Jerez day two - Schumacher rules the roost in Spain 11 Feb 2011
Mercedes GPs Michael Schumacher responded on Friday to Felipe Massas swift Thursday pace for Ferrari, as this weeks four-day test continued in Jerez. Schumachers fastest lap, a 1m 20.352s, was almost four-tenths of a second quicker than Massas best the day before - and six-hundredths up on the Brazilian's own Friday best at the Spanish circuit.
At first Schumacher focused on system checks over short runs, before completing some set-up work and tyre evaluations over longer runs after lunch. He covered 112 laps and ran with the Mercedes KERS system throughout.
It clearly was a productive day, and obviously I am happy about that, said the German. We were focusing on long runs and being able to produce such a lot of mileage is positive in terms of reliability. It also gives us good data for the test days to come and for the developments we are working on. We are moving forward as we should during the testing period but at the same time, we are aware we have to keep pushing."
Massa spent the morning analysing Pirelli's four tyre compounds, before covering several longer runs in the afternoon. He completed a mammoth 116 laps in total. Team mate Fernando Alonso will be in action on Saturday.
Jenson Button finished third behind Massa as he sampled the new McLaren, the MP4-26, for the first time. Button spent the morning acclimatizing to the car before turning his attention to set-up changes over longer runs in afternoon. With team mate Lewis Hamilton due back in the car on Saturday, Button will test again on Sunday.
The morning was spent getting me satisfactorily fitted in the car, adapting to the hybrid - which is new to me - and getting used to how the system works, said the Briton. I like the power boost it gives you. I felt a lot more comfortable with the car at the end of the day after wed played around with a few things in the cockpit. Weve made some good progress.
And weve tried the different Pirelli tyres - there are big differences across the compound range; not only in terms of lap time, but also with degradation and durability. Its going to be fun for racing, I think, and its what everyone wanted. The TV viewers will certainly know the differences between the tyres. Its been a good first day.
Toro Rossos Jaime Alguersuari took fourth slot after covering 72 laps in the STR6. Alguersuaris programme featured three key elements - tyre evaluation, weight distribution and set-up work. His team mate Sebastien Buemi will take charge of the car on Saturday.
I tried all compounds except the super-soft here and I had a good feeling from the car with all of them, getting an idea of their different behaviour, said the young Spaniard. I also made progress in terms of using the KERS and the DRS (downforce reduction system) which to be honest, does not look as complicated as I expected it to be.
The important thing is that we are making progress every time I go out of the garage. In performance terms, it is still a bit too early to start drawing conclusions, especially as the lap times here vary a lot from the morning to the afternoon, but I am reasonably confident that this side of the cars progress is on the right track.
Watched from the sidelines by team principal Christian Horner and chief technical officer Adrian Newey, Mark Webber finished fifth in Red Bulls RB7. Webber completed 113 laps as he evaluated the Pirelli tyres, new aerodynamic components and development parts. Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel will be in the car on Saturday.
The car ran very well and were continuing to learn, said Webber. Its very early days at the moment in terms of performance and theres a long way to go before the first race, but weve got some good mileage in, which is important.
Force Indias Adrian Sutil spent a second day in the newly-launched VJM04 and finished sixth, ahead of Saubers Sergio Perez in seventh in the C30. Perez completed 56 laps as he carried out set-up work. Everything was progressing smoothly until the Mexican had an off in the afternoon on Pirellis hard compound. Team mate Kamui Kobayashi will test on Saturday.
Im fine but I feel sorry for the team, and especially the mechanics, because of the crash, explained Perez. I lost the rear in turn seven and we obviously lost working time. I hope the rest of the test will be good for the team and Kamui, and they cover a lot of mileage. For me it was another day during which I have learnt a lot.
Virgin were pleased with Timo Glocks eighth place on the timesheets. Glock outpaced Renaults Vitaly Petrov and Williams Pastor Maldonado, who finished in ninth and tenth respectively.
The days final runner was Lotuss Jarno Trulli, who covered 40 laps in the T128. Trulli would have completed more had a mechanical fault not ended his day early. The team are confident parts en route from the factory will arrive in time for Heikki Kovalainens day in the car on Saturday.
"We had a promising start to the day," commented sporting director Dieter Gass. "We found some interesting results from the setup work we did and have continued to learn more about the Pirelli tyres and how to maximise their grip levels on the car. Overnight we were able to fix the issues we had yesterday but unfortunately we had a mechnical problem at the front of the car that we were not able to fix in time today, but the spare parts we need are arriving from the factory tonight so we will be in good shape for Heikki to get into the car tomorrow."
Testing continues at Jerez on Saturday.
Unofficial Friday test times from Jerez:
1. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP, 1:20.352
2. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:20.413
3. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:21.009
4. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, 1:21.214
5. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:21.613
6. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:21.780
7. Sergio Perez, Sauber, 1:21.857
8. Timo Glock, Virgin, 1:22.208
9. Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 1:22.493
10. Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1:22.591
11. Jarno Trulli, Lotus, 1:23.216
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