Day two of F1 testing in Valencia was much like the first, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa showing a clean pair of heels to all-comers and the unsponsored Sauber car putting on a show in second place.
Massa clocked 124 laps during the day, more than any other driver, as he continues his return to the cockpit following his head injury last season and his months of patient recovery.
Kamui Kobayashi took over testing duties from Pedro de la Rosa for Sauber, but there was no drop-off in performance for the team that is adjusting to life without BMW. “It was a difficult winter for everyone but they seem to have done a good job,” he said.
Lewis Hamilton took his turn in the McLaren today, after Gary Paffett yesterday and with Jenson Button lined up to drive tomorrow. The 2008 world champion knocked more than a second and a half from Paffett’s time but said there was still more speed to find.
He told Autosport: “It has gone well. Obviously the Ferrari seems very quick, and so does the Sauber. But we don’t know what fuel loads everyone else was on. We felt quite comfortable with what we were doing, but there is quite a bit of time we need to find.”
Happily for him, there was no repeat of last year’s testing woes, as it became increasingly clear that McLaren would start the season with a sub-standard car: “It was a night and day difference in feeling compared to the first lap and the first test day in 2009. I have a positive feeling.
“I’ve obviously kept a close eye on the development of the car and the results we got at the end of 2009 – so seeing this car evolve and having the input into it, I was very excited to get in the car today to see what parts we have improved. Hopefully we would have got rid of a lot of the bugs that we had in the previous car.”
Behind Hamilton were Robert Kubica for Renault and Nico Rosberg for Mercedes, the German still suffering from problems with the height of his seat. It dropped more than half an inch during the course of the day, causing him visibility problems. “That’s something we can fix before the next test,” he said.
The slowest times were set by the Williams of Rubens Barrichello, who is testing not just the car but also the Cosworth engine that several teams will use, and Sebastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso.
Valencia test times day two
- Felipe Massa, Ferrari: 1:11.722 (124 laps)
- Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber: 1:12.056 (96 laps)
- Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 1:12.256 (108 laps)
- Robert Kubica, Renault: 1:12.426 (119 laps)
- Nico Rosberg, Mercedes: 1:12.899 (119 laps)
- Rubens Barrichello, Williams: 1:13.377 (102 laps)
- Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso: 1:13.823 (107 laps)