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Silverstone day two - Kovalainen leads Trulli 26 Jun 2008

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren MP4/23 
Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF108 
Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008 
Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams FW30 
Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault R28 
Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day Two, Wednesday, 25 June 2008

After losing out in their epic battle in last weekend’s French Grand Prix, it was McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen who headed Toyota’s Jarno Trulli in the timesheets on Wednesday, as this week’s three-day test session continued. In windy conditions, Kovalainen’s best lap of 1m 20.015s put him almost four-tenths clear of the Italian.

McLaren’s programme focused on evaluating the team’s new-spec front wing and Kovalainen covered 72 laps over the course of the day. The Finn will hand over to team mate Lewis Hamilton on Thursday. Trulli, meanwhile, fresh from his podium finish in France, completed 95 laps in Toyota’s TF108.

"Today's main focus was preparation for the British Grand Prix and it was a good day,” he explained. “We managed to do a lot of laps and we learned several useful things. It all went smoothly and we ran without any real issues. There was a lot of gusting wind out there today, which can make direct comparisons difficult. Still, we made some progress with our set-up and aerodynamics programme. We are obviously looking to build on our result at last Sunday's French Grand Prix.”

Nico Rosberg took the third slot for Williams after covering 74 laps in the FW30. Rosberg was charged with general set-up work for the forthcoming British event and completed his programme with no interruptions. Fourth quickest was Nelson Piquet for Renault. Piquet ran 87 laps as he also continued his preparatory work for next weekend’s Silverstone race.

"The track conditions were better than yesterday, although it was quite windy and that made it difficult to be consistent,” explained the Brazilian. “But this is not unusual for Silverstone and it was good experience to run in these conditions as we can expect similar weather for the race. Our programme was based around improving the set-up of the car and general race preparation, which went well. I'm now looking forward to the race here next week.”

After a frustrating Tuesday, spent largely in the Toro Rosso garage, Sebastian Vettel enjoyed a much more productive session in the STR3. Vettel, fifth, covered 84 laps, as he carried out development work for the Italian team's new car. Items on the agenda included front and rear suspension work, brake evaluation and steering.

BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica finished the day in sixth, just under a tenth of a second clear of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. While Kubica covered 67 laps in the F1.08, Massa completed 69, as he continued to focus on development work for the F2008.

"The last two days have been quite positive," said Massa. "We pretty much did all of what we had set out to do and the first signs are encouraging. We are working in the right direction and I think we will also be competitive at this track, even if it is much too early to say where we are compared to the others. There are too many unknowns to take into consideration when it comes to testing times.”

Mark Webber was the eighth-fastest driver for Red Bull. Webber only managed 39 laps during his second day, following a hard-to-identify electrical problem on the RB4, which eventually necessitated an engine change. He was still to complete some preparation for the British race and will hand over the car to team mate David Coulthard on Thursday.

Jenson Button clocked the ninth-quickest time for Honda, as he continued his evaluation of the Japanese squad’s new aero package, as well as carrying out a comprehensive tyre programme with Bridgestone. Button covered 104 laps.

Completing the day’s timesheet was Giancarlo Fisichella in tenth for Force India. Fisichella’s productive morning testing aero upgrades was brought to a premature end, however, when the Italian was caught out at Becketts and went into the barriers. Although uninjured himself, his VJM01 was extensively damaged.

“It's a real shame we couldn't do more running in the afternoon as this morning it was all looking quite good,” explained Fisichella. “The car felt quicker even though the balance was not so good because of the high winds. Unfortunately I just got caught out by a change in grip and balance going through Becketts and went off the track and hit the barriers. I wasn't hurt at all, but I did not take my hands off the wheel and they had to do some checks to make sure my wrist was okay.”

Testing continues at Silverstone on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Silverstone:
1. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 1:20.015
2. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:20.391
3. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:20.624
4. Nelson Piquet, Renault, 1:20.787
5. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:20.795
6. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:20.982
7. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:21.069
8. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:21.170
9. Jenson Button, Honda, 1:21.445
10. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India, 1:21.583