2008 F1 testing round-up 7: Bahrain

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Ferrari and Toyota completed their second three-day stint of testing yesterday – but this time although Ferrari remained extremely quick they also ran into reliability problems.

But Toyota looked quicker over the second three days than the first and their reliability looked promising as well.


Kimi Raikkonen picked up where he left off and was fastest on the first two days of the test, including the fastest time of all on Sunday: 1’30.015. But Felipe Massa wasn’t too far behind with a 1’30.190.

The story of the test for Ferrari were the technical problems they encountered. Massa’s running on Saturday was halted by a hydraulics problem. The next day an engine problem prevented him from completing a Grand Prix simulation run. His thoughts had clearly turned to the reliability problems he thinks lost him the 2007 title when he said this:

We would all have preferred to finish the GP, but it’s better for the problems to come up now and not in the first GP, as in 2007 and at my disadvantage.

Raikkonen’s test was also disrupted on Sunday as he suffered an oil leak. Notably both these failures occurred on the day when the Ferrari drivers set their fastest times of the test.

Monday went according to plan for both drivers and Massa outpaced Raikkonen, although over a second off the Finn’s fastest time of the day before. Afterwards Raikkonen said:

Testing has been going well. This session has also shown problems – small ones – with the F2008. It’s a good start for the Ferrari. There have already been improvements. Obviously reliability hasn’t come automatically, but two or three laptimes have already been interesting.

Obviously we still need to improve a lot, but for me it’s easier now compared to 2007. And the car has had a good beginning too. The decisive step is the next test. And then Melbourne, because only at the first GP we’ll know how the teams compare.”


Toyota seemed to have a more successful second test in Bahrain – they completed more laps’ running than Ferrari (and more than either of them did in the first test) and went quicker.

They were 1.7s slower than Ferrari in the first test, which they cut to under a second. Trulli’s fastest was 1’30.994, Glock’s a 1’31.209. After the first day Trulli said:

Our target was to do as many laps as possible so we learn more about which areas we have to improve. I think we know what direction to go in and we are working hard on this. We did all the laps we planned and no more because we are limited on kilometres during the year so we have to consider this, especially as the TF108 has been quite reliable so far.

Both drivers ran qualifying and race simulations on Sunday – Glock doing a 2008-style qualifying session for the first time. He gave encouraging feedback about the car in qualifying trim but was unhappy with the race setup.

The team also took advantage of the hotter conditions (35C track temperature on Monday) to try new cooling solutions.

Photos copyright: Ferrari S.p.A. | Toyota F1 World

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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