Seven out of 11 teams participated in the test session at Valencia today and made progress with their pre-season testing schedule. It was a day of a few usual occurences (bad weather conditions, McLaren engine failure) and few unusual ones (Ferrari -F248 driven by Luca Badoer finished last on the timing sheets). It is not known if Kimi Raikkonen finished 2nd or 5th overall as there were conflicting reports posted on websites – he either did 45 laps and finished 5th or did 47 laps and finished 2nd. Either way, he was more than a second off the McLaren pace set by Fernando Alonso.

The practice session saw 10 red flags during the course of the day, and Alonso had quite the eventful day causing a small percentage of those flags. Initially he understeered into a poor unsuspecting Luca Badoer spinning him into the gravel before setting fastest lap in dry conditions. Fernando Alonso can sometimes get a shade impatient about sharing the race track with fellow pilots and try to dispense with the formality, as Robert Doornbos can surely vouch for. But while Alonso-bashers would like to think that it was a deliberate attempt by Fernando to sabotage the attempts of Luca Badoer to get off the last place in the timing sheet (who was just cruising around in a F248 anyway, to give Kimi some company no doubt), it just looked like a genuine incident…though a fatheaded one at that.

Finally Alonso had to beat a hasty retreat from his car owing to a rare McLaren detonation, with marshals carrying fire extinguishers doing the needful. All in all, poor Kimi Raikkonen couldn’t start on a fast lap without having to slow down for the red flag, and the times he set with the F2007 are quite encouraging for his first appearance. Kimi was his customary eloquent self when questioned about the experience, with a typical “it was nice” and no further elaboration.

Michael Schumacher was not present at the Valencia circuit, much to Mark Webber’s disappointment. An insider reveals that Webber had thought up a couple of other things to say about Michael’s continued association with Ferrari, that would have been a surety to boost his February press visibility. Unfortunately now, it is not to be.

Note: Video taken from YouTube and not uploaded by FFN.

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