Williams sets fastest overall winter time at Jerez, as pre-season comes to an end

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    Williams sets fastest overall winter time at Jerez, as pre-season comes to an end

    Post by Ross on 19th March 2009, 16:45

    Williams ends winter in style

    Kazuki Nakajima ensured Williams finished the final pre-season test with a flourish by setting the fastest time recorded at Jerez this year on Thursday.

    The Grove-based squad and McLaren were bringing to a close the winter action before next week’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix, with the new in-season testing ban now kicking in.

    With the sunny weather continuing and circuit temperatures touching 41 degrees on the final day, it meant the track was in its fastest state of the week.

    So it was no real surprise to see the times tumble again, although Nakajima's impressive fastest lap of 1m17.494s – some 0.350s faster than Jenson Button’s benchmark time for Brawn GP from two days earlier – will nevertheless give Williams encouragement heading to Melbourne.

    The Japanese driver topped a century of laps (102) despite the FW31 stopping out on track during the morning, carrying out final set-up preparations, aero work and reliability testing.
    McLaren also improved its best time of the week on Thursday, with Heikki Kovalainen breaking the 1m18 barrier to clock 1m17.946s – albeit almost 0.5s slower than the Williams.

    The squad concluded its final test with its hitherto troubled MP4-24 by flying in a further set of new parts from its Woking base.

    McLaren described its day’s work as “productive” following 84 laps and its rivals now wait to see whether the team has found enough speed to be a factor towards the front next week.

    Both teams will make final preparations for Melbourne back at their factories in Britain before flying out to Melbourne at the start of next week to join the rest of the grid for the first race.

    Thursday’s action also brought the curtain down on official F1 testing until after the season finale in Abu Dhabi in November.

    Testing times from Jerez (Thursday 19 March)

    1. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m17.494s
    2. KOVALAINEN McLaren 1m17.946s

    Source: itv.com/f1

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      Current date/time is 23rd May 2018, 14:51