Italian team's F2007 sets the pace on second day in Spain
Ferraris Felipe Massa made a triumphant return to the test track on Wednesday, clocking the fastest lap of the day in Jerez. Massa, who missed Tuesdays session through illness, lapped the Spanish circuit in 1m 19.647s in the F2007 - just over one-tenth quicker than Robert Kubica in the BMW Sauber.
Fully recovered from the flu which had stopped him testing a day earlier, Massa covered 46 laps as he kick started his weeks programme. The Brazilian was joined by team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who ended the session in fourth, after a technical problem on his F2007 curtailed his running. Both return on Thursday.
At BMW Sauber, Kubica, who ran 97 laps while carrying out set-up and aero evaluations, was joined by Nick Heidfeld, 11th, who replaced tester Sebastian Vettel in the second F1.07. As it was Heidfelds opening day in Jerez with the new car, he concentrated predominantly on set-up before testing different brake cooling configurations. Test driver Timo Glock will take over from Kubica on Thursday to get his first run in the F1.07.
Lewis Hamiltons third slot for McLaren was backed up by the fifth-fastest time clocked by team mate Fernando Alonso. The pair continued development work on the MP4-22, and also assessed the brakes and power steering of the teams 2007 challenger. Although Alonso stopped out on track in the afternoon following an oil pressure problem, he was able to return almost immediately and completed his test plan for the day.
Nelson Piquet Jr enjoyed a strong showing for Renault in sixth, while fellow tester Ricardo Zonta was 14th in his second day with his new team. Zonta spent the session acclimatising to the French squad as he began a comprehensive technical programme.
Williamss positive performance from Tuesday was once again in evidence, with Alexander Wurz and Nico Rosberg seventh and eighth respectively. The pair spent the day checking mechanical and aero set-ups on the two FW29s and also carried out some longer runs to test the reliability of the teams 2007 car.
Ralf Schumacher was ninth for Toyota, while team mate Jarno Trulli, on his first day in the TF107 at the Spanish track, finished 15th. A productive morning spent trying different suspension options was followed by a much more disrupted afternoon. While a small repair on Trullis car cost him time after lunch, Schumachers car caused a red flag after stopping out on track.
We were not able to do as many laps in the afternoon after Ralf suffered a gearshift problem soon after lunch which needed quite a long time to fix, explained Gerd Pfeiffer, Toyotas test team manager. Jarno was able to do more laps and that gave us the chance to test the car on some longer runs, although he lost a bit of time when a small repair was needed in the fuel tank.
Red Bull also fielded both their race drivers for a second day, with Mark Webber taking 10th and David Coulthard 12th. The pair covered over 100 laps in total, both in the teams new RB3 chassis. Completing the timesheets were the two Hondas of Jenson Button, 13th, and Marco Andretti, 16th. While Button drove the teams new car, IndyCar driver Andretti took charge of the older RA106 as he tested for the second time with the team.
Testing continues in Jerez on Thursday, although poor weather conditions have been forecast.
Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:19.647
2. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:19.794
3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:19.810
4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:20.007
5. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:20.040
6. Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault, 1:20.070
7. Alexander Wurz, Williams, 1:20.111
8. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:20.118
9. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota, 1:20.604
10. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:20.617
11. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:20.647
12. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:20.693
13. Jenson Button, Honda, 1:20.746
14. Ricardo Zonta, Renault, 1:20.763
15. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:20.898
16. Marco Andretti, Honda, 1:22.147