F1: Barcelona testing report 10/03/09

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarTuesday, March 10th, 2009

 
 

The rain clouds may have been gathering over Barcelona for the second day of Ferrari’s final test before the season start – but it was a sunny day for Kimi Raikkonen.

The former world champion put his Ferrari F50 comfortably at the top of the standings with an unofficial fastest lap time of 1:20.314, a good half a second clear of second-placed Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima.

The only cloud on the horizon was a technical problem with the car’s KERS system which saw it come to a halt after 55 laps.

In third was Rubens Barrichello, making a happy return to the track for Brawn GP, having seen his career written off at the end of the 2008 season by almost everyone.

He rewarded Ross Brawn’s faith in his skill and experience with a fastest lap time of 1:20.966, proving in the process that Jenson Button’s performance on the previous day was not a fluke.

He said: “First of all, I would like to thank everyone at Brackley for what has been achieved. After such a long wait for news on the team and for me to have to sit out the past four months, I am so pleased that we have a reliable and fast car straight out of the box.

“Secondly, I am pleased with my physical condition, which has enabled me to complete so many laps – 111 in total – on my first day of running. As we are playing catch-up, obviously, the more mileage I can do before the first race, the better.

“I am happy that we have got off to a good start here at our first test and we just need to carry that through to the next test in Jerez and Melbourne.”

In fourth place was Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, the first driver to fail to break the 1:20 barrier with a time of 1:21.18. In fifth was Red Bull’s Mark Webber on 1:21.347 in a run that was curtailed by problems with the car’s electrics.

In sixth was BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld on 1:21.615, practising race simulations, pit-stops and stop-go penalties, and in seventh Force India’s Adrian Sutil with a time of 1:21.834.

Renault’s Fernando Alonso came eighth on 1:21.937, while evaluating new components and testing mechanical balance, and in an unaccustomed ninth was McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen on 1:21.991, demonstrating once again an unexpectedly poor level of performance.

McLaren Racing managing director Jonathan Neale said: “We are running through a big programme in Barcelona this week.

“Not only have we introduced a new series of aerodynamic components to MP4-24 but we have also been working on the car’s set-up and balance over longer runs as well as rehearsing our pitstop procedures.

“It’s been a very productive few days with Heikki in the car and we are hoping for an equally satisfactory conclusion to the week when Lewis takes to the track tomorrow.”

A temperamental Toro Rosso with front suspension problems meant Sebastien Bourdais was only able to put in 14 laps, leaving him at the bottom of the timesheet on 1:23.039.

Toro Rosso rookie Sebastien Buemi was also at the track for his first encounter with the STR4-02 and put in six untimed laps in a very brief orientation session.

Day two test times

  1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari: 1:20.314 (55 laps)
  2. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams: 1:20.907 (66 laps)
  3. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP: 1:20.966 (111 laps)
  4. Jarno Trulli, Toyota: 1:21.182 (121 laps)
  5. Mark Webber. Red Bull: 1:21.347 (66 laps)
  6. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber: 1:21.615 (127 laps)
  7. Adrian Sutil, Force India: 1:21.834 (82 laps)
  8. Fernando Alonso, Renault: 1:21.937 (111 laps)
  9. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren: 1:21.991 (88 laps)
  10. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso: 1:23.039 (14 laps)
  11. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso: no time (6 laps)

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