Jerez day two - Barrichello tops timesheets 15 Sep 2006
Hondas Ruben Barrichello was the fastest man in Jerez on Thursday, lapping the Spanish circuit in 1m 17.602s - four tenths slower than the benchmark set on Wednesday by Renaults Heikki Kovalainen.
A damp track, caused by heavy overnight rain, meant many drivers chose to postpone their efforts until the tarmac had dried. Barrichello only completed 31 laps during the morning, whilst working through an aero evaluation, but had a more productive afternoon evaluating tyre options for the forthcoming Chinese Grand Prix.
The Brazilian was joined at Honda by occasional team tester James Rossiter, who spent the morning acclimatising to the car before knuckling down to tyre work in the afternoon. He completed 101 laps in total and clocked the fourth-fastest time.
Renault had a troubled day in Jerez. Although Giancarlo Fisichella was second quickest, his session was hampered by several mechanical problems with his R26. The Italian will be back for Fridays session as stand-in for team mate Fernando Alonso, who sat out this weeks test after bruising his knee in Monza.
Another Renault absentee was Heikki Kovalainen. The Finn had fallen ill with a suspected stomach bug, so Wednesday runner Jose Maria Lopez made an unexpected return. The Argentinean test driver set the third-fastest time, despite completing only 19 laps.
We must admit that this was a tough day for the team because of mechanical problems with the cars, explained the teams chief test engineer Christian Silk. But the data we did manage to collect is interesting and will need to be completed tomorrow. The team did today a great job to optimize the running time as much as possible and that is a positive point.
Two Red Bulls were also in action, with Robert Doornbos taking fifth place in the timings ahead of Vitantonio Liuzzi in sixth. Liuzzi was on loan from sister team Toro Rosso for the session.
Testing continues at Jerez on Friday.
Unofficial Thursday times from Jerez
1. Rubens Barrichello, Honda (Michelin), 1:17.601
3. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:17.701
2. Jose Maria Lopez, Renault (Michelin), 1:18.071
4. James Rossiter, Honda (Michelin), 1:18.219
5. Robert Doornbos, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:18.325
6. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:18.672