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Friday, July 25, 2008

Finns and fins appear in final day at Jerez

Heikki Kovalainen led the final day of testing at Jerez, setting a time of 1:18.385 in his McLaren that was also the top time of the week, as the McLaren was the latest to sprout wings on the nose.

Second was Sebastien Bourdais in the Toro Rosso, who with David Coulthard in third capped off an impressive week for the Red Bull family.

Romain Grosjean was back behind the wheel of the Renault as the team did suspension work. He finished fourth on the day.

“I has a better day today as I already knew the track and I am beginning to feel more comfortable with the car,” Grosjean said. “We had a really good morning when conditions were cooler, covering lots of laps and doing some long runs, and we managed to find a good balance with the car. In the afternoon we tried out a few more things with the set-up and tried to make the car more consistent in the high temperatures.”

And what would a good week of testing be without someone coming out of the garage sporting a shark fin engine cover?

This time it was Ferrari, in the hands of Felipe Massa, who was fifth on the day as the team worked on set-up for Budapest and Valencia.

“I am pleased with the way the day went,” said Massa. “We saw some things which should be interesting for the upcoming races and we carried out an intensive investigation on the set-up of the car. There is so much data at our disposal that will help us be as well prepared as possible for Hungary.”

Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima was sixth, ahead of Nick Heidfeld in the BMW Sauber.

Adrian Sutil continued work on Force India’s seamless-shift gearbox, finishing the day seventh fastest, followed by Jenson Button’s Honda, and Toyota’s Kamui Kobayashi rounded out the field in this final day of testing.

“We ran the car with our latest aero and suspension developments today to complete the evaluations which have been ongoing all week,“ Button said. “The new parts have made a small but tangible improvement to the stability of the car, which is particularly evident over longer runs, so it has been a positive day. It will be interesting to see how this translates over the race weekend in Hungary.”

The Hungarian Grand Prix kicks off in a weeks time. The next test window will be in late August, prior to the Italian Grand Prix.

  1. Kovalainen, McLaren, 1:18.385
  2. Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 1:18.830
  3. Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:19.494
  4. Grosjean, Renault, 1:19.561
  5. Massa, Ferrari, 1:19.611
  6. Nakajima, Williams, 1:19.724
  7. Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:19.915
  8. Sutil, Force India, 1:19.965
  9. Button, Honda, 1:20.532
  10. Kobayashi, Toyota, 1:20.878
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