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Jerez day two - Vettel keeps Toro Rosso on top 23 Jul 2008

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR03. Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, 22 July 2008. Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 23 July 2008. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 23 July 2008. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB4. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 23 July 2008. Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India F1 VJM01. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 23 July 2008.

Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel was the quickest man in action for the second consecutive day, as testing continued at Jerez on Wednesday. Vettel clocked a fastest lap of 1m 18.843s to finish over two tenths of a second ahead of McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa.

With high temperatures and sunny conditions continuing at the Spanish track, Vettel completed 100 laps as he carried out an evaluation of Bridgestone’s slick tyres for the 2009 season. His STR3 was also run with a smaller wing to replicate the predicted levels of downforce, as demanded by next year’s regulations.

“I spent the whole time on the 2009 spec slick tyres and the biggest difference you notice is in the slow corners, where you feel more mechanical grip,” the German driver explained. “However, the low downforce configuration in line with next year’s rules means you have a lack of aero which you feel on the high speed sections, but it is balanced out by more grip from the tyres. We tried two types of tyre and it was an interesting experiment, from which we got loads of data to study.”

Third fastest was Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari. Raikkonen concentrated on comparisons between various different set-up options on the F2008, in preparation for forthcoming races. He covered 76 laps and will continue to test on Thursday.

Williams’ Nico Rosberg finished the day in fourth as he kickstarted the British team’s programme of set-up and tyre work. Red Bull’s Mark Webber was fifth in the RB4, which was fitted with Bridgestone’s 2009 slick tyres for the entire day. He covered 105 laps and will continue in the car on Thursday.

Just under four tenths down on the Australian was Alexander Wurz for Honda. Wurz was also charged with evaluating Bridgestone’s slick rubber and he covered 77 laps in the modified RA108. Jarno Trulli, meanwhile, enjoyed a second productive day for Toyota as he switched his attention to preparations for the forthcoming Hungarian Grand Prix.

"The heat continues to be so strong here that we changed our programme around today,” explained Gerd Pfeiffer, test team manager. “We carried out our set-up work for the Hungarian Grand Prix in the morning while the track was in its best condition. After lunch, we concentrated on aerodynamic comparisons for the same race. The Hungaroring is one of the highest downforce tracks on the calendar so we worked on the package that we will use there. It's been a productive day with no major problems.”

Force India began their three-day test on Wednesday. Tester Vitantonio Liuzzi was in charge of the VJM01 as he evaluated the team’s new seamless shift gearbox. In the afternoon Liuzzi also carried out a programme of suspension work, aero testing and reliability runs.

“Today was a good day, especially considering I had not been in the car for a month,” explained the Italian. “I got back into the rhythm very easily and we did some very productive work today. The main issue was to complete a lot of laps to test the new gearbox and other new items, and without any issues we could complete the programme. The gearbox was reliable and the lap time was definitely improved as a result.”

Renault’s Nelson Piquet was ninth after enjoying a productive day in the R28. Piquet focused on set-up work in the morning before shifting his attention to suspension development and brake testing after lunch. He covered 99 laps.

“A good day's testing overall,” explained chief test engineer Christian Silk. “We spent the morning doing some set-up work and tested some R&D items on the suspension as well. We also took the opportunity to do some brake testing to get ready for the hard braking circuits that are coming up. In the afternoon the track was very hot again, which made it difficult to learn much about the car, but we continued with the suspension work and completed the programme successfully."

Completing the line-up was BMW Sauber tester Christian Klien. After the KERS drama of Tuesday, Klien took charge of an F1.08 and evaluated a variety of mechanical and aerodynamic solutions.

Testing continues in Jerez on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:18.843
2. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:19.081
3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:19.446
4. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:19.861
5. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:20.021
6. Alexander Wurz, Honda, 1:20.416
7. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:20.534
8. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 1:20.577
9. Nelson Piquet, Renault, 1:20.827
10. Christian Klien, BMW Sauber, 1:20.850