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Jerez day two - McLaren enjoy a flying start 13 Feb 2008

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23 Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, 12 February 2008. World © Patching/Sutton The green light failed to come on to start the session leaving a queue of cars at the end of the pitlane. Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, 12 February 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton Lucas Di Grassi (BRA) Renault R28. Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, 12 February 2008. World © Patching/Sutton Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams FW30 Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, 12 February 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India F1 VJM01 Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, 12 February 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton

McLaren were the team to beat on Tuesday, as seven other squads joined early birds Red Bull and Williams for a second day of testing at the Spanish circuit of Jerez. The British team’s Lewis Hamilton clocked a best lap of 1m 19.102 to finish almost two-tenths of a second ahead of Pedro de la Rosa in the second MP4-23.

Both McLaren drivers focused on aerodynamic work and covered over 170 laps during the day. Tester De la Rosa will hand over testing duties to race driver Heikki Kovalainen on Wednesday.

BMW Sauber finished a close second in the quickest team stakes, with Robert Kubica setting the third-fastest time of the day. Kubica was joined by team mate Nick Heidfeld, who took up sixth slot on the timesheets. The pair worked on the set-up of the F1.08, evaluating various solutions and system checks, although strong winds in the afternoon hampered aero work.

Kazuki Nakajima was the quickest Williams driver in fourth, while team mate Nico Rosberg finished in eighth. The duo continued the FW30's development programme, covering 93 and 125 laps respectively.

Renault’s Nelson Piquet Jr finished fifth fastest as he focused on improving the R28’s balance. He was joined on track by tester Lucas di Grassi, who clocked the 13th-quickest time as he familiarised himself with the car and completed longer runs.

“The two main objectives of the programme were to complete a race distance with Nelson and to get Lucas comfortable in the car as he had not run an R28 on a full circuit test before,” said Renault’s chief test engineer Christian Silk. “Nelson did a bit of performance work in the morning, improving the set-up of the car, and completed a race distance in the afternoon without any major issue, so that was a good day for us.”

Red Bull’s Mark Webber ended his second day on track in seventh, while team mate David Coulthard finished in tenth. Both Webber and Coulthard completed their scheduled programmes, with the Australian working on mechanical set-up and the Scottish driver tackling the RB4’s aero development.

Sandwiching Coulthard were the Toro Rossos of Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais in ninth and 11th respectively. Both Vettel and Bourdais enjoyed a trouble-free day, working through set-up work while fine tuning the team’s 2008 electronics package.

Rubens Barrichello was the quickest Honda driver in 12th, while team tester Alexander Wurz finished in 16th. Barrichello was tasked with running a general set-up evaluation and covered 75 laps over the course of the day. Wurz, meanwhile, focused on a driveability programme, completing 86 laps.

After missing the last multi-team test, Super Aguri were back in action with Takuma Sato finishing in 14th in the squad’s interim SA07B car. Sato focused on evaluating the car’s 2008 MES system over several long runs.

Just over a tenth adrift of the Japanese driver was Vitantonio Liuzzi, who finished in 15th for Force India. Liuzzi covered over 100 laps as he worked through a gearbox evaluation. The Italian was also charged with giving the team’s new gold, white and tungsten livery its track debut.

Testing continues at Jerez on Wednesday.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Jerez:
1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:19.102
2. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:19.287
3. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:19.539
4. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:19.601
5. Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault, 1:19.660
6. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:19.958
7. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:20.013
8. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:20.029
9. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:20.105
10. David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:20.176
11. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 1:20.418
12. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:21.133
13. Lucas di Grassi, Renault, 1:21.200
14. Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, 1:21.400
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 1:21.553
16. Alexander Wurz, Honda, 1:21.950