Despite having trouble fitting comfortably in the new McLaren-Mercedes MP4-19, Kimi Raikkonen concluded the team’s test programme at Jerez by breaking the unofficial lap record.

Despite having trouble fitting comfortably in the new McLaren-Mercedes MP4-19, Kimi Raikkonen concluded the team’s test programme at Jerez by breaking the unofficial lap record.


Driving their 2004 cars in qualifying spec on Sunday, Raikkonen and Williams-BMW rival Ralf Schumacher traded times as they both dipped below McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa's record. Raikkonen was set to go quicker still and perhaps even post a lap in the 1m15s bracket when Schumacher stopped on the circuit.


“This is a good way to end the session,” said Raikkonen. “Yesterday it was quite bad because the car didn't feel good, but today it was a lot better.”


According to , both Raikkonen and team-mate David Coulthard were having trouble fitting comfortably in the new MP4-19. When the young Finn tested the car for the first time at Jerez on Friday, he only completed 32 laps because of hip and rib-cage pain caused by the tight confines of the MP4-19s cockpit. Coulthard also suffered bruising after testing the car.


Raikkonen spent most of Sunday in the garage after an investigation into a fuel leak uncovered several minor glitches. But once he got running again mid-afternoon, he began to really click with the car. “The seat was a bit tight, but has been improved since yesterday,” he said. “It's not difficult to push this car, it's quite stable.”


Schumacher was also happy with his day's work in the FW26. “We had some technical problems with the car but we made a step forward with it and have made it go quicker,” he said. “There are loads of other little things we have found that need to be done, but those can only be done in the factory.”


Williams-BMW test driver Marc Gene split his time between the hybrid FW25B fitted with the new engine and gearbox and comparison testing with last year's FW25A. The Spaniard got within two tenths of Raikkonen's time during the afternoon session.


By contrast, BAR suffered a third Honda engine failure in as many days, forcing the team to close up shop until the wet weather test on Tuesday. The engines have been sent back to the factory, where Honda engineers will duly attempt to locate and rectify the problem. However, Jenson Button will run on Tuesday because BAR has no data yet on Michelin wet weather tyres.


Formula 1 test Jerez day five times (unofficial)

Pos Driver Chassis-engine Tyres Time Laps

1 Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes M 1:16,074s 87

2 Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW M 1:16,110s 82

3 Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1:16,245s 24

4 Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes M 1:17,237s 104

5 Ryan Briscoe Toyota M 1:18,422s 103

6 Jenson Button BAR-Honda M 1:18,563s 95

7 Takuma Sato BAR-Honda M 1:19,837s 103


B = Bridgestone

M = Michelin

Original article from Car