Continued: Bahrain Testing

It was the last testing session today before the teams fly off to the Australian GP! WOW those 6 months flew right past! I’m really looking forward to the 2007 season, I get nervous just thinking about Kimi driving with a new car and a new team. I wonder how he feels, he must simply think "I just really want to be world champion, so bad" and his fans do too don’t we! We know he is more than capable, but I do think that whatever has happened in Kimi’s career so far happened for a reason and the good outweighs the bad, he is a better driver, stronger and wise. His commitment has never been a question, it is the same since he was little and it remains as big as it ever was. I want to say that every year is a great year for Kimi, maybe not points standing wise in the WDC, but performance wise. It is always a joy to see him race and becoming champion would simply be a bonus, but such a great achievement to Kimi personally. I truly can’t wait for that day, the day when we really see Kimi ‘smile’ 🙂 Keep Flying Kimi, love you lots.

1st March: Kimi used the new 2007 aero package on his Ferrari in the afternoon and went 4th quickest with 1.30.534 secs. Massa kept the rhythm going yet again for Ferrari, going fastest in the morning with a time of 1.29.989 secs. He was evaluating an updated aerodynamic package on his F2007 and, although
his best time was done on new tyres, it is understood it was not with a
low qualifying-simulation level of fuel on board. In between the Ferrari’s were both Renaults, 2nd fastest was Heikki who made a promising effort with his test taking a time of 1.30.384. McLaren were behind their two competitors in 5th and 7th place.

From TurunSanomat:
Q&A with Kimi Räikkönen at the end of the Bahrain testing

The general conclusion is easy to make, Kimi seems to be very happy
with the latest aeropackage of F2007, which is roughly half a second
faster than the old one.

Q: Do you think that Ferrari has taken a big leap forward in last two testing weeks?

A:I think so. The new package is really good and the car is very
fast. But it is hard to know what others do. We just have to wait and
see what happens in Melbourne.

Q: Do you think that you have tested enough for first race, or should you have driven few more days?

A: We had only one new aeropackage for these tests. But I think it
was ok. Now we go for a race and it is interesting to see what happens
in there.

Q: How do you see the other teams?

A: Like I said, I have no idea what they have been doing. But luckily we don’t have to wait too long to know.

Q: Do you consider F2007 as the best car you have driven?

A: Well, we are happy to that how the car works and hopefully it is
quick enough. We just have to wait for first race and then we know
where we are. But so far, we are happy.

Q: Do you have more good or bad memories from Melbourne?

A: Both. Some races have been good, some not so good. But that is the past. Now we aim for good opening for the season.

Q: Do you feel some extra pressure for first race

A: Nope, it is only fascinating to drive a first race, so it is the same at this time too.

Q: What about the car, are you happy to it?

A: The car is good.

Q: How would you estimate the difference between you and Massa, is it because different testing programs?

A: Let’s see what happens in Melbourne. I think that is the right place to compare.

Q: Why is Ferrari so fast?

A: We have a good package, like I said before. But Melbourne is
rather different track compared to Bahrain. Let’s wait and see what
happens in there.

Q: What do you expect from this year?

A: We will, for sure, try to fight for the Championships and win as
many races as we can. But it’s too early to say anything. We have to
see how the first few races go, do our best, and then we’ll see where
we are going.

Q: How much progress you have made in these last six days?

A: All things with the new package have been very positive. I can’t
say how much we have progressed, but we are very happy how all things
work in the new car and that is the most important.

Q: Are more you satisfied in F2007’s race- or qualifying pace?

A: I haven’t really driven a one lap stints, but the race pace is really good, really consistent and I’m very happy in that.

Q: Is Felipe tougher teammate than you expected?

A: We haven’t really… We see that in races.

28th Feb: Massa went quickest yet again today, though
running the ‘Melbourne-spec’ new profile front and rear wings, his time was set during a qualifying simulation apparently. Kimi went 5th fastest, running a different aerodynamic set up and has reached around 100 laps! Both Ferrari’s have shown very good reliability along their impressive speed.

From ‘autosprint’: Ferrari inside voices claim that Kimi is still at 70 %. He waits,
listen and try to learn anything from mechanics and team mate, mostly
about the electronic gestion of the car.
He doesn’t want to start a war with his team mate in search of the best lap time. It would make no sense.
the Ferrari seems to have solved reliability problems. They were not
engine blow, but overheating of electronic components due to the air flux in the car body.
It was a minor issue, probably solved by the new engine cup used."


– Second fastest so far has been Lewis Hamilton, the young Englishman
aging only 18 laps and a time some seven tenths of a second slower
than Massa, although we are informed his time came during a ten lap
stint rather than a light fuel run.

– Mclaren team leader Fernando Alonso has, according to press
reports, stayed on beyond his scheduled time in Bahrain in order to
tackle the apparent gap to Ferrari, although Pedro de la Rosa did most
of the running this morning and recorded a time some eight tenths
behind Hamilton’s best.

Hamilton predicts McLaren, Ferrari fight


Briton Lewis Hamilton believes this year’s championships will be fought only between the McLaren and Ferrari teams.
Both squads have been among the strongest during winter testing,
although the Italian squad are believed to hold the upper hand over
long runs.

"I don’t necessarily agree with that," said Hamilton when asked if
Ferrari were the fastest team. "For sure, at some tests we are on top,
and here Ferrari has been very strong.
I think for sure they have a different programme to us, we do not
know what fuel they are running, you don’t know what fuel we are
running, so it is difficult to say who is quickest but I think Ferrari
and McLaren are the two main competitors for the title," added Hamilton
today during testing at the Bahrain circuit.

The British driver will make his Grand Prix debut at the Australian
Grand Prix next month after an intense winter of preparations.
Hamilton admits he can’t wait to get on the grid for his first Formula One race.

"It is taking too long! As I said, the testing has been six weeks
and I have been testing three days each. I am extremely excited for the
first race," he added.
I cannot wait to arrive in Australia, I have never been there before, and to be on the gird to see my first GP. I am very very confident, the car is definitely
better than last year’s and so is the engine. We have a very strong
package. Again we will see what happens in the first race. Williams are
not here so we don’t know what they are up to.
I don’t think anyone is showing their cards yet. Obviously we are
in a good position, we still have a lot of work to do and throughout
the season we will continue to improve."

– As a result of the accident Kovalainen was in yesterday, only one R27 is running today, which Fisichella put 3rd fastest,
the Italian just pipping de la Rosa but a long way slower than the
fastest time so far, the team admitting they are ‘impressed’ by the
pace of the rival Ferrari so far.

1 MAS 1’30.640 45

2 HAM 1’31.178 18

3 FIS 1’31.967 59

4 DLR 1’31.971 34

5 RAI 1’31.999 48

6 HEI 1’32.254 49

7 BUT 1’32.293 49

8 LIU 1’32.359 42

9 KUB 1’32.735 27

10 SCH 1’33.054 44

11 COU 1’33.146 8

12 SAT 1’33.601 61

13 BAR 1’33.659 14

14 TRU 1’34.689 11

15 WEB 1’41.400 2

27th Feb: Kimi and Felipe got back to business today, having gone 2nd and 1st fastest before lunch time. Ferrari were using a new front wing on Kimi today. From TS:
Ferrari drove it’s most convincing testing day so far. Felipe Massa
drove the fastest lap again, but Kimi Räikkönen charmed with his long
run’s final laps – again.
Kimi had the latest aeropackage on his car and tomorrow he will use the old one, while Massa gets his hands on the latest.
Both Massa and Räikkönen drove full Grand Prix distances with two
stops. Rivals could only keep sighing when they saw how Ferrari’s tyres
were in excellent condition after long runs.

Räikkönen did his fastest lap on the final lap of his long run. Massa’s time at the end of his long run was 0.3 sec slower.

McLaren is getting some new parts for thursday.
According to British sources McLaren is going to change it’s mirrors and are going to copy winglets from Ferrari and Renault. Today though,
Fernando worked through the day’s plan of Bridgestone
Potenza evaluation and set-up options with the MP4-22 without any
problems, completing a race distance in the afternoon. Unfortunately
Lewis’s similar programme ended two hours early when he stopped on
track with an oil leak.

deh0727fe69.jpg deh0727fe67.jpg deh0727fe35.jpg img243/2669/diapo152dh3.jpgimg120/7601/73415678mt003f1testing0pd1.jpg

Ferrari did some extremely impressive race stints during the afternoon,
well ahead of all the other teams including McLaren. Fisico only
completed a few short runs this afternoon after some mechanical
problems late morning delayed his programme (source: ING Renault Blog)

There was a crash from Kovalainen in his Renault, when he spun off and had a hard impact on the armco barrier, although he sustained no injuries thankfully. It’s not what any team needs in testing this close to the first GP, but at least the driver is okay!

Results today (top 6 remained unchanged):

Pos Driver Team Best
time Laps

1 MAS 1’31.260 102

2 RAI 1’31.590 95

3 ALO 1’31.851 95

4 KUB 1’32.108 74

5 HAM 1’32.193 54

6 FIS 1’32.556 81

7 KOV 1’32.688 19

8 MTY 1’32.999 36

9 TRU 1’33.150 63

10 VET 1’33.219 33

11 KLI 1’33.378 89

12 COU 1’33.526 69

13 WEB 1’33.540 74

14 ROS 1’33.597 77

15 SAT 1’33.813 74

16 SCH 1’34.030 36

17 SPE 1’34.057 44

(Kimi Raikkonen Space)

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