As the second day of testing got underway, McLaren revealed their semi-interim car to be evaluated for the final MP4-24 which will race in 2009. The team ran a significantly different car than previous to counter the changes in the regulations due to come into effect for next season. Chiefly, the aerodynamics have been cleaned up and the cars will appear less-crowded with winglets, ears and whatnot. Also, the front and rear wings have changed a lot, and while Pedro De La Rosa tested his new car with a standard 2008 rear wing, his front wing was the lower, wider version that will be implemented before Australia in March.
With regards to the actual test today, it was Scuderia Toro Rosso who headed the tables once again, the team running their STR3 which raced during the 2008 campaign. The Austro-Italia squad were evaluating three potential drivers for their yet-to-be-decided 2009 team; Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastien Buemi and Super Aguri refugee Takuma Sato. Buemi led the way again, followed by Sato who was 0.6s down, and finally Bourdais who was a fraction slower than his Japanese rival.
Heikki Kovalainen returned to the (still damp) race track today and drove the MP4-23K fitted with KERS. The Finnish driver completed 64 laps and finished 0.3s shy of his fellow countryman Kimi Raikkonen, who for the second day tested his Ferrari. Team mate Felipe Massa arrived at the circuit mid-afternoon having flown in from Brazil. The Brazilian driver immediately got to work and completed 27 laps before light became too scarce to continue.
Fernando Alonso also made his return to the cockpit this afternoon since completing the Brazilian Grand Prix in November, the Spaniard completing 106 tours of the Jerez circuit in the Renault R28. Alonso caused the first of three red flags of the day, taking a trip off the circuit and partially damaging his car. The team were able to repair it though and the double world champion’s running was only slightly hampered.
BMW fielded both drivers who completed a total of 125 laps between them. Robert Kubica only managed 38 of them as he stopped on track and caused the second red flag. The third went to Nico Rosberg of Williams, the German taking over from Kazuki Nakajima who himself took over from young driver Dani Clos.
Heikki Kovalainen drove a 2008 car fitted with KERS while Pedro De La Rosa drove the interim model, the pair intending to swap for tomorrow. Nico Rosberg, Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica each tested the respective interim cars while Ferrari remained with a slightly modified F2008. Scuderia Toro Rosso continued with the STR3, as did Renault with Fernando Alonso charging around in an aerodynamically unmodified R28.
|1.||Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m18.073||128 Laps|
|2.||Takuma Sato Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m18.601s||38 Laps|
|3.||Sebastien Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m18.673||81 Laps|
|4.||Pedro De La Rosa McLaren||1m19.032||78 Laps|
|5.||Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari||1m19.334||89 Laps|
|6.||Heikki Kovalainen McLaren||1m19.631||64 Laps|
|7.||Fernando Alonso Renault||1m19.907||106 Laps|
|8.||Nico Rosberg Williams||1m20.309||122 Laps|
|9.||Nick Heidfeld BMW||1m20.365||87 Laps|
|10.||Felipe Massa Ferrari||1m20.490||27 Laps|
|11.||Robert Kubica BMW||1m20.954s||38 Laps|