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Barcelona day two - Schumacher still on top form 15 Nov 2007

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari F2007. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, 14 November 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Jenson Button (GBR) Honda RA107. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, 14 November 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF107 Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, 14 November 2007. World © Bumstead/Sutton Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, 14 November 2007. World © Bumstead/Sutton Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams FW29 Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, 14 November 2007. World © Bumstead/Sutton

Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher maintained his stranglehold at the top of the timesheets on Wednesday, the second day of testing at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. Schumacher clocked a best time of 1m 21.489s in the Ferrari at the Spanish track - four-tenths of a second quicker than the McLaren of Pedro de la Rosa.

Despite the low temperatures and cloudy conditions, the German completed 90 laps in the F2007. He was joined by former team mate Felipe Massa, who finished the day in fourth. Massa and Schumacher both worked on the development of new components and electronics. The Brazilian will continue at the track on Thursday, alongside Ferrari tester Luca Badoer.

Second-placed De la Rosa was joined by fellow McLaren tester Gary Paffett who finished in fifth. The pair continued the team’s preparations for 2008, testing the MP4-22 without driver aids. They covered a total of 117 laps and will be back in action on Thursday.

Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen clocked the third-fastest time, as he continued testing the new electronic control unit (ECU). Despite a minor technical glitch in the afternoon, Kovalainen completed 65 laps.

Nico Rosberg set the pace for Williams, finishing in sixth. He was joined by ninth-placed team mate Kazuki Nakajima. Both worked through system checks and evaluations of the new ECU and will be back in action on Thursday for a third day.

Red Bull’s David Coulthard was seventh fastest. Coulthard completed 74 laps in the RB3, while testing various mechanical and aerodynamic components for 2008. The Scot was joined on track by debutant Karun Chandhok, 11th, who focused on evaluating the squad’s electrical systems for next season during his second - and final - day of testing. Robert Doornbos will take over Chandhok’s cockpit on Thursday.

Nick Heidfeld proved the quicker of the two BMW Sauber drivers in eighth, with team mate Robert Kubica posting the 14th-fastest time. Both tested the new ECU, alongside several other new components for next season. Heidfeld covered 102 laps, while Kubica, who experienced several technical issues, managed just 37.

Sebastian Vettel once again got the edge on new Toro Rosso team mate Sebastien Bourdais. Vettel finished in 10th, while Bourdais posted exactly the same time as Honda debutant Luca Filippi to tie for 16th. GP2 driver Filippi was joined by the Japanese team’s race driver Jenson Button, who got his first taste of the car with 2008 electronics and finished in 12th.

Jarno Trulli continued to set the pace for Toyota claiming 13th spot, with team tester Franck Montagny ending the day in 18th. Montagny carried on testing the ECU, while Trulli continued to evaluate 2008 parts in a TF107 without traction control.

“Today was quite a productive day,” explained Pascal Vasselon, senior general manager chassis. “We made good progress on Jarno’s car, working on set-up comparisons and we are pleased with the results, which are very encouraging. Franck again worked with 2008 development parts and the new standard ECU and, even though he suffered some delays and was not entirely happy, he was able to bring back some information which will help our understanding.”

Anthony Davidson remained Super Aguri’s only runner at the Spanish circuit and clocked the 15th-fastest time. Davidson carried out an engine and gearbox programme before switching to 2008 suspension and aero work in the afternoon.

Completing Wednesday’s line-up was a trio of drivers for Force India. Confirmed race driver Adrian Sutil, 20th, was joined by former Honda tester Christian Klien, 19th, and ex-Toro Rosso racer Vitantonio Liuzzi, 21st. All three finished within two-tenths of a second of each other.

While Sutil had full use of a re-liveried Spyker F8-VII all day, Liuzzi and Klien traded places in the other, with the Austrian handing the car over to the Italian after lunch.

“Generally a very productive day of testing,” said chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. “Our major test item on both cars was the standard ECU configuration. We had no major problems and were work through to get through the unsolved issues, with both cars completing over 100 laps each. It was also a chance to test Christian and Tonio, who had their first runs in the car to make themselves comfortable. We will continue our programme tomorrow with them driving a car each for the whole day.”

Testing continues at the Spanish circuit on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Barcelona:
1. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 1:21.489
2. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:21.857
3. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:21.894
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:22.044
5. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:22.293
6. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:22.333
7. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:22.555
8. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:22.946
9. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:23.031
10. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:23.187
11. Karun Chandhok, Red Bull, 1:23.255
12. Jenson Button, Honda, 1:23.358
13. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:23.465
14. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:23.488
15. Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri, 1:23.547
16. Luca Filippi, Honda, 1:23.596
= Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 1:23.596
18. Franck Montagny, Toyota, 1:23.977
19. Christian Klien, Force India, 1:24.446
20. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:24.537
21. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 1:24.555