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de la Rosa quickest on final day at Jerez (with pictures)

NEWS STORY
19/09/2008

McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa topped the timesheets on the final day of testing at Jerez de la Frontera, the final major test of the 2008 World Championship season.

While Thursday's running was limited due to rain in the afternoon, today's weather was ideal all day, with sunshine and temperatures reaching 32 degrees C.

The Woking team was able to complete its programme for the week, with the focus remaining on aero development work for the upcoming races and the KERS evaluation programme. de la Rosa completed 90 laps on his way to posting a best time of 1:18.992.

Second quickest was Nick Heidfeld, who continues to deputise for Robert Kubica. The German team, currently third in the Constructors' Championship, continued to focus on the four remaining races of the season.

"Today I concentrated on the mechanical and aerodynamic development of the car", said Heidfeld after completing 98 laps. "We found some promising solutions to improve the set-up of the car."

Despite Thursday's rain, the Munich team was able to finish its test programme as planned, without any technical problems, including the so called "Young Driver Day" on Tuesday.

Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi, was once again behind the wheel of the Renault R28 for his third day of work. Having lost so much track time due to yesterday's rain showers, the French team ran a busy programme to make up for lost time with di Grassi clocking up over 100 laps. He continued with the aero programme and completed some set-up work with the upcoming races in mind.

"It was another hot day, but it was much better than yesterday," said the Brazilian, "and we were able to do lots of laps. I felt even more comfortable with the car and we have definitely improved it a lot during the week. We worked on lots of different things, including some set- up work and new tyre runs in the morning, and in the afternoon we evaluated some parts to be used in the last few races."

"It was a better day for Lucas and the team and nice to give Lucas another full day of running," added Christian Silk, the French outfit's Chief Test Engineer. "He's done a very good job for us this week and was competitive throughout the day with consistent lap times and gave the team good feedback. The car ran well today giving us lots of results and data, which will be useful for the forthcoming races and for next year."

Having set the pace on Thursday in the Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel was on good form today on his return to Toro Rosso, his first time back behind the wheel for the Faenza outfit since his famous victory at Monza.

The German had a busy programme to work through, most of it centred on aerodynamic and set-up work aimed at the final four races of the year. He also evaluated some suspension and power steering options, as well as some testing aimed at 2009 car systems. Despite some strong wind in the morning and a slower track, the day produced positive results.

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