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Jerez day two - Barrichello puts Williams on top 18 Feb 2010

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, Thursday 18 February 2010. Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing VR-01. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, Thursday 18 February 2010. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, Thursday 18 February 2010. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Lotus T127. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, Thursday 18 February 2010. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, Thursday 18 February 2010.

The 11 teams in action at this week’s Jerez test endured another frustrating day on Thursday, as rain showers continued to blight their running at the Spanish circuit. Williams’ Rubens Barrichello ended the session as the fastest driver after clocking a best time of 1m 27.145s in the FW32.

Although Barrichello’s best lap was almost seven-tenths of a second quicker than the Renault of Vitaly Petrov in second, it was a over four seconds adrift of Sebastian Vettel’s quickest time in the Red Bull on Wednesday. With the track wet for the most of the day, nobody covered 100 laps, but Barrichello proved the most productive with his tally of 98.

“Rubens finished off another wet day in Jerez having covered a lot of mileage for reliability,” explained Williams’ technical director Sam Michael. “He also completed some systems checks and carried out a programme of pit-stop practice. All the pit stops were done under wet conditions and we're working on some refinements for tomorrow when Nico (Hulkenberg) will take over."

Vettel finished the day third in the RB6, just ahead of fellow German Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. Although Vettel wasn’t able to run through the team’s planned programme, he declared himself satisfied with the 71 laps of work he did complete. Team mate Mark Webber will be in the Red Bull cockpit on Friday.

“Generally, the feeling with the car is good,” said Vettel. “The weather has been pretty bad over the last couple of days, which meant we couldn’t do a lot of our planned testing, although it’s been the same for everyone. It’s a shame, as this is one of our three pre-season tests and last week the weather was quite bad also - it seems that Spain is not so happy to have us here! Nevertheless, we have still got some important work done and the car has been reliable; we didn’t have any problems.”

Rosberg completed a wet set-up programme for Mercedes in the morning and focused on race procedures including practice pit stops in the afternoon. He covered 71 laps in the MGP W01.

"On the positive side, we achieved some good mileage today despite the conditions and completed a lot of our systems work,” he said. “It was useful for me to practice pit stops and get into the routine for the races. However, it has been difficult and frustrating with the weather as we're obviously not able to learn as much as we could with a dry track.”

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa took fifth in the timesheets and covered 92 laps for the Italian team. BMW Sauber’s Pedro de la Rosa, sixth, had a less productive day after the Swiss team decided to limit his running on the wet track to just eight laps. De la Rosa’s team mate Kamui Kobayashi will be in action on Friday.

"With the same mixed conditions as yesterday, it simply wasn't worth doing much driving today,” explained De la Rosa. “We have a good understanding of the car, and I'm looking forward to the next test in Barcelona, hopefully on a dry track."

Force India tester Paul di Resta was once again in action and covered 56 laps during the morning, eventually finishing seventh. Also on track for the Silverstone-based team was Vitantonio Liuzzi, who covered 71 laps on his way to ninth.

“The poor weather continued today with gusting wind and heavy showers,” said Force India’s chief race engineer Dominic Harlow. “Accordingly we worked on general race preparation and some fuel system and hydraulic system tests.”

Sandwiched between the two Force India drivers in eighth was Virgin’s Timo Glock, who completed 72 laps in the VR-01.

“We managed to complete more than a race distance today, which is very satisfying after our frustrations of yesterday,” explained Virgin’s technical director Nick Wirth. “We also managed to prove out some development parts which gave results completely in line with the performance prediction from the development programme at Wirth Research. This is always satisfying as it gives the team and drivers a great and confidence-inspiring introduction to our development program for this car.”

Lewis Hamilton was tenth fastest for McLaren, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi in 11th. Hamilton undertook further systems checks in the MP4-25, completing 57 laps in total. Unable to carry out the team’s planned programme, Buemi ran through a short 25-lap race simulation, as well as some pit-stop practice.

The day’s final runner was Heikki Kovalainen for Lotus. Kovalainen’s day ended prematurely after he spun the T127 and damaged its front wing. With no spare at the circuit, the team were forced to sit out the rest of the session, and confirmed they would change engines ahead of Friday as a safety precaution.

Testing at Jerez will conclude on Saturday.

Unofficial Thursday times from Jerez:
1. Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 1:27.145, 98 Laps
2. Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 1:27.828, 56 Laps
3. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:28.162, 70 Laps
4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP, 1:28.515, 71 Laps
5. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:28.879, 92 Laps
6. Pedro de la Rosa, BMW Sauber, 1:29.691, 8 Laps
7. Paul di Resta, Force India, 1:30.344, 33 Laps
8. Timo Glock, Virgin, 1:30.476, 72 Laps
9. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 1:30.666, 24 Laps
10. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:30.979, 57 Laps
11. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 1:32.678, 57 Laps
12. Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, 1:33.554, 30 Laps