Michael Schumacher sets the pace on day two in Jerez
Mercedes GP driver is quickest on day two of the second Formula 1 pre-season test in Jerez
Michael Schumacher was the quickest driver on day two of the second Formula 1 pre-season test in Jerez, ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
The Mercedes GP driver completed 112 laps in the W02, with his best time of 1:20.352 on the second lap of a ten-lap stint before his pace fell away by some four seconds towards the end of the run.
The ÃƒÂ¼ber-quick time is in some ways a response to criticism over the pace of Mercedes this year, but without consistency over a race distance the team could still struggle.
Massa was similarly consistent in the Ferrari F150th Italia and finished just six hundredths of a second slower than his former team-mate.
Mark Webber got his first chance to drive the RB7 at Jerez, and never threatened Schumacher’s time, but Red Bull’s devastating consistent lap times is an early indicator they should be competitive when the season begins in March as Webber lapped fifth quickest behind Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari.
Alguersuari, who had shared testing duties with Daniel Ricciardo on Thursday, had the car to himself to complete 72 laps with a quickest time of 1:21.214.
Jenson Button got his first outing in the McLaren MP4-26, experiencing KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) for the first time in his career, as well as testing McLaren’s adjustable rear wing on his way to third quickest with a time of 1:21.009.
Adrian Sutil completed over 300km Force India’s VJM04, concentrating on tyre compounds and performance work on his way to sixth quickest with a time of 1:21.780. The team still has a floor problem, which briefly sidelined Sutil, but with a fix not available until the car returns to the factory, the team will persevere.
Sergio Perez brought the red flag out in the afternoon session as he lost the rear end going into turn eight, which resulted in a front wheel and wing being ripped off. Despite the prang which ended his day, Perez still managed to do some valuable mileage and can be reasonably happy with a 1:21.857.
Timo Glock produced a solid lap in the Virgin MVR-02 to finish eighth quickest with a 1:22.208 as the team used the moveable rear wing for the first time, putting in more lap time than Friday, and the team are happy with the mileage achieved so far, and the performance of the car with so many new elements to it.
Renault chose to focus on tyre compounds, KERS, braking, and aero mapping as Petrov completed 65 laps, and disappointingly could only manage ninth quickest, three tenths off the pace of Glock.
Renault will evaluate Nick Heidfeld on Saturday with a view to the German replacing the injured Robert Kubica.
Williams once again suffered with technical gremlins on the FW33 after yesterday’s rear wing problem. This time a KERS battery problem sidelined Pastor Maldonado for more than three hours, interrupting the aero test programme.
The Venezuelan then went off at the high-speed turn 4 in the afternoon session, sustaining front and rear wing damage, as well as damage to the rear suspension after 38 laps, leaving the rookie with a quickest time of 1:22.591, while the team maintains the day was a success.
Jarno Trulli was another driver whose car let him down, as the team suffered a mechanical problem with the front of the car, which required new parts from the factory, ruling the Italian out of the afternoon session.
Despite being slowest of the 11 drivers testing on Friday, Trulli completed just 40 laps with his quickest time 1:23.216 coming on lap 6, and Team Lotus will now hope to have resolved their technical problems as Heikki Kovalainen takes over testing duties on Saturday.
Hispania Racing continue to miss the Jerez test to prepare for a filming day with Pirelli in Monza next week.