The third day of testing at the Circuit De Catalunya near Barcelona witnessed a continued dominance by the Ferrari team, However this time with little Brazilian Felipe Massa taking over testing duties from Kimi Raikkonen. Massa was testing out for the first time the new aerodynamic and mechanical package on the F2007, however due to track conditions he was unable to match the time set by Kimi on Monday. That will give Kimi’s fans something to smile about, and no doubt start up the old ‘Kimi is better than Massa’ diatribe on a few Internet chatrooms.
The biggest news of the day fell to Nico Rosberg, who quite seriously pranged his Williams sustaining heavy damage to the chassis, effectively writing off the rest of the test for the Williams team. Nico had to be taken to the local hospital for a precautionary medical check-up…. presumably to confirm to the team that he does in fact have a brain. That’s one way to get out of boring testing I suppose Nico. No news yet on whether the CT scan could detect anything other than thin air…so we must wait and see.
Antipodean whingebag Mark Webber was surprisingly second quickest in the Red Bull, lapping just 0.289 seconds short of Felipe Massa’s best effort. Just going to prove that if he does put his handbag away for a few minutes and stops harping, he can actually produce some good results. Moral of the story is less talk and more action.
Jarno Trulli was third fastest overall, putting in over 100 laps to test the Toyota’s new aerodynamic package. It remains to be seen if Jarno can transfer that kind of pace over to the races, or if he will slip back into his customary comatose state…there is alot to be said for having your own vineyard I suppose….but probably doesn’t go hand in hand with being a racing driver….unless your name is James Hunt. (Better not give the Kimster ideas).
Renault’s Heikki Kovaleinen managed to resist the urge to become closely acqauinted with the grass verges, putting in a sterling 123 laps concentrating on aero testing and tyre evaluation for the forthcoming Spanish and Monaco Grand Prix. leading us here at FFN to wonder just how he is going to inspect any grass verges at Monaco…will he be taking off road excursions into the casino, drop into the swimming pool and stop off for a glass or two of beverages at the bar on the rascasse?
McLaren Mercedes Driver and Double World Champion Fernando Alonso managed to grace the spanish contingent of fans for a few more laps than he could be bothered with on Tuesday, achieving fifth fastest time of the day despite having spent all of the previous day grooming and waxing his eyebrows. Rumour has it he was seen popping down to the BMW-Sauber garage to see if its resident Wookie Nick Heidfeld could give him some advice on growing a beard, as it seems to have done wonders for the career of the quiet little German. As long as Nick doesn’t persuade Fernando to start wearing ledderhosen….I don’t much fancy bleeding eyeballs thank you.
Mr Potato Head and Polish star Robert Kubica took over testing duties from ‘Quick Nick’ at BMW Sauber, securing the sixth fastest spot of the day while analysing race set-ups and tyre evaluation. Although what is to evaluate we haven’t got the foggiest here at FFN, I mean they are black and round and one goes on each corner of the car, surely? but you know these F1 types they are technical anoraks by nature and can’t help taking it all a bit too seriously.
Honda’s Jenson Button managed a heroic seventh position on the timesheets while testing out Honda’s latest aerodynamic eyebrow raising hotch-potch, a new nose cone with some dumbo-style ear flaps attached.
Quite how taking your aerodynamic inspiration from an elephant can make a formula 1 car efficient and faster we have no idea, but we are begining to think here at FFN Honda are grasping straws employing 5-year-old school children to design the car…having said that we suppose it can’t get any worse than it already is.
The Honda team have apparently swallowed their pride and begged to borrow McLaren CEO Ron Dennis’s ‘Nicky Clarke’ hair-dryer to test out the new aerodynamic “solution” instead of their untrusty wind tunnel back in the UK. At least Jenson managed to keep the ‘My Earth Nightmare’ flapping in roughly the right direction on track which has got to be a big improvement….
Testing resumes again today at the Circuit De Catalunya near Barcelona.
In other news, it would appear Ross Brawn, Ferrari’s former Technical Director has popped out the woodwork in Jolly Old England and is enjoying enlightening us with some of his pearls of wisdom, no doubt there is only so much you can say to the fish, and then you’ll always get the same glazed wide-eyed astonished look and opened mouth response in return….mind you that’s probably what he would get if he went to Honda.
According to our Ross, He will be speaking to Ferrari first about his future in July, and hopes that he and the Maranello based squad will be able to come to an agreement on something interesting and challenging he can do. Ross confirming that he has had several phone calls from other interested parties hoping he can come and dig them out of their proverbial sinking sand-pits, but Ross has told them apparently that Ferrari get first priority.
Of course this is putting enormous pressure on Ferrari CEO Jean Todt who now has to come up with something interesting and challenging to offer Ross before July, and I’m not liking his chances considering the world and Ferrari still don’t have the first clue what Michael Schumacher ‘super-assistant’ is supposed to be doing…and that job was dreamt up last year.
Ross has also spoken up in defence of the Kimster, saying that the Finn needs more time to settle into the team and to get to the level that Felipe Massa has achieved through his longer association with the Maranello based squad. “Kimi is very quick, but he needs a bit more time to get to the same level as Felipe.”
“When you get intelligent guys who work with the tyres, with the car and the team you are not going to step right in and operate at quite the same level. You will take a little time to come up to that.” Ross commented.
Being the diplomatic sort of course Ross stopped short of pointing out that us tifosi are an unreasonable lot that want the moon on a stick, and even when we get it we find something else to moan about….as I’m sure Michael would agree….