Fernando Alonso got back into a Renault Formula One car for the first time since 2006 in the second day of Jerez testing – and took the fight straight to McLaren and Ferrari.
In what could be a great precursor for those fans hoping for a thrilling season with the focus on racing he topped the day two standings with a fastest lap time of 1:19.503 – 15/100ths of a second faster than Pedro de la Rosa, in second place, and more than two-tenths of a second faster than Kimi Raikkonen in third.
Following a wet start on Monday, Tuesday’s weather was clear to partially cloudy, allowing the eight teams present to get a full day’s testing in.
Alonso, driving a R27-06 with no traction control, said he was pleased with the way things were shaping up: “I had to adapt at first to the car and get used to driving the car without traction control. But I am convinced that soon I will be used to this and will not remember what it was like to drive with traction control.”
McLaren’s Kovalainen and De la Rosa completed 242 laps in their MP4-23s. The team said it had concentrated on continuing development of the MP4-23 with the team focusing on systems durability and some set-up work on both cars as well as tyre durability work.
Meanwhile, in Red Bull’s RB3-03, Mark Webber completed 80 laps with a quick lap of 1:20.392 as the team focused on developing electronic systems, tuning the gearbox and practicing starts.
Webber was due to continue in the RB3 on day three of testing with David Coulthard returning to drive the new car, the RB4.
Jerez test times 15/01/08:
- Fernando Alonso, Renault: 1:19.503 (70 laps)
- Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren: 1:19.650 (111 laps)
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari: 1:19.708 (90 laps)
- Nico Rosberg, Williams: 1:19.755 (81 laps)
- Felipe Massa, Ferrari: 1:19.772 (86 laps)
- Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren: 1:19.780 (130 laps)
- Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso: 1:20.305 (86 laps)
- Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso: 1:20.346 (76 laps)
- Mark Webber, Red Bull: 1:20.392 (80 laps)
- Kazuki Nakajima, Williams: 1:20.525 (120 laps)
- Timo Glock, Toyota: 1:20.598 (109 laps)
- Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India: 1:20.764 (76 laps)
- Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota: 1:22.060 (56 laps)