2007 testing round-up 1

Rubens Barrichello, Honda, Bacelona, preseason, 2006A look back at this week’s testing as the Formula 1 teams get ready for the 2007 season.

Both McLaren and Ferrari suffered with heavy crashes damaging their new cars and poor weather interfering with their test regimes. Honda are ironing out bugs in the RA107 that caused Jenson Button to stop twice.

McLaren-Mercedes

Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Mercedes, Valencia, 2006, pre-seasonFollowing the team’s lavish launch at Valencia McLaren had a closed test with the new MP4-22 at the nearby circuit with Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Pedro de la Rosa.

The test was hampered on Thursday when Hamilton crashed at over 165mph, after which McLaren curtailed the test on Friday due to heavy rain.

Ferrari

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Vallelunga, 2007, pre-seasonMake no mistake – the Ferrari F2007 may seem outwardly conventional at first glance, but it is in fact the most bold F1 car unveiled since Williams’ 2004 tusk-nosed car.

Ferrari are flying in the face of conventional wisdom regarding weight distribution. The 2007 Bridgestone apparently exhibited high rear tyre wear, impelling most teams to shift weight distribution forward.

But Ferrari have built a longer, heavier car, which will put more weight over the rear wheels. Are they onto something? Do they have an inside line on how the 2007 Bridgestone tyres will behave? Or have they made a great big cock-up?

Whatever, their cause will not be aided by the amount of time they lost to bad weather last week – or Felipe Massa shunting the only F2007 built so far, at Vallelunga.

New team mate Kimi Raikkonen had his first outing as a Ferrari driver, in last year’s 248 F1. Prior to Massa’s crash he spoke of how keen he was to test the new car.

Honda

Rubens Barrichello, Honda, Bacelona, preseason, 2006, 2Rubens Barrichello did 40 laps in the new RA107 on Wednesday.

But when Jenson Button got his hands on it the next day at Barcelona the new car failed on his first lap. He made shorter runs later that afternoon, but suffered another failure on Friday.

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