Kimi Raikkonen posted the quickest time at Paul Ricard today, the Ferrari
driver lapping a quarter of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton’s best
effort around the French Circuit yesterday.
The Finn paced 1m 05.381 seconds around the 3.8km test-track, just under a
tenth of a second faster than McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen who had taken over
from Lewis Hamilton on the second day of running.
Robert Kubica, who was hampered by an oil leak yesterday, wound up third
quickest a further four tenths of a second down the line, ahead of David
Coulthard’s Red Bull and Jenson Button in the Honda.
Sebastian Bourdais got his first taste of the new Toro Rosso STR3 car, the
Frenchman lapping within touching distance of the aforementioned Brits.
Jarno Trulli wound up seventh in his revised Toyota featuring a new BMW
inspired rear-wing with steeper end plates. The Italian’s time 1m 06.225 was
just enough to keep him ahead of Renault’s Nelson Piquet with Williams’
Kazuki Nakajima a further few tenths behind.
The Force India pairing of Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil ended the
day almost two seconds off the pace, Sutil just pipping his team-mate by a
few hundredths of a second.
Rain threatened to break through the French skyline but eventually held off
with only a few drops at lunchtime. Unlike the first day of testing at Le
Castellet track, there were no red flag incidents.
The track layout will be switched to its long configuration tomorrow to
simulate the characteristics of Montreal where the teams will race after
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:05.381 102 2. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:05.471 89 3. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:05.905 135 4. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:06.001 82 5. Button Honda (B) 1:06.091 155 6. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:06.125 110 7. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:06.205 120 8. Piquet Renault (B) 1:06.355 193 9. Nakajima Williams (B) 1:07.080 129 10. Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:07.104 56 11. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:07.123 64