to come as they head into the second-half of the season still clutching just a single point.

In only his second outing in the car, Sebastien Buemi was an impressive fifth best for Red Bull, slashing some 2.2secs off his best time from Tuesday, a result that will more than likely guarantee him the Superlicence he needs to progress in any future Formula 1 career. The Swiss driver will now head to Holland for the latest round of the Formula 3 Euroseries.

"It was a trouble free day and we got through all the high priority items" said Chief Test Engineer, Ian Morgan. "Sebastien did a good job, making no mistakes, achieving good lap times and providing useful feedback."

Toyota continued to fettle their race set-up with Jarno Trulli this time at the wheel, the Italian emerging with the sixth fastest time, despite an oil leak in the morning. However, Trulli complained that it was tough to get some accurate readings from the data received by virtue of the excessive temperatures currently ravaging much of Southern Europe.

"The main thing to say about today was that it was so hot! When the asphalt is as hot as this it makes it difficult to get consistent data. Still, it was quite a positive day, we tried out various things in preparation for the next race in Hungary, which is likely to be just as hot and could be even hotter.

"We missed some track time in the morning due to an oil leak. There was no breakage but the problem required an engine change. That made for a busy afternoon but we carried out some useful work on starts, aero and set-up for the Hungaroring. In the end we made it through our planned 70 laps."

Seventh place Heikki Kovalainen found his day stunted by a number of problems, a gearbox issue in the morning giving way to a forced engine change on his Renault in the afternoon. Still, despite producing the least amount of laps of any driver of the day, 65 laps, the Finn was content with the progress made.

"It is always frustrating when you have a stop-start day of testing, but it was important to run this extra day and make progress with our development programme. In between the stoppages, we did some useful tests, and the data we have collected should allow us to carry on making progress as we try to improve the car even more ahead of the next races."

Indeed, Nelson Piquet Jr was also due to run in the car but the problems forced them to concentrate on Kovalainen ahead of Hungary.

"First and foremost, immense credit goes to the mechanics today," Chief Engineer Christian Silk said. "At the final test before the summer break, it would be easy to relax and take your eye off the ball, but they have shown even more dedication and commitment than usual this week, in particularly demanding conditions.

"We had planned to run Heikki during the morning and Nelsinho this afternoon, but our running today was interrupted by several mechanical issues. Although we successfully completed the test work we had planned to do with Heikki, it meant we unfortunately ran out of time for Nelson to take the wheel. In spite of this, we collected more good information for analysis back at the factory over the coming days."

Taking over from test driver James Rossiter, Takuma Sato brought up the rear in his Super Aguri, just over a second slower than Wurz, but completing a good 108 laps.

"It has been a good test for SAF1," said sporting director Graham Taylor, "preparing it for the immediate and long term future. Excellent reliability and hot weather helped the team condition itself for the next Grand Prix in Hungary and I would like to thank the team for its efforts when working in these temperatures."

Testing times (26 July) - Jerez:

1. Alex Wurz Williams-Toyota 1min 19.962secs 86 laps
2. Robert Kubica BMW Sauber-BMW 1min 20.004secs 92 laps
3. Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes 1min 20.220secs 111 laps
4. Rubens Barrichello Honda-Honda 1min 20.250secs 85 laps
5. Sebastien Buemi Red Bull-Renault 1min 20.318secs 68 laps
6. Jarno Trulli Toyota-Toyota 1min 20.377secs 70 laps
7. Heikki Kovalainen Renault-Renault 1min 20.828secs 65 laps
8. Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1min 21.186secs 108 laps

all times unofficial - courtesy Renault

Track/weather conditions: Hot and Sunny: Track temperature, high of 54?C / Ambient temperature, high of 36?C.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...