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Webber quickest on final day (with pictures)

NEWS STORY
03/02/2008

Red Bull's Mark Webber topped the timesheets on the final day at Barcelona.

With Williams having headed home on Saturday night there just thirteen drivers representing seven teams on duty. Once again, it was cold for much of the day, with rain showers in the late afternoon allowing most teams the opportunity to run with wet and intermediate tyres.

Webber was partnered once again by David Coulthard as the Austrian team focused on testing some new aerodynamic and mechanical items. Both drivers complete their planned development before the rain started falling at 15.30. After this time, the duo did limited wet running until the end of the session. In total, Webber and Coulthard completed 147 laps.

Chief Test Engineer, Ian Morgan, said: "It's been a very positive week, the car's been reliable and we've got through everything that we came here to do. It was encouraging to see Mark at the top of the timesheets today. We're looking forward to the team's next test in Jerez."

Behind Webber, were the two McLarens, with Heikki Kovalainen having the slight edge over Lewis Hamilton. Both drivers continued with their programme of tyre evaluation and reliability confirmation, in addition to aerodynamic and set up development work. The team also focused on longer runs with the MP4-23 package, with fewer red flag stoppages than on Friday and Saturday.

"Today we completed an intensive and productive session," said Martin Whitmarsh. "It is always interesting when we test here for the first time with a new car, as you have a comprehensive evaluation of the whole package.

"We have made some good progress and have gathered some useful intelligence this week, which we will take back to the McLaren Technology Centre and incorporate this into the development of the car in the 10 days until the next track test.

"This is a demanding time of year for the team, we ask a lot of every single member as we work to reach the level of competitiveness we want for Australia. The progress we are making is quantifiable and the drive within the team to continue to push remains high."

Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld continued work on the set-up of the BMW F1.08. The Pole's car ran without major problems, while the German encountered a minor technical issue in the morning session and made a precautionary stop on the track. When the car was back in the pits the team fixed the problem and Heidfeld resumed testing as scheduled.

Both drivers worked on adapting the set-up of the car to their driving style, and according to the German outfit, the three days of testing went as planned for the team. Both drivers tested different mechanical and aerodynamical solutions which put the development of the F1.08 significantly forward.

Although the test was affected overall by low temperatures and by the late rain, it gave the team the chance to run the F1.08 on intermediate and wet tyres for the first time.

For Renault, Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet continued to build on the work of the previous couple of days. Alonso concentrated on more set up work this morning and Piquet operated a similar set-up programme, as well as some long runs in the afternoon which were cut short by the rain.

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