Tuesday, September 27, 2005

F1: Teams prepare for the final push 

This week sees the last major test of the 2005 season, with the teams showing no sign of relaxing ahead of Japan and China, as they look to optimise their final positions in the constructor’s championship. Jerez is the location for the session, which gets underway on Tuesday, with the participating teams running a mix of two and three-day programmes at the Spanish circuit.

Renault showed a definite performance gain in Brazil, but it still wasn’t enough to beat McLaren, whose one-two finish took them to the top of the standings for the first time this season. As a result, the French team will be pushing ahead with further development and you can expect to see Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella in action, as well as testers Franck Montagny and Heikki Kovalainen.

Having lost out on the drivers’ title to Renault, McLaren will be going all out to secure the constructors’ crown. Their two-day schedule kicks off on Wednesday, with Alexander Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa at the wheel.

A disastrous start to the Brazilian race meant Williams got minimal running at Interlagos on Sunday. Testers Antonio Pizzonia and Nico Rosberg will be out to make amends at Jerez, as the team prepare to make a decision on whether Nick Heidfeld is fit enough to return to the cockpit at Suzuka.

A disappointing weekend in Sao Paulo for Toyota saw the Japanese team fall 17 points behind Ferrari in the chase for third in the standings. They will be desperate to improve their form ahead of their home Grand Prix and have a three-day outing planned with Jarno Trulli and Olivier Panis.

Sixth-place rivals BAR and Red Bull are also expected to test at Jerez, while Ferrari are due to run a solo session at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.

Check back throughout the week for all the latest on the teams’ progress.

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