Renault, BMW, run new gearboxes in Spain

Wed, 29 November 2006, 08:26

Renault’s new official test driver, Nelson Piquet Junior, gave the team’s 2007-specification gearbox a debut on Tuesday when post-season testing kicked off in the north-east of Spain.

At Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on an overcast and initially cold Tuesday, the Brazilian ran ‘the first laps with the new 2007 gearbox in a ‘hybrid’ R26 chassis’, the French squad confirmed in a team document.

Further down pit lane, Mark Webber had a ‘couple of minor (car) problems’ as he made his track debut for Red Bull, but the Australian still managed to narrowly outpace team incumbent David Coulthard.

BMW-Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld was also working on a new gearbox.

Arguably the day’s biggest talking point, however, was the debut of the proposed Bridgestone tyre for the Australian grand prix, as drivers acclimatised to a sole supplier after years in competition with Michelin.

Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen commented: “The tyres are very different to those I have used so far in formula one. There is less grip overall, and we need to be a bit more careful in how we drive as well as adapting our style.”


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