Barrichello puts BrawnGP at the top yet again as final pre-season test begins

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    Barrichello puts BrawnGP at the top yet again as final pre-season test begins

    Post by Ross on 15th March 2009, 12:26

    Barrichello tops day one of final test

    Brawn GP proved its stunning Barcelona pace was no fluke by comfortably topping the times again as the final pre-season test got underway at Jerez.

    While six teams completed their track preparations for the new season at the Circuit de Catalunya earlier this week, McLaren, Renault, Williams and Brawn have headed south for one final four-day test before the Australian Grand Prix.

    And following on from its remarkable performance with its new BGP 001 car at Barcelona, where it headed the timesheet by over 0.8s on the final two days, the Brackley squad was at it again on Sunday as Rubens Barrichello led the way by over half a second.

    Indeed the team has already shattered the benchmark time for a full-spec 2009 car at Jerez this winter, with Barrichello’s best effort of 1m19.236s almost 0.6s faster than Toyota’s Timo Glock managed at the circuit earlier this month.

    While Barrichello put 107 more laps on the Brawn car, the man in second place – Fernando Alonso – managed just 40 after the double world champion made a rare mistake and crashed his Renault R29.

    The Spaniard sat out for most of the morning while mechanics repaired the car's front-end and only returned later in the afternoon when he began assessments of new parts that have been added to the car for this week.

    Alonso owned up to the error after the session but was glad the team still managed to get enough laps in to get a feel for the performance of the R29 in its updated form.

    "Unfortunately I made a mistake this morning which was a shame as we lost a lot of track time, but sometimes this happens in testing when you are looking for the limits of the car,” he said.

    “This afternoon the team put the car together as soon as possible and we tried to complete our main priorities for the day, which was testing some new parts on the car.

    “In the end we managed to do it and we were pleased with the results, although we certainly would have liked more laps.

    “Tomorrow we will try and recover some of the time we lost today."

    Williams were the third team in action on Sunday and its test driver Nico Hulkenberg completed the Grove-based outfit’s opening day work.

    The German youngster enjoyed a productive day, with his best lap of 1m20.015s coming after 69 laps.

    Meanwhile, the team facing the most crucial week of testing, McLaren, sat out Sunday’s running and will instead commence its work on Monday.

    The Woking-based squad admitted on Friday that its MP4-24 was currently not fast enough compared to its rivals and unlikely to be competitive enough to give Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen a chance to compete for victory in Melbourne on March 29.

    Testing times from Jerez (Sunday 15 March)

    1. BARRICHELLO Brawn 1m19.236s
    2. ALONSO Renault 1m19.819s
    3. HULKENBERG Williams 1m20.015s


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