Friday, December 1, 2006

F1 Begins Winter Testing

“THEY’RE BACK!!!”
Formula 1 Never Sleeps… With the 2006 season just concluded, the majority of F1’s current Constructor’s have shown up for this week’s test in Barcelona. Although the teams sent 2006 machinery, there was one major difference. This was the first all Bridgestone test, now that Bridgestone has become Formula 1’s sole tire supplier. Basking in the Spanish sun, everybody except Spyker sent cars and drivers to the Circuit de Catalunya for testing…
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa continued where he left off at Brazil by tipping the time sheets during the test’s first two days. McLaren’s Pedro de la Rosa and “Quick Nick” (Nick Heidfeld) and) took turns being the meat in the Scuderia sandwich with Ferrari’s perennial tester Luca Badoer third both days…
Honda’s “Rubinoe” (Rubens Barrichello) took the fifth fastest time on Day One. New drivers Lewis Hamilton, Anthony Davidson and Alex Wurz all had good first outings while Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen languished towards the bottom of the grid…
Although Toyota apparently was busy taking a siesta during Barcelona’s opening day, the squad got down to business on Day Two of testing with Toyota’s Oliver Panis running fifth while new tester Kamui Kobayashi held down the slowest time of the day. De la Rosa and Heidfeld flip-flopped positions while Hamilton remained 6th. Honda’s new testing recruit Christian Klien was mid-pack in his debut. Webber moved towards the front half of the grid with Wurz’s time dropping off…
Barcelona’s final day of testing will see Mika Hakkinen back at the wheel of a McLaren F1 race car as a special “guest” test driver. It will be interesting to see where Hakkinen shows up on the time sheets…

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