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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

PF1's Team-By-Team Guide To Winter Testing; Part 3

The new season is just a few weeks away and so it's time to ask just who has been starring in winter testing and who has been flopping. The answers require a bit of guesswork - but that has never stopped PF1 before...

Still the team to beat. Ferrari enter 2008 as favourites to retain of both their World Championships having been the dominant force over winter testing.

The time set by Kimi Raikkonen in Bahrain was two seconds faster than the one required to land pole position last year. Reliability, if not, complacency may be their biggest threat - Luca Badoer failed to finish the exclusive behind-closed-doors race simulation carried out by the team last week at Barcelona due to an oil leak.

What They're Saying: "We are very consistent. To drive a car like this F2008 is fantastic. It's already really quick. But the most interesting aspect is that I noticed this quickness in both race trim and in the more extreme qualifying trim. And in both situations it's always very easy on the tyres, it doesn't destroy them" - Kimi Raikkonen.

A disaster story. Last year's car was very bad and so the very, very bad news is that, based on the evidence to date, this year's might be even worse.

Having joined the team approximately six months after its latest non-charging charger was designed, Ross Brawn's input into the RA107 has been minimal and he could be forgiven for already questioning his wisdom in agreeing to join the Brackley outfit. Winter testing has been so dire that already there is team-sanctioned talk of Honda writing off 2008 to enable Brawn to concentrate on finding a route back to respectability in 2009. But will Jenson Button be willing to wait that long?

In the short-term, the team will have their fingers crossed that Super Aguri can be saved. It is probably the only way that the A-team can be saved from the ignominy of starting the Australian GP from the back of the grid alongside Force India.

What They're Saying: "I think we have to be realistic and say our objective this year is to score some points, to get the team respectable again, to consolidate the team and get everything functioning in the team properly again, so if we win this year it will be very lucky. But we have to look at 2009 and 2010. We have a plan now and a programme and I am feeling reasonably confident about the programme. Today we don't have a car to win, we will see what happens during the year, but in 2009 and 2010 we can be more optimistic" - Ross Brawn.

Author: Pete Gill

Some pictures of testing in Bahrain, Fiorano, Valencia and Barcelona!

pic 1: Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari F2008 testing at Bahrain (06-02-08)
pic 2: Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari F2008 testing at Bahrain (06-02-08)

pic 1: Filipe Massa Ferrari F2008 testing at Bahrain (06-02-08)
pic 2: Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari F2008 Testing at Fiorano (06-01-2008)

pic 1: Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari F2008 Testing at Valencia (24-01-2008)
pic 2: Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari F2008 Testing at Valencia (24-01-2008)

pic 1: Filipe Massa Ferrari F2008 Testing at Fiorano (06-01-2008)
pic 2: Filipe Massa Ferrari F2008 Testing at Valencia (24-01-2008)

pic 1: Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari F2008 Testing at Fiorano (06-01-2008)
pic 2: Rubens Barrichello Honda RA108 testing at Barcelona (06-02-08)

source: F1-Fansite

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