2008 F1 testing round-up 6: Bahrain

Kimi Raikkonen, Luca Badoer, Ferrari, Bahrain, 2008 pre-season testing | Ferrari S.p.A.Ferrari and Toyota left the other F1 teams behind by testing in Bahrain this week – perhaps McLaren wished they’d followed them after the events at the Circuit de Catalunya?

It may prove an advantage for them as the other teams are not likely to test at Bahrain before its Grand Prix, but Ferrari and Toyota will likely make it to the Circuit de Catalunya before the Spanish Grand Prix.

Unsurprisingly, Ferrari were considerably faster – but it was the margin of the advantage that caught the attention. Kimi Raikkonen was strikingly quick on Tuesday, and even faster yesterday.

Ferrari

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Bahrain, 2008 pre-season testing | Ferrari S.p.A.World champion Kimi Raikkonen tested on all three days, with test driver Luca Badoer alongside him for the first two and Felipe Massa in on Wednesday.

With track temperatures consistently in the high 20s, Raikkonen was quickest on all three days. After the first day’s running in windy, dusty conditions, Raikkonen posted some very quick laps on the final two days: 1’30.595 and 1’30.455 (see how they compare to last year’s Bahrain laptimes). Raikkonen did a full Grand Prix simulation on the second day including qualifying and race distances plus pit stops.

The two race drivers will resume the test at the track on Saturday for another three days. It is expected to be just Ferrari and Toyota again, the teams taking advantage of the lack of interruptions compared to testing with a large group of other teams, along with the more reliable, stable climate.

Toyota

Race drivers Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli and test driver Kamui Kobayashi got two days each in the car. Trulli 1’32.145 was the fastest of the three, but that was still 1.7s slower than Ferrari.

Glock and Kobayashi both had spins on the first day – these were described as “a minor afternoon off” and “a harmless spin” respectively by Toyota. On the second day Glock and Trulli both suffered gearbox problems in the afternoon – as worrying sign as the units must last for four races at a stretch this year.

The gremlins were banished on the final day. Trulli was happier:

We completed a lot of laps which was important because we had quite a few things to test and we needed to get some information about the different mechanical set-ups. Everything went well and we are making progress but we still have to push hard to continue this improvement.

Photos copyright: Ferrari S.p.A.

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6 comments on 2008 F1 testing round-up 6: Bahrain

  1. Journeyer said on 7th February 2008, 7:11

    That stonker of a lap in day 2… was it during the race simulation? If so… this could be very good news for this tifoso. :)

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th February 2008, 7:20

    Logically, you’d think it was in the qualifying part, but I can’t see anywhere where they’ve confirmed it.

  3. i’ve read somewhere that he did the race simulation, then a pitstop for fresh tires, and then set the fast lap/s. anyway seems to be good news for ferrari.

  4. Ferrari have clearly improved the pace if we consider the times they did in Bahrain last year, but also Toyota has improved if we compare their times today and the times they did last year. That’s normal, Formula 1 is a continuous improvement. But to be honest I would like to see a session with all the teams on the same track and in the same conditions. And this has never happened yet. What does it mean? That we still have to wait for Melbourne to express a judgement.

  5. I guess one benefit of being the WC is getting a car all to oneself for three days. I’ve always liked Kimi, Ron must be ruing his loss whether publicly admitting it or not.

  6. Wow so exciting – two teams – not even close last year are practising away from the rest of the competion with clear tracks and running when they want not when they are able without avoiding any hazards – whoa brilliant and if you were a fish you would be well landed – wait until a race – or as they say when the little fat man sings(*my apologogies to people of my age (rich people excluded) – aint nothing won until it’s run???

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