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Jerez day two - Hamilton keeps McLaren on top 26 Jul 2007

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 25th July 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams FW27. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 25th July 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Renault R26 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 25th July 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.07 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 25th July 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda RA107 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 25th July 2007. World © Patching/Sutton

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton took over where test driver Pedro de la Rosa left off and topped the timesheets during the second day of testing at Jerez on Wednesday. Hamilton clocked a fastest lap of 1m 19.970s in the MP4-22 - just under a second quicker than Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher.

With high temperatures and sunny conditions continuing at the Spanish track, Hamilton completed 90 laps as he carried out preparatory work for the forthcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, including set-up and aero programmes. De la Rosa will be back in charge of driving duties for the British team on Thursday.

Schumacher, meanwhile, covered 73 laps, as he worked on the TF107’s set-up and tested new aero parts. The German also found time to practice his start procedure. Toyota team mate Jarno Trulli will take over on Thursday.

“We also did lots of practice starts because that is the area that we most need to improve,” explained Schumacher. “That went well and I’m quite happy with our progress. In the afternoon I did some long runs for further set-up comparisons and we completed our programme without problems. We’re working hard to improve the package and we hope that can continue.”

Williams’ tester Kazuki Nakajima finished the day in third after continuing his programme of set-up and tyre work in the FW29. Although the team lost two hours of running because of a scheduled engine change, Nakajima still managed to cover 85 laps. Alexander Wurz will replace the Japanese driver on Thursday.

BMW Sauber began their two planned days of testing on Wednesday. Robert Kubica was in charge of the F1.07 and finished fourth. Kubica completed 103 laps as he tested new suspension and aero components and worked through the team’s set-up programme.

Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen was fifth after enjoying a productive day in the R27. Kovalainen covered 104 laps, as he tested new aero parts and will hand over to tester Nelson Piquet Jr on Thursday.

Just under two tenths down on the Renault driver was Red Bull’s Mark Webber who finished the day sixth quickest. Webber enjoyed a trouble-free session, covering 74 laps as he tested mechanical set-up changes in the RB3.

James Rossiter, meanwhile, enjoyed a second productive day for Super Aguri. Rossiter put in 92 laps as he concentrated on the Japanese squad’s chassis set-up. The British test driver, who eventually clocked the seventh-quickest time, also completed an evaluation of the team’s 2008 control systems. Completing the line-up was Honda’s Rubens Barrichello in eighth. Barrichello carried out mechanical and aerodynamic evaluations and completed 79 laps.

Testing continues in Jerez on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:19.670
2. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota, 1:20.540
3. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:20.588
4. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:20.709
5. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:20.881
6. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:21.071
7. James Rossiter, Super Aguri, 1:21.315
8. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:21.444