Vettel on top at Jerez
Sebastian Vettel set the pace on the final day of the 2008 testing programme in the south of Spain.
Last Updated: 17/12/08 6:53pm
Sebastian Vettel set the pace on the final day of the winter testing programme at Jerez.
The German had his best Formula One season to date in 2008, claiming Toro Rosso's first pole position as well as their maiden grand prix victory and swapped STR for sister team Red Bull after the final race of the season in Brazil.
Vettel's best effort of one minute 16.617 seconds was three 10ths quicker than team-mate Sebastien Buemi - who had been dominating proceedings in the south of Spain after topping the timesheets last week as well as on Monday and Tuesday.
"We've had pretty smooth running at this test and have completed a lot of mileage before the end of the year," said Vettel.
"I think we've done everything we could here, learning about the tyres and next year's regulations and hopefully we will start next year with a car strong enough to challenge the big boys."
The BMW duo of Robert Kubica and Christian Klien, using two interim cars, were third and fourth fastest. Klien's F1.08B was also equipped with KERS.
"We made good progress today," said Klien. "We still have a lot of work to do on the KERS system. But the promising test results show we are moving in the right direction."
Williams' Kazuki Nakajima was the only other driver in action and finished the day at the bottom of the timesheet.
"In terms of what we've been testing, we've worked on set-up and the aero package for next year, but we mainly concentrated on the slick tyres this week. It is quite interesting to drive on slicks," said Nakajima.
Meanwhile, Toyota - who have been testing behind closed doors at the Bahrain International Circuit - concluded their 2008 programme with Italian youngster Andrea Caldarelli completing his first official F1 test.
"This has been a great experience for me and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. To get the chance to test a Formula 1 car when I am still only 18 is such a good opportunity and I was determined to make the most of it," said Caldarelli.
"Obviously the TF108 is a big step up compared to my usual car; the power is amazing but so are the brakes, and the grip you have going round corners takes a few laps to adjust to.
"I think I did a good job considering the circuit is new to me and this is my first full Formula One test."
Ferrari and McLaren were the other teams absent from the Jerez. The duo have opted to test at Portugal's Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
01 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:16.617 107 laps
02 S. Buemi Red Bull 1:16.998 92 laps
03 R. Kubica BMW 1:19.013 100 laps
04 C. Klien BMW 1:19.066 38 laps
05 K. Nakajima Williams 1:19.341 131 laps