Pedro De La Rosa charged his McLaren to the top of the time sheets in the second day of testing for the team at Spain’s Jerez track today. The Spaniard who subbed for Juan Pablo Montoya last season lapped the circuit 0.3s quicker than Jarno Trulli’s Toyota, who was himself being chased down by the Honda of James Rossiter. McLaren completed a productive day with Lewis Hamilton finishing in fourth place, just 0.04s behind Honda’s new test driver.
Ferrari struggled to impress the time sheets again after dominating the early part of testing two weeks ago. Felipe Massa ended up sixth while Luca Badoer finished the day in seventh, just 0.03s behind the Brazilian. This does not mean that they have lost any pace though, as the team could have been concentrating on other areas of the cars’ development and not outright speed.
Renault also had a disappointing day in terms of lap times, with Heikki Kovalainen setting a time of 1m19.810s, 0.2s quicker than team mate Giancarlo Fisichella. Although Renault are currently adjusting themselves to Bridgestone, who have become the sole tyre supplier to all Formula One teams.
BMW ran both main drivers Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, who finished in ninth and eleventh respectively. Super Aguri ran Takuma Sato in the much revised interim chassis, and the Japanese driver was placed 14th by the end of the day. Toro Rosso sent three drivers out; Regular driver Vitantonio Liuzzi, test driver Ammermuller and ChampCar champion Sebastian Bourdais. All three drivers filled the final slots on the time sheet, but 17th (Liuzzi) was only a hundredth up on 18th (Ammermuller) who was himself only six thousandths quicker than French driver Bourdais.
Tomorrow will see the final day of testing for the teams before the Christmas break, but they will return to the tracks in January in preparation for the 2007 season. The times set in late January will reflect more the true pace of the cars as most teams are just running slightly modified cars at the moment. We should also see Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso on circuit as each driver is released from his binding contract to former employers.
1. De La Rosa – McLaren – 1m19.107s
2. Trulli – Toyota – 1m19.470s
3. Rossiter – Honda – 1m19.548s
4. Hamilton – McLaren – 1m19.587s
5. Klien – Honda – 1m19.702s
6. Massa – Ferrari – 1m19.728s
7. Badoer – Ferrari – 1m19.761s
8. Kovalainen – Renault – 1m19.810s
9. Heidfeld – BMW – 1m19.940s
10. Fisichella – Renault – 1m20.068s
11. Kubica – BMW – 1m20.187s
12. Hirate – Toyota – 1m20.423s
13. Nakajima – Williams – 1m20.443s
14. Sato – Super Aguri – 1m20.726s
15. Ammermuller – Red Bull Racing – 1m20.737s
16. Panis – Toyota – 1m21.269s
17. Liuzzi – Toro Rosso – 1m21.506s
18. Speed – Toro Rosso – 1m21.514s
19. Bourdais – Toro Rosso – 1m21.520s