Formula One: Alonso fastest in Spanish testing - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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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
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 05:54 PM
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 01:59 AM
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The things being said about the reliability of this new McLaren is not good. Or is just rumours?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 03:25 AM
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^^^Like what? He ran 107 laps yesterday trouble free, that seems pretty good, esp. in testing. It's the Renaults that are having problems.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 03:55 AM
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^^^^Heard they had some oil leak issues at the end of the session
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 06:55 AM
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Here ya go, from ITV.com

Alonso impressed by McLaren reliability
Thursday, 01, February, 2007, 11:59


Fernando Alonso says the early reliability of the MP4-22 has been the aspect of the new McLaren that has impressed him the most during testing at Valencia this week.

The double world champion has topped the times on both of the first two days of the year's first multi-team test at the Spanish circuit and has completed the most laps (193) of any driver.

The MP4-22's recent predecessors have often been fast but fragile, with the team’s race reliability record some way behind those of chief rivals Ferrari and Renault.

But following a few initial gremlins at the same track last week, Alonso says that the MP4-22’s reliability, and not its chart-topping pace, has impressed him the most.


"The car is going well and it's not true that we have reliability issues,” he was quoted as saying by the Italian Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

“On Tuesday I stopped at the end of the session for a fuel scavenging test.


“There are a few things to be improved, and I am still adapting to the car.


“But I every time I drive I feel better.


“If had to say what thing pleases me the most I would say the reliability.”

The 25-year-old says he has also been pleased by the speed with which the team has adapted to the 2007-spec Bridgestone tyres.

Excluding its exclusive test at Valencia last week, a McLaren driver has topped the last five test days that the team has been involved in and Alonso believes such form highlights the pace of its transition to the Japanese rubber.

"It would seem to me that compared to the other teams McLaren has adapted best to the Bridgestone tyres," he said.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 07:07 AM
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^^^^Well be careful, Kimi will be hard to beat and they do not have to adapt to the Bridgestones. I also hate the Donkey.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 12:09 PM
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i think we have good drivers line up. Not as good as having Kimi in one of the car, but still good .

Can't wait for the season to begin.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 05:47 PM
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umm, "we?"
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ThrillKill
Cool video, thanks TK.
Can't wait for the season to start either.
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