Kimi fizzles as Ralf leads Valencia action

Fri, 2 February 2007, 01:39

Kimi Raikkonen on Thursday stopped his new ‘F2007’ Ferrari on the Valencia circuit with an engine problem.

In its official press release, the Italian squad referred only to a “technical hitch”, but trackside observers reckon the Finn heard a strange noise in the rear of the red car and pulled over as a precaution.

Back in the garage, the car then faced a lengthy delay before it returned to the Spanish circuit near the end of the day.

It also emerged that Robert Kubica suffered an engine-related problem in his new BMW, while Pedro de la Rosa’s new McLaren and also Jenson Button – in the RA107 Honda – stopped.

In a pre-season surprise, Ralf Schumacher was the driver who brought a halt to Fernando Alonso’s Valencia dominance, as the German also beat a pair of Renaults.

Admitting that Ralf had run on a new set of tyres, La Gazzetta dello Sport nonetheless observed: “There is always a Schumacher who flies.”

It was not all good news in the Toyota garage, however, as Jarno Trulli had to sit out the session after “high temperatures were recorded around the rear crash structure”, according to a team statement.

Schumacher, 31, also lost a bit of time with a broken fuel pump.

“It was nice to set the fastest time of the day but we still have a lot of work to do,” he said.

The test, originally scheduled to end on Thursday, will now run until Friday evening after Bridgestone agreed to supply those teams which had fallen behind due to the bad weather.

The next group next will then take place at Jerez.


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