Alonso tops Jerez day two

Alonso tops Jerez day two

It was a busier day at Jerez on February 8th and 13 drivers from seven teams were at work on the Spanish track. Renault's Fernando Alonso set the best time of 1:16.960 and team tester Heikki Kovalainen was ninth fastest. Kovalainen completed a...

It was a busier day at Jerez on February 8th and 13 drivers from seven teams were at work on the Spanish track. Renault's Fernando Alonso set the best time of 1:16.960 and team tester Heikki Kovalainen was ninth fastest. Kovalainen completed a race distance before he encountered a rear wing problem; his running was halted and the wing sent back to Enstone for analysis and modifications.

Fernando Alonso.
Photo by LAT Photographic.

Alonso worked on set up and tyres. "We had an interesting day of testing," said the Spaniard. "We concentrated on the tyres again, which are going to be a very important factor this year, and worked on chassis set-up. The gains we made were good in terms of improving the grip and balance of the car."

Jenson Button was second quickest for Honda, a tenth and a half down on Alonso, and teammate Rubens Barrichello was fifth. Tyres and set up were their programme for the day and they completed 118 laps between them.

Splitting the two Hondas was the McLaren duo of Juan Pablo Montoya and test driver Pedro de la Rosa in third and fourth respectively. Montoya worked on set up and component evaluation of the MP4-21 and de la Rosa focused on tyres in the interim MP4-20 with the restricted V10 engine.

Nick Heidfeld led the two BMW Saubers on track in sixth and teammate Jacques Villeneuve was one behind in seventh. Heidfeld continued with the ongoing set up of the F1.06 and tyre work, while Villeneuve gave the new chassis its roll out, as well as tyre tests. Both will continue on Thursday.

Mark Webber was the lead Williams in eighth and Nico Rosberg was 12th overall. Both worked on tyres and pit stop practice. "Today Mark and Nico were driving the FW28s," said technical director Sam Michael.

"Mark spent the morning working on a tyre construction test for Bridgestone which confirmed our direction for short term development. He then switched to pitstop practices with the race team in the afternoon. Nico did the opposite, working on pitstops in the morning and long runs on tyre compounds for Bridgestone later in the day."

Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher were 10th and 11th respectively for Toyota. Much the same as everyone else, tyres were their focus. "The main target of the test was to put mileage on the engines and to continue with our tyre programme," said test team manager Gerd Pfeiffer.

"With Ralf, we were attempting to see how the tyres work and to try different set-ups. With Jarno, we did some endurance running to see the mechanical reliability of our cars as well as some set-up testing."

MF1 was the other team at work and Tiago Monteiro rounded off the times in 13th. In the interim EJ15B chassis, Monteiro tested control systems for data collection. "It was very interesting to really make the car perform at extremes and we learnt some really positive information," he commented.

Elsewhere, Red Bull wrapped up its two-day programme at Silverstone with Christian Klien behind the wheel. Cold conditions meant the wheel guns were freezing, interfering with pit stop practice, and later the RB2 suffered a hydraulic problem. Klien completed 30 laps with a best time of 1:26.154.

"It was a scrappy day," said chief test engineer Ian Morgan. "The track stayed damp most of the time and we only really managed to do some runs on dry tyres after 3pm. Unfortunately, we lost the last half hour of the session with a hydraulic system problem we had not encountered before and which we are currently investigating."

Ferrari concluded its week's work at Fiorano with Michael Schumacher clocking a best of 57.647 in the 248. He completed 76 laps while continuing development of the new car. Ferrari will be testing at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit next week with Felipe Massa and Luca Badoer scheduled to be behind the wheel.

Circuito de Jerez
Circuit length: 4.423 km
Lap record: 1:15.650 (Michael Schumacher, 2004, Ferrari)
Best unofficial V8 time to date: 1:16.960 (Fernando Alonso, Renault)

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams