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Final Jerez test, March 2009 // The last minute preparations ahead of this year's F1 season

Published by Christine

This article was originally written for BellaOnline, but is republished here for posterity.

Jerez played host to the final test of the 2009 season this week, with just four teams in attendance. Renault, Williams, McLaren and Renault all began the week in Jerez, but by the end of the week it was just McLaren and Williams remaining. They will all know head to Australia with a couple of extra days information to digest. Here's a quick look at some of the teams performance.

Mclaren

McLaren have been worrying in testing recently, with the team constantly at the bottom of the timesheets. Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh even admitted that they didn't have the pace to be competitive, but they were working on it. It wasn't a surprise to see that they chose to attend this final test, and the extra few days have worked well for them.

After sitting out the first day while they waited for parts to turn up from the factory, the MP4-24 hit the track and immediately started to improve. By the end of the week, McLaren were on the pace, and the times were dropping quickly. This will be a weight off the team's mind as it looks like they have at least solved the major problem that was slowing them down. It still remains unclear how competitive they will be, but that is true of every team right now.

Renault

Renault had a very tough start to the week, as Alonso had barely completed any laps before crashing out. He admitted it was driver error that saw his car spin off and hit the barrier. The car was rebuilt and went back out again by the end of the day, but this will have wasted a lot of precious testing time. Renault did not attend every single day of the test, choosing to head back early to get ready to race. It doesn't look like the issue with the car will have done any long-term damage, but with the lack of testing as it is, it must have been frustrating to sit out the majority of the day.

The FIA have announced that there will be 8 one-day straight line tests available for teams, at tracks chosen by the governing body. These tests must be completed between 1st January 2009 and the last race of the season. This is a step up from no testing whatsoever, but chances are the teams are still hoping the ban is recinded altogether.