Nick Heidfeld has finished at the top of the timesheets following Barcelona's first day of testing this wee...
Nick Heidfeld has finished at the top of the timesheets following Barcelona's first day of testing this week. The test in Spain marks the final time the drivers will take to the track before heading to Australia for the first Grand Prix of 2009. Behind the BMW, the Toro Rosso STR4 made its public debut and Jenson Button completed the first ever laps of testing for Brawn GP.
With light rain falling early on in the session, Heidfeld's technical crew elected to centre the German's activities around the pits as the BMW mechanics practiced their well-drilled pit-stop routine. Later in the afternoon, Nick set the quickest time of the day, lapping the Catalan track in 1.20.339 to finish over half a second faster than the second-placed Ferrari. The reigning Constructors' World Champions performed a race simulation with former champion Kimi Räikkönen, which was helped by the arrival of the sun - an unfamiliar sight at tests this year - at 10:30, and pleasant ambient temperatures with a maximum of 15 degrees Celcius.
The Toyota of Jarno Trulli finished another highly consistent day in third spot, with England's Jenson Button finally returning to the cockpit to drive Brawn GP's first laps in the public eye; an impressive performance saw Button atop the standings for most of the day before dropping down to fourth in the final hour. The car also featured a radical splitter in order to aid rear-end downforce.
Nelson Piquet rounded out the top five in the Renault R29, with Sebastien Bourdais debuting the Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR4 to end up sixth fastest. Sister team Red Bull were less than a tenth of a second slower, in seventh spot with Mark Webber, as Adrian Sutil completed the most laps of anybody for Force India, circulating 127 times.
Kazuki Nakajima completed his day in ninth position for Williams-Toyota and the McLaren, like the Brawn car, has also undergone changes as it sprouted a new rear wing, tested by Heikki Kovalainen. The Finn's time was the slowest of the ten runners, 2.6 seconds off Heidfeld's leading pace.
Barcelona - 09/03/2009
1 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Sauber F1.09 - 1:20.338 (+ 0.000 )
2 . K. Raikkonen - Ferrari F60 - 1:20.908 (+ 0.570 )
3 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF109 - 1:20.937 (+ 0.599 )
4 . J. Button - Brawn GP Mercedes BGP001 - 1:21.140 (+ 0.802 )
5 . N. Piquet - Renault R29 - 1:21.662 (+ 1.324 ) - 126 laps
6 . S. Bourdais - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4 - 1:22.158 (+ 1.820 )
7 . M. Webber - Red Bull Renault RB5 - 1:22.246 (+ 1.908 )
8 . A. Sutil - Force India Mercedes VJM02 - 1:22.452 (+ 2.114 )
9 . K. Nakajima - Williams Toyota FW31 - 1:22.813 (+ 2.475 )
10 . Kovalainen - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 -1:22.948 (+ 2.610 )