Day two of testing wrapped up earlier and for some the day was very productive, while for others it was little short of a disaster. While the sun continued to shine in Spain, the Bahrain circuit was closed early due to a dust storm preventing the safety helicopter from taking off in the event of a serious accident. Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull Racing, McLaren, Renault and Williams all managed a fair few laps, but Toyota, Ferrari and BMW struggled to complete many, with Robert Kubica getting the most in, albeit a lowly 22 tours of Sakhir.
Today saw the return of Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber. The Australian has been laid up for most of the winter while his broken leg heals. However, just 12 or so weeks since his cycling accident in Tasmania, Webber was back behind the wheel of a Formula One car. It seems his time spent concentrating on his leg hasn’t deterred the Australian and Mark finished the day in third after 83 laps.
I’m very relieved of course. It has been a tough few months for me, but I’ve had good people around me and the team have been fantastic as well.
There were a lot of questions asked going into today. But I answered some questions for myself and it turned out to be okay. Mark Webber.
Sebastien Buemi set the fastest lap again, although the Swiss pilot was driving a modified 2008 chassis while the other four drivers on the track were all in 2009 cars. Buemi was the busiest man of the day though, racking up an impressive 143 laps before calling it a day. Sebastien concentrated on learning about how the team worked through a race weekend and the squad simulated a qualifying session and race distance.
This has been a useful couple of days for me, running in wet and dry conditions. Even though we are still in the ’08 car, I have learned a lot in terms of how we operate over a race weekend, as we simulated a qualifying session and the race. Sebastien Buemi.
Heikki Kovalainen was in the cockpit for McLaren and the Finn was the fastest of the 2009 cars on track. Although the MP4-24 was carrying a modified rear wing as the Woking-based team are apparently waiting for a new high-downforce version of the new slim wing. It is expected that Lewis Hamilton will drive the car tomorrow.
Kazuki Nakajima took over from Nico Hulkenberg today and got his first proper drive in the new FW31 car around Jerez. Like with Buemi, Nakajima focused on a race race simulation as well as gathering data about the new slick tyres. Nelson Piquet Jr. continued evaluating the new R29 for Renault, and once again propped up the timing sheet at the bottom. Fernando Alonso will be driving the Renault on Thursday.
Meanwhile in Bahrain…
Things didn’t go quite as well as planned in Bahrain though. The morning started off better than the day previous, with little sign of fog threatening to curtail running as it did on Tuesday. However, shortly after 9.30am, the track officials decided to close the circuit due to a sandstorm blowing over. Felipe Massa managed the fastest lap of the day after completing just 17 laps, followed by Robert Kubica and then Timo Glock.
Earlier in the year, Ferrari had changed their minds about testing in Portugal due to rain being forecast. The team switched to their own test circuit in Italy and tested in private. However, while Portugal received mostly dry weather, Northern Italy was deluged under heavy rain. Once again, it would appear as though Ferrari have been caught out by the forces of nature.
|1.||Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m17.591s||143 Laps|
|2.||Heikki Kovalainen McLaren||1m20.799s||110 Laps|
|3.||Mark Webber Red Bull Racing||1m21.321s||83 Laps|
|4.||Kazuki Nakajima Williams||1m21.451s||125 Laps|
|5.||Nelson Piquet Jr. Renault||1m21.908s||49 Laps|
|1.||Felipe Massa Ferrari||1m33.639s||17 Laps|
|2.||Robert Kubica BMW||1m34.398s||22 Laps|
|3.||Timo Glock Toyota||1m34.902s||14 Laps|