Michael Schumacher has lost none of his Formula 1 edge testing in Barcelona for Ferrari, he topped the timesheets.
Schumacher was back in the F2007 to help the team adapt to the banning of traction control for the 2008 season. Massa has no experience of F1 without traction control, with Raikkonen having only driven a few races without the driver aid. Schumacher, however, has plenty of experience and is therefore a key man for the team during winter testing.
The German was the only man to break the 1:21 barrier around the Circuit de Catalunya he completed 64 laps with a fastest time of 1:21.922. Second quickest was the sister Ferrari driven by test driver Luca Badoer, 0.2 seconds behind. McLaren driver Pedro de la Rosa looking to impress in the hope of winning the second 2008 race-seat for the team was third fastest a full 0.7 seconds behind the Ferraris.
Heikki Kovalainen, who has yet to have his contract with Renault confirmed for 2008, came in fourth fastest.
Most of the drivers seem to be enjoying the lack of traction control. “I was very happy to be back driving today,â€ Kovalainen said. “I have to say that driving without any assistance as was the case today is really great! You have to pay attention to your driving, your reaccelerating, your tyre wear and behind the wheel, it s fun.â€
Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer agrees. “The F1 cars had become too easy,â€ he explained. “If a new guy entered and did some good lap-times, a star was born. Now, by contrast, they are harder and therefore more enjoyable you need sensitivity and capability in managing the throttle. Of course, by the end of winter we will have lap times on the same time as this year, but we will see the difference between who is truly good and the rest of the field.â€
Barcelona day 1 – testing times (13/11/2007)
1. M SCHUMACHER Ferrari 1m21.922s
2. BADOER Ferrari 1m22.129s
3. DE LA ROSA McLaren 1m22.687s
4. KOVALAINEN Renault 1m22.802s
5. KUBICA BMW 1m22.883s
6. PAFFETT McLaren 1m23.008s
7. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m23.187s
8. COULTHARD Red Bull 1m23.332s
9. TRULLI Toyota 1m23.624s
10. HEIDFELD BMW 1m23.671s
11. ROSBERG Williams 1m23.847s
12. MONTAGNY Toyota 1m23.861s
13. VETTEL Toro Rosso 1m24.048s
14. ZUBER Super Aguri 1m24.065s
15. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso 1m24.193s
16. DAVIDSON Super Aguri 1m24.246s
17. ROSSITER Honda 1m24.480s
18. CHANDHOK Red Bull 1m24.896s
19. VAN DER GARDE Force India 1m25.317s
20. RODRIGUEZ Force India 1m26.973s