Portimao day two - Buemi fastest again for Toro Rosso 21 Jan 2009
Rain continued to affect running at this weeks multi-team test at the Algarve Motor Park on Tuesday, as Sebastien Buemi once again topped the timesheets for Toro Rosso. Buemi covered 48 laps of the Portuguese track in the teams interim car and set a best time of 1m 34.429s.
Over the course of the day the Swiss driver was able to evaluate three different types of tyre - dry, extreme wets and standard wets and also carried out gearbox and electrical system checks. With his team mate for 2009 still unconfirmed, he is expected to continue to test on Wednesday.
Second fastest was McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa, who was charged with collecting data in the new MP4-24. Although the team decided to run again with a 2008-spec rear wing as a precautionary measure, and without KERS, De la Rosa covered 22 laps as he gleaned further information about the cars handling.
Toyotas Jarno Trulli enjoyed his first taste of the TF109, completing 30 laps. Despite the weather marring his debut run, Trulli was able to gather initial set-up data and finished third fastest. He will hand over the new car to team mate Timo Glock on Wednesday.
It is very hard to give my first impressions of the new car because the track conditions today were not very good at all, explained the Italian. It was very wet and there was no grip. It is a pity that I could not do more laps but there was little to gain considering the conditions."
Fourth quickest was Nelson Piquet for Renault. It was a largely frustrating day for Piquet, who completed just nine laps as the team continued to check the R29s systems. On Wednesday, team mate Fernando Alonso will be in the cockpit.
The weather has made things very difficult, said Renault's chief test engineer Christian Silk. As it's a new car we don't want to risk it by doing lots of wet weather running and so we've done limited mileage today. The rain also makes it difficult to learn very much about the car, but all the teams here have the same problem and so in that sense we are all in the same position.
Completing the days line-up was Nico Rosberg for Williams in fifth. As it was Rosbergs first run in the new FW31, the German focused on systems, performance and reliability checks. With some minor technical problems affecting the new car, and the rain, he covered 31 laps.
When we could get out on track, we continued working on systems checks and completed some medium runs," explained technical director Sam Michael. "We experienced a couple of reliability issues which forced us into the garage for a while, but they were nothing major.
Testing will continue at the Algarve track on Wednesday, when better weather has been forecast.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Portimao:
1. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 1:34.429
2. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:37.512
3. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:42.399
4. Nelson Piquet, Renault, 1:45.860
5. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:51.580