Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
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Formula One: Alonso fastest in Spanish testing
Tue 30 Jan, 7:09 PM
VALENCIA, Spain (AFP) - Swapping Renault for McLaren-Mercedes has not slowed down world champion Fernando Alonso as he posted the fastest time in testing at the Cheste circuit outside the eastern Spanish city of Valencia.
The Spaniard, chasing a third straight title, was a second faster than Ferrari's debutant flying Finn Kimi Raikkonen on the first of three days of testing.
Raikkonen, looking to revamp the fortunes of the 'prancing horse' following the retirement of seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, ended the session with smoke pluming from the back of his F2007 car as Alonso threw down the gauntlet, with a best time of 1:12.563 over his 102 laps.
It was Raikkonen's first taste of the new Ferrari having only tested the old 248 F1 last week.
Raikkonen called it a day after 47 laps, which brought a best time of 1:13.529 while Renault's test driver Nelson Piquet Junior was third-fastest for the session with 1:13.550 his best mark over 31 laps on a day which started out wet but later allowed a switch to dry tyres.
Regular Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella managed only eighth spot on the day.
Frenchman Franck Montagny was fourth-fastest on the day in his Toyota with a best time of 1:13.672 while German hope Sebastian Vettel was fifth in his BMW-Sauber in 1:13.683.
Montagny's teammate Jarno Trulli was sixth, with Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber), Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault), Rubens Barrichello (Honda) and Japan's Kazuki Nakajima (Williams-Toyota) completing the top ten.
Nine championship teams are in Cheste to prepare for the new season, which starts in Melbourne on March 18.
Fastest times and laps Tuesday:
1. Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren-Mercedes 1:12.563 102
2. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1:13.529 47
3. Nelson Piquet Jr (BRA) Renault 1:13.549 31
4. Franck Montagny (FRA) Toyota 1:13.672 33
5. Sebastian Vettel (GER) BMW-Sauber 1:13.683 75