Barcelona day two - Raikkonen sweeps Ferrari to the top 10 Mar 2009
On what could be his final day in the car before journeying to Melbourne later this month, Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen staked his first claim on the 2009 season on Tuesday, topping the timesheets as testing continued at Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya. Raikkonen clocked a best of 1m 20.314s to put Ferrari almost six-tenths of a second clear of the Williams of Kazuki Nakajima.
Despite the sunny conditions at the Spanish track, the Finn only managed to complete 55 laps before a problem with the F60s KERS cooling system brought his programme to a premature end. Team mate Felipe Massa will be in action for the world champions on Wednesday.
Veteran driver Rubens Barrichello enjoyed his first day in a Formula One car since the 2008 Brazilian race and, more importantly, his first taste of the Brawn BGP 001. Barrichello, who carried out a series of long runs to evaluate the cars balance, covered 111 laps on his way to third. Team mate Jenson Button will test on Wednesday.
After such a long wait for news on the team and for me to have to sit out the past four months, I am so pleased that we have a reliable and fast car straight out of the box, said Barrichello. Secondly I am pleased with my physical condition which has enabled me to complete so many laps on my first day of running. As we are playing catch-up, obviously the more mileage I can do before the first race the better.
Just over two-tenths down on the Brazilian was Jarno Trulli for Toyota. Trulli initially worked on set-up, before switching to longer runs in the afternoon. He covered 121 laps in total.
"Today was my last day of testing for the winter, said the Italian. We again did a lot of laps including some interesting long runs as we finalised our preparations for Melbourne. It's clear we will only find out the true picture in Australia but I'm happy with our work in the course of the tests we've done. The car has been competitive and consistent so we can head into the first race with confidence. I feel ready."
Fifth fastest was Mark Webber for Red Bull. Although Webbers progress was hindered by an electrical gremlin that the team struggled to diagnose, he completed 66 laps. BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld finished in sixth. After starting his day with a race simulation, Heidfeld carried out some pit stops and even simulated a stop-and-go penalty, before evaluating different aero solutions for the F1.09.
Just over two-tenths adrift of the German was compatriot Adrian Sutil in the Force India. Sutil covered 82 laps to bring his total mileage in the car this week to just under 1,000 kilometres. Sutil carried out a number of set-up changes, new aero tweaks and tyre comparisons in the VJM02. Giancarlo Fisichella will take charge of Force India driving duties on Wednesday.
The car was very reliable yet again, allowing us to run through a number of set up changes, said technical director James Key. We are better understanding the way the car and tyres react to mechanical changes, which we can carry through to the rest of the test and onto Melbourne. We also tested a few new aero components, such as different engine covers, which behaved as expected so we have a direction.
Renaults Fernando Alonso took up seventh on the timesheets. Covering 111 laps, Alonso took advantage of the dry conditions to explore set-up options and work on the R29s mechanical balance. He will continue to test for the French team until Thursday.
"It was another good day for us, again covering lots of laps as we continue to get ready for the start of the season later this month, explained the Spaniard. The track conditions were good and we tried lots of things with the set-up, which has given us lots of useful data to look through tonight.
Tenth quickest was Heikki Kovalainen for McLaren. Kovalainen covered 88 laps in the MP4-24, which had been fitted with a new front wing, floor and top body. He carried out pit-stop practice in the morning, before carrying out set-up work after lunch. Lewis Hamilton will test for the British team on Wednesday.
We are running through a big programme in Barcelona this week," said McLaren Racing managing director Jonathan Neale. "Not only have we introduced a new series of aerodynamic components to MP4-24 but we have also been working on the cars set-up and balance over longer runs as well as rehearsing our pit-stop procedures. Its been a very productive few days with Heikki in the car.
Completing the days line-up were Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastien Buemi in 10th and 11th respectively. After Bourdais had completed just 14 laps, a problem with the STR4s front suspension developed, which could not be solved completely without the arrival of new parts from the factory back in Faenza.
Rather than continue with the development testing, the team decided to put Buemi in the car to carry out some basic system checks before he takes over the cockpit on Wednesday, when the multi-team test continues.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Barcelona:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari F60, 1:20.314
2. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams FW31, 1:20.907
3. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn BGP 001, 1:20.966
4. Jarno Trulli, Toyota TF109, 1:21.182
5. Mark Webber, Red Bull RB5, 1:21.347
6. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber F1.09, 1:21.615
7. Adrian Sutil, Force India VJM02, 1:21.834
8. Fernando Alonso, Renault R29, 1:21.937
9. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren MP4-24, 1:21.991
10. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso STR4, 1:23.039
11. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso STR4, no time