BMW Sauber tester Christian Klien put down a marker for his team in the first full day of Jerez testing after topping the unofficial timesheets.
Klien, the former Red Bull driver dropped in favour of Mark Webber, was able to keep Formula One’s new young turk, Italian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel, below him. This was despite the latter’s being promoted to the A-team car he will be driving next year.
The effects of this reshuffle were also felt in the third-placed Toro Rosso car where GP2 graduate Sebastien Buemi stepped up to the plate – but he proved to be the first driver unable to break the sub-1:20 barrier.
Red Bull said of the day’s work: “Sebastian Vettel got behind the wheel of the same Red Bull Technology chassis [that won at Monza], albeit with a different livery and engine.”
Slightly more subtle than engine supplier Ferrari’s attempt to appropriate Vettel’s win. But not much.
It continued: “Set-up work was the main item on the agenda, as the team gets to know its new driver and vice versa, in preparation for next season.
“Other work included data acquisition from a few new components. Some time was lost in the afternoon with a gearbox problem.”
Oh, that Red Bull gearbox. Let’s hope this isn’t an omen of the shape of things to come for young Vettel.
In fourth for McLaren was long-time tester Gary Paffett. The team revealed that his work included front-end aerodynamic development and set-up work for the remaining grands prix.
It added: “In addition, the team started the on-track evaluation of the 2009 KERS system. The process will include a range of steps, which is initially focused on vibration and housing checks with the system in a passive mode.”
Two more GP2 pilots, Kamui Kobayashi for Toyota and Lucas di Grassi for Renault, continued the unofficial ‘Young Drivers’ Day’ theme in fifth and sixth.
Seventh was Alexander Wurz for Honda, focusing on aerodynamic and set-up evaluations. Williams’ race driver Kazuki Nakajima was a distant eighth, two seconds behind the Honda – not an experience many drivers have had this year.
Force India is not present at the test while Ferrari is carrying out testing on its own Mugello track in Italy.
Day two test times:
- Christian Klien, BMW Sauber: 1:19.537 (84 laps)
- Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull: 1:19.878 (60 laps)
- Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso: 1:20.209 (88 laps)
- Gary Paffett, McLaren: 1:20.602 (52 laps)
- Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota: 1:20.769 (90 laps)
- Lucas di Grassi, Renault: 1:20.853 (90 laps)
- Alexander Wurz, Honda: 1:21.123 (71 laps)
- Kazuki Nakajima, Williams: 1:23.171 (61 laps)