Rubens Barrichello put Brawn GP at the top of the timesheets once again as the final pre-season test kicked off in Jerez, Spain.
The Brazilian racked up a total of 107 laps around the Spanish test track and ended the day quickest on a 1m 19.236, over half a second clear of Renault’s Fernando Alonso.
“We had a good day of testing today completing over a hundred laps of the Jerez circuit,” commented Barrichello. “It is hotter in Jerez than it was in Barcelona last week and therefore more representative of the temperatures that we can expect for the first few races, so it is good preparation for myself and the car.”
“The car ran very well once again and we are increasing our understanding of its characteristics every day,” he added.
It was a frustrating day of testing for Fernando Alonso who crashed his Renault at Turn 8 after completing only four laps. The afternoon was more productive for the double world champion as he began the team’s aero programme and completed some practice starts.
“Unfortunately I made a mistake this morning which was a shame as we lost a lot of track time,” said Alonso, “but sometimes this happens in testing when you are looking for the limits of the car.”
“This afternoon the team put the car together as soon as possible and we tried to complete our main priorities for the day, which was testing some new parts on the car.”
“In the end we managed to do it and we were pleased with the results, although we certainly would have liked more laps. Tomorrow we will try and recover some of the time we lost today.”
Forumula1.com observed that the Spaniard was also struggling with the handling of his R29 going into the first corner.
Williams test driver Nico Hulkenberg was the only other runner ending the day third quickest just under two tenths of a second shy of Alonso.
McLaren are also present in Jerez and will be hoping to rectify some of the handling problems that they uncovered in Barcelona. The team will run from Monday to Thursday with Lewis Hamilton taking the wheel for the first two days before handing over to teammate Heikki Kovalainen.
Fernando remains in the R29 for his final day with Renault tomorrow before Nelson Piquet continues working on the set-up of the car and preparing for Melbourne.
Jenson Button will takeover from Rubens Barrichello tomorrow afternoon to develop the Brawn BGP001.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:19.236 107
2. Alonso Renault (B) 1:19.819 40
3. Hulkenberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:20.015 69
All Timing Unofficial