F1 testing: Button saves best for last as McLaren go fastest

By Andy & LJH

CalendarSaturday, February 20th, 2010

 
 

McLaren’s Jenson Button rounded off the second bout of Jerez winter testing with a timesheet-topping performance in his MP4-25 in the face of subdued performances from his major rivals.

Jenson Button

Jenson Button

And, on a second day free of the poor weather that led teams and drivers to spend long spells holed up in their garages rather than taking advantage of scarce track time, his performance was good enough to secure him the fastest lap of this test.

In doing so, he repeated the feat of team-mate Lewis Hamilton who had set the fastest time across the first set of Jerez test days.

A McLaren team statement said: “The most consistent weather conditions of the entire test allowed Jenson and the team to power through a tyre compound evaluation programme, balancing aero and mechanical set-ups to the different types of tyre.

“In the morning, Jenson completed a number of shorter runs on three separate tyre compounds, evaluating set-ups before switching to longer runs in the afternoon, with a view to evaluating the tyres’ durability. Following his third test with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, Jenson reported that he feels very comfortable and confident in the car.”

Button was the only driver to put in a sub-1:19 lap – but behind him on 1:19.114 was Renault’s Robert Kubica with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi in third with a time of 1:19.188, despite an early incident that brought out a red flag.

Fourth was Vitantonio Liuzzi for Toro Rosso (not any more, guv’nor) Force India, fifth Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and sixth Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso – who once again drew a large crowd of Spanish fans to the track.

Jaime Alguersuari was seventh and, while Button was showing a clean pair of heels to the rest of the field, his 2009 title rival Mark Webber was sitting in the Red Bull garage while mechanics worked on his car.

Having come to a halt on the track, the engine was changed and the fastest lap Webber could put in left him eighth on the timesheet.

Ninth for Williams was new boy Nico Hulkenberg, concentrating on long runs, while Timo Glock was tenth for Virgin, getting 28 laps of running due to hydraulics problems – a disappointing follow-up to yesterday, when the team finally managed to spend a decent spell out on the track.

In last place was Lotus’ Jarno Trulli who nevertheless put in a valuable 141 laps for his new team on his first outing in the car.

Jerez day four test times

  1. Jenson Button, McLaren: 1:18.871 (108 laps)
  2. Robert Kubica, Renault: 1:19.114 (117 laps)
  3. Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber: 1:19.188 (117 laps)
  4. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India: 1:19.650 (80 laps)
  5. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes: 1:20.061 (130 laps)
  6. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari: 1:20.436 (137 laps)
  7. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso: 1:21.053 (139 laps)
  8. Mark Webber, Red Bull: 1:21.194 (87 laps)
  9. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams: 1:21.919 (137 laps)
  10. Timo Glock, Virgin: 1:22.433 (28 laps)
  11. Jarno Trulli, Lotus: 1:23.470 (141 laps)

Second Jerez test times – all four days combined

  1. Jenson Button, McLaren: 1:18.871 (day four), 209 laps
  2. Robert Kubica, Renault: 1:19.114 (day four), 217 laps
  3. Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber: 1:19.188 (day four), 145 laps
  4. Mark Webber, Red Bull: 1:19.299 (day three), 202 laps
  5. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India: 1:19.650 (day four), 151 laps
  6. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes: 1:20.061 (day four), 187 laps
  7. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari: 1:20.115 (day three), 269 laps
  8. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso: 1:21.053 (day four), 259 laps
  9. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams: 1:21.432 (day three), 275 laps
  10. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes: 1:21.437 (day three), 190 laps
  11. Adrian Sutil, Force India: 1:21.939 (day three), 97 laps
  12. Timo Glock, Virgin: 1:22.433 (day four), 136 laps
  13. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull: 1:22.593 (day one), 191 laps
  14. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 1:23.017 (day one), 144 laps
  15. Felipe Massa, Ferrari: 1:23.204 (day one), 80 laps
  16. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso: 1:23.322 (day one), 103 laps
  17. Pedro de la Rosa, Sauber: 1:23.367 (day one), 109 laps
  18. Jarno Trulli, Lotus: 1:23.470 (day four), 141 laps
  19. Lucas di Grassi, Virgin: 1:23.504 (day three), 34 laps
  20. Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus: 1:23.521 (day three), 98 laps
  21. Paul di Resta, Force India: 1:25.088 (day one), 130 laps
  22. Vitaly Petrov, Renault: 1:26.237 (day one), 112 laps
  23. Rubens Barrichello, Williams: 1:27.145 (day two), 179 laps
  24. Fairuz Fauzy, Lotus: 1:31.848 (day one), 76 laps

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