Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Ferrari have emerged as the fastest car on the first official day of testing.Ferrari struck the first blow of the new year in the battle of the Formula One heavyweights.

Ferrari and McLaren both ran their new cars on the first official day of testing for 2008 following their unveiling last week.

And it was world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who clinched the title in dramatic circumstances last year, and team-mate Felipe Massa who topped the timesheets at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain.

After rain in the morning, the track dried out in the afternoon, with Raikkonen completing 59 laps overall with a best unofficial time of one minute 19.845 seconds.

Massa was just under 0.3secs adrift, with McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa another 0.4secs off the pace in third place ahead of the Toro Rosso of Sebastian Vettel.

The second McLaren of Heikki Kovalainen was fifth overall, just over a second down on Raikkonen, while Sebastien Bourdais gave Toro Rosso a strong showing with sixth.

Lewis Hamilton, who missed out on becoming world champion by a point to Raikkonen, is on track on Tuesday and Wednesday alongside Kovalainen and is sure to push the Ferraris close.

Overall, nine teams tested, with only BMW Sauber missing out as they launched their new car in Munich today, along with Honda.

James Rossiter was unfortunately last of the 14 drivers due to a problem early in the day with his Super Aguri - with the team awaiting new parts - allowing him to complete just 10 laps.

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