Jerez day one - Buemi fastest for Toro Rosso 10 Feb 2009
With intermittent rain affecting the opening day of this weeks test at the Spanish circuit of Jerez, the five drivers in action on Tuesday were prevented from carrying out as much running as they would have liked.
Toro Rossos Sebastien Buemi, however, proved the most productive, completing 104 laps on his way to setting a fastest time of 1m 19.660s in the teams interim car. Alongside set-up work, Buemi was also charged with testing a steering system the team are developing for the 2009 season.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, finished a strong second in the newly-launched RB5. Vettel covered 63 laps as he continued to acclimatize to the new car. With team mate Mark Webber returning to the cockpit on Wednesday morning for the first time since breaking his leg, the young German will test again after lunch.
Williams tester Nico Hulkenberg took the third slot after completing 82 laps over the course of the day. Hulkenberg was charged with carrying out systems checks and evaluating a variety of different set-ups in the new FW31. Race driver Kazuki Nakajima will test for the British team on Wednesday.
Fourth quickest was Heikki Kovalainen for McLaren. Kovalainen focused his attentions on set-up, whilst also putting mileage on the teams KERS device. With much of the work classed as exploratory, the team chose to undertake most on one set of dry tyres, only switching to fresh rubber towards the end of the session.
Completing the days line-up was Renaults Nelson Piquet, who covered 35 laps on his way to the fifth-quickest time in the R29. Despite the rain showers, Piquet continued on-track development of the French teams KERS system.
"It's a shame that we lost some track time today because at this stage of the season we need to get as many miles on the car as possible, explained the Brazilian. As the car is so new, we learn something with every lap and we have some useful data to go through this evening.
Testing continues at the Spanish circuit on Wednesday.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Jerez:
1. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 1:19.660
2. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:22.177
3. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams, 1:22.443
4. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 1:22.634
5. Nelson Piquet, Renault, 1:23.313