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Bahrain day two - Raikkonen takes Ferrari back to the top 17 Feb 2009

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Tuesday 17 February 2009. Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.09. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Tuesday 17 February 2009. Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Tuesday 17 February 2009. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Tuesday 17 February 2009. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF109. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Tuesday 17 February 2009.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen charged to the top of the timesheets on Tuesday, as this week’s test continued in Bahrain. Clocking a best lap of 1m 32.102s around the Sakhir circuit, Raikkonen’s quickest time was over a tenth of a second faster than that of Jarno Trulli in the Toyota.

Despite setting the fastest time, the Finn endured a frustrating session, after a problem with the cooling element of his car's KERS device marred his final day in the Ferrari. Forced to stop for three hours of repair work, Raikkonen managed to cover 107 laps. Team mate Felipe Massa will test the F60 on Wednesday.

"Until today the car's development went well, although we were mainly concentrating on its behaviour and the tyres," said Raikkonen. "Anyway we drove many laps. The whole car improved during this test, but it's still too early to say where we are compared to our competitors."

Trulli, meanwhile, carried out set-up, tyre and suspension work in the TF109, completing 149 laps in total. With his Sakhir test now over, team mate Timo Glock will take charge of the cockpit on Wednesday.

“This has been a very good test for us,” the Italian explained. “I've covered well over 2000km in three days and I feel happy with the car. It seems competitive and reliable so a start like this gives us a solid base for the season ahead. There is still a lot of time before the first race and there is plenty of scope for teams to make big steps between now and Melbourne. So we will have to keep pushing hard to keep up the momentum in the factory and at the remaining tests. Still, so far so good.”

Third fastest was Nick Heidfeld for BMW Sauber. Heidfeld concentrated on the mechanical set-up of the F1.09, evaluating various specifications of dampers and torsion bars. The German, who covered 104 laps, also carried out some practice starts in the morning and towards the end of the day.

“Today I drove the new BMW Sauber F1.09 in warm weather conditions for the first time, so the most important thing for me was to learn more about the general balance of the car,” he said. “Overall it was a good day because I tried a lot of different set-up solutions. I already feel happy about how the car reacts to changes.”

Heidfeld's day, however, wasn't entirely trouble free. In the morning, the car stopped on the track when a standard kill switch accidentally cut off the main electronic control unit and engaged the automatic fire extinguishing system. But with some modifications to the switch linkage - and a cleaned up car - he was able to get back out on track.

Testing continues in Bahrain on Wednesday.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Bahrain:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:32.102
2. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:32.230
3. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:32.585