Barcelona day two - Kimi tops wet session 02 May 2007
Rain storms plagued Tuesdays Formula One test session in Barcelona, but that didnt stop Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen completing more than 50 laps as he retained his position at the top of the timesheets, despite a brush with the barriers at one point.
The changeable conditions rendered meaningful development work difficult, with drivers forced to use extreme-wet and wet-weather tyres. Championship leaders McLaren chose to abandon their programme altogether after Fernando Alonso completed just one installation lap in the afternoon.
Although Raikkonens quickest lap, a 1m 30.280s, was a full nine seconds slower than his Monday time, the Finn focused on finding the best set-up for the F2007 in wet conditions. Team mate Felipe Massa will take over driving duties on Wednesday.
Mark Webber took the second slot for Red Bull, just ahead of Heikki Kovalainen in the Renault. Kovalainen only went out in the afternoon but did manage to cover 53 laps. Although unable to complete his scheduled programme the Finn did collect some interesting data in the tricky conditions.
"Clearly, we didn't follow the programme we had initially planned owing to the poor conditions, but it was still a useful day for myself and the team, explained Kovalainen. Personally, I tried to use every lap to improve something: trying a new line, or pushing the braking points a bit further. The track was changing all the time, and we were able to run the wet and extreme wet tyres today. To be honest, I enjoy driving in the wet, it's different to normal and good fun for the drivers.
BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld was fourth fastest, as he carried out systems and balance checks during his 17 laps out on track. From Wednesday, the German driver will be replaced by team mate Robert Kubica, who will also take advantage of the planned test extension on Thursday.
Just four tenths down on Heidfeld was fellow countryman Nico Rosberg, who completed 45 laps for Williams. Between rainstorms, Rosberg carried out set-up and race preparation work. Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, was sixth quickest for Honda, after working through an aero evaluation over his 44 laps. The Brazilians team mate Jenson Button will take over on Wednesday.
Toyotas Jarno Trulli clocked the seventh-fastest time for Toyota. Only making it out for an installation lap in the morning, Trulli completed a further 20 laps after lunch, as he carried out systems and electronic work. Trulli will drive again on Wednesday, before handing over to team mate Ralf Schumacher on Thursday.
Further down the order, Takuma Sato took eighth slot for Super Aguri, ahead of Toro Rossos Vitantonio Liuzzi. The Italian shared driving duties with team mate Scott Speed, who ended as the slowest driver of the day after covering less than 10 laps.
Completing the line-up was Adrian Sutil for Spyker in 10th. After test driver Adrian Valles crashed on Tuesday, Sutils running was already limited to the afternoon as the team made repairs to the car. The wet weather merely compounded his problems and in the end the young German completed just 11 laps. Christijan Albers will take charge of the sole F8-VII on Wednesday.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Barcelona:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:30.280
2. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:31.752
3. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:32.149
4. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:32.175
5. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:32.573
6. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:32.911
7. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:32.943
8. Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, 1:33.238
9. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso, 1:33.328
10. Adrian Sutil, Spyker, 1:35.488
11. Scott Speed, Toro Rosso, 1:39.560