Jerez day two - Klien sets pace for BMW Sauber 17 Sep 2008
BMW Saubers Christian Klien led the way at Jerez on Wednesday in this weeks second day of testing at the Spanish circuit. Klien went three-tenths quicker than Italian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel, who spent the day with his 2009 team, Red Bull Racing, while Red Bull tester Sebastien Buemi filled in at Toro Rosso.
Klien worked on the mechanical set-up of the F1.08 and also tested various aerodynamic settings in readiness for the remaining races of the season. After completing 84 laps the Austrian said: "A whole day's testing without any problems gave me the opportunity to provide the engineers with a lot of feedback on new components. The new surface on parts of the track provides better grip, and has smoothed out the bumps that were there before."
Originally Robert Kubica was scheduled to take over BMW Sauber test duties from Klien on Thursday. However, due to an infected tooth Kubica has had to cancel his trip to Jerez at short notice. Team mate Nick Heidfeld is now expected to replace the Pole for the remaining two days of the test.
Fresh from his historic Monza victory, Vettel got behind the wheel of the same Red Bull Technology chassis, albeit with a different livery and engine. Set-up work was the main item on the Germans agenda, as the team started getting to know their new driver and vice versa, in preparation for next season. Other work included data acquisition from a few new components. Some time was lost in the afternoon with a gearbox problem. Vettel continues testing with Red Bull on Thursday, before switching back to Toro Rosso for the final day.
Toro Rosso had a busy session evaluating Buemi for a possible 2009 race seat. After a delayed start because of a mechanical problem on the car, the Swiss driver carried out some aero configuration work and general set-up, completing one long run at the end of the day. Buemi made no mistakes and provided good feedback throughout the day.
I'm quite happy, it was a very good first day and I really want to thank Red Bull for the opportunity to test the car, commented Buemi after 88 laps. On Thursday, Toro Rosso will test former Super Aguri star, Japanese driver Takuma Sato.
Fourth in the times after 52 laps was McLaren tester Gary Paffett, whose work included front-end aerodynamic development and set-up work for the remaining four fly-away Grands Prix. In addition, the team started the on-track evaluation of their 2009 KERS system. The process will include a range of steps, which is initially focused on vibration and housing checks with the system in a passive mode. Paffett hands over to Pedro de la Rosa on Thursday.
Next up was Toyota third driver Kamui Kobayashi, who spent the day focusing on preparations for next week's Singapore Grand Prix, running in a high-downforce configuration while carrying out work on brakes and other systems. The Japanese had a trouble-free day of running, completing nearly 100 laps.
Renault had test driver Lucas Di Grassi at the wheel of the R28 and reported good progress in the fine conditions on a technical programme which involved assessing some aerodynamic developments that the team hope to introduce for the final four races of the season. The Brazilian covered 90 laps and will remain in the car for the rest of the week.
"It's been a while since Lucas has driven the car and so we spent some time getting him used to it once again, explained Renaults chief test engineer, Christian Silk. They have resurfaced the circuit, which has changed its characteristics a little bit for the car and the tyres and so we had to learn about that this morning. But overall I'm reasonably happy with the first day as we've done a bit of work for the races coming up and will continue with that tomorrow."
Hondas second day at Jerez saw test and reserve driver Alex Wurz go seventh fastest at the wheel of the team's RA108 car. His programme focused on aerodynamic and set-up evaluations and the Austrian, who continues testing on Thursday, covered 71 laps.
Completing the line-up was Williams Kazuki Nakajima, who took to the track in the teams FW30B interim car to continue work on KERS and various other new components for 2009. The Japanese driver tests again on Thursday.
Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1. Christian Klien, BMW Sauber, 1:19.537
2. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:19.878
3. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 1:20.209
4. Gary Paffett, McLaren, 1:20.602
5. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota, 1:20.579
6. Lucas di Grassi, Renault, 1:20.853
7. Alexander Wurz, Honda, 1:21.123
8. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:23.171