Barcelona day two - no let-up from Massa 30 Nov 2006
Ferraris Felipe Massa continued to set the pace in testing on Wednesday in a session that saw Japanese hopeful Kamui Kobayashi make his Formula One debut with Toyota, and former Red Bull racer Christian Klien take up his new role at Honda.
Massa slashed more than half a second off his Tuesday best around the Circuit de Catalunya as he and Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer continued the Italian teams programme of new component and set-up development. Massa hands over to occasional tester Marc Gene on Thursday.
Splitting the scarlet cars was the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld, seven tenths adrift of Massa. Heidfeld continued work on the teams 2007 transmission, while Robert Kubica, 14th fastest, concentrated on tyres and set up. Heidfeld will be replaced by Timo Glock on Thursday, the former Jordan racer making his test debut with the team.
Pedro de la Rosa was again the quicker of the two McLarens, fourth in the times to Lewis Hamiltons sixth, both men working on tyres, brakes and aerodynamics. Hamiltons day was again somewhat disjointed after a wheel assembly failure in the morning and time in the garage for scheduled set-up changes in the afternoon. Former champion Mika Hakkinen will make a one-off testing return for McLaren on Thursday, taking over De la Rosas car.
Toyota joined proceedings on Wednesday, with one very old hand and one very new one. Veteran Olivier Panis, due to retire from Formula One driving at the end of the year, was fifth fastest, while Japanese newcomer, Kamui Kobayashi, made his Formula One debut in 18th. For Kobayashi, who took pole at the recent Macau Grand Prix, it was his first taste of both the car and the circuit.
Everything is completely different from the Formula 3 cars that I have been driving this year - especially the power of the engine and the braking - so I have to concentrate harder than ever, he said. I made a mistake just before lunch and went off but there was no damage and we were able to put in a lot of laps without any other problems.
The G-forces are a lot stronger than I have been used to, but my neck doesn't feel too bad so far. Of course, that's only one day and I'm sure I will have to train harder to be able to cope with the forces over longer periods. I still have a long way to go to improve but overall it was a good day.
Christian Klien made his first appearance as an official Honda test driver, the Austrian going 11th quickest to team mate Rubens Barrichellos seventh, as he acclimatised himself to his new surroundings, the RA106 and its new Bridgestone tyres.
Mark Webber was the leading Red Bull in eighth place, ahead of the leading Renault of Nelson Piquet Jr and the interim Super Aguri of Anthony Davidson. Team mate David Coulthard finished 12th, immediately ahead of the second Renault of Heikki Kovalainen.
Alexander Wurz completed more work for Williams on front wing comparisons and new front suspension components as he set the days 15th fastest time ahead of the two Toro Rossos. On Thursday, Narain Karthikeyan will take over Williams testing programme.
Conditions in Barcelona were cool - track temperature peaked at around 17 degrees Celsius - with a morning shower leaving the circuit damp for a short period. Testing continues at the venue until Friday.
Unofficial Wednesday times from Barcelona:
1. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:16.403
2. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:17.159
3. Luca Badoer, Ferrari, 1:17.455
4. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:17.584
5. Olivier Panis, Toyota, 1:17.643
6. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:17.748
7. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:17.920
8. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:18.249
9. Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault, 1:18.307
10. Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri, 1:18.374
11. Christian Klien, Honda, 1:18.383
12. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:18.526
13. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:18.752
14. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:18.778
15. Alexander Wurz, Williams, 1:19.009
16. Scott Speed, Toro Rosso, 1:19.120
17. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso, 1:19.280
18. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota, 1:20.731