Jerez day two - Alonso on top for Renault 16 Jan 2008
Fernando Alonso made a triumphant return to the Renault team on Tuesday during the second day of testing at Jerez. Alonso clocked a lap of 1m 19.503s around the Spanish circuit, beating fellow Spaniard - and former McLaren team mate - Pedro de la Rosa by over a tenth of a second.
After Monday's mixed weather, much drier conditions greeted the teams on their arrival at the track and Alonso was able to cover 70 laps over the course of the day in the R27. It was the former world champions first opportunity to drive a car set up in accordance with the 2008 electronic regulations.
The result of my first day in the car is encouraging, he said. I could not wait to drive again, but at the same time I was a bit tentative. I quickly settled back in to the team and everything went well.
"We made good progress throughout the day, but there is a lot still to do. I had to adapt at first to the car and get used to driving the car without traction control, but I am convinced that soon I will be used to this and will not remember what is was like to drive with traction control.
De la Rosa completed 111 laps in McLarens new MP4-23, but team mate Heikki Kovalainen, sixth fastest, was the most productive driver of the day with a tally of 131 laps. Both continued development work for the new car, with the team concentrating on systems durability and set-up.
Mondays fastest runner, Kimi Raikkonen, was relegated to the third slot for Ferrari. Raikkonen covered 90 laps, just four more than team mate Felipe Massa, who finished in fifth. The pair were also charged with developing the Italian squads 2008 challenger and carried out various set-up changes and practice starts over the day.
Fifth-placed Nico Rosberg was the faster of the two Williams drivers, with team mate Kazuki Nakajima finishing down in tenth. The duo continued to test in interim FW29Bs.
Sebastian Vettel clocked the seventh-fastest lap, while just over four-hundredths down on him was team mate Sebastian Bourdais in the second STR02. The pair evaluated various electronic components, with Vettel also testing three different brake materials, and finished the day with a series of longer runs designed to simulate race conditions.
Mark Webber was Red Bulls only driver in action on Tuesday and clocked the ninth-fastest time in the RB3. The Australian focused on electronics, gear shift tuning and practice starts. Webber will continue to work in the 2007 car on Wednesday, while team mate David Coulthard will drive the teams new RB4.
Race driver Timo Glock was back in action for Toyota, putting the TF108 through its paces. Glock finished in 11th and was joined by third driver Kamui Kobayashi, who tested the 2008 gearbox and electronics in a TF107. Kobayashis day, however, was interrupted by a technical problem and he finished down in 13th.
It is good to be back in a Formula One car for the first time this year but today did not go as planned due to the exhaust issue we had, which meant I lost quite a bit of time, explained the Japanese driver. But we have been able to do a lot of our programme so I have been working on the new gearbox and the standard ECU. We also looked at some set-up changes and I think that has been helpful.
Completing the line-up on Tuesday was Giancarlo Fisichella for Force India. Fisichella covered 76 laps and finished in 12th during his first official day of testing for his new team.
We did most of the programme, but unfortunately we had some minor mechanical issues, said the Italian. At the end with the new tyres there was a possibility to have a faster time, but unfortunately there was traffic and then I made a mistake, but it's quite encouraging. I think we can improve quite a lot as we are going in the right direction.
Testing will continue in Jerez on Wednesday for a third - and final - day.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Jerez:
1. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 1:19.503
2. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:19.650
3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:19.708
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:19.772
5. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:19.775
6. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 1:19.780
7. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:20.305
8. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 1:20.346
9. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:20.392
10. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:20.525
11. Timo Glock, Toyota, 1:20.598
12. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India, 1:20.764
13. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota, 1:22.060