Six F1 teams were in action at two different circuits today. Ferrari made a last-minute decision not to appear at the group test in Portugal and instead worked on the F60 at its home circuit, Mugello.
Here are notes and pictures from the tests.
Algarve Motor Park, Portimao, Portugal
Best individual lap times (unofficial)
1. Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR3 – 1’41.528 – 65 laps
2. Pedro de la Rosa – McLaren-Mercedes MP4-24 – 1’46.076 – 28 laps
3. Hulkenberg – Williams-Toyota FW31 – 1’46.335 – 28 laps
4. Piquet – Renault R29 – 1’48.907 R29 – 33 laps
5. Kobayashi – Toyota TF109 – 1’50.989 – 46 laps
Renault launched its R29 with both drivers present but only Nelson Piquet Jnr doing the driving.
Williams launched the FW31 and Nico H?‚??lkenberg was first to drive the new car. He went off at turn seven, causing the day’s only interruption.
Last Saturday’s test having been cancelled, Pedro de la Rosa gave the new McLaren MP4-24 its first outing. He used a 2008-spec rear wing.
Kamui Kobayashi drove the new Toyota TF109. He is racing in the GP2 Asia championship at Bahrain this weekend.
The only team present at the test using a 2008-specification car, Sebastien Buemi was easily fastest in the wet conditions.
Suspicion clouds Ferrari’s 11th-hour decision not to attend the Algarve test and use its Mugello track instead. Officially it blamed the expected rain at Portimao, but it rained at Mugello as well.
Rumours suggest the team wanted to make modifications to its exhaust system behind closed doors, as it may not comply with the regulations in its original guise. However Ferrari also experienced a problem with its front wing during the shakedown test last week, which developed a crack due to a component failure, and they may have chosen to stay closer to the factory to allow them to use new parts.
Kimi Raikkonen handled the testing duties despite his tonsil problem. No times were released.
Pictures from today’s F1 testing
See here for pictures of the Renault and Williams in testing: