F1

De la Rosa still fastest at Jerez

De la Rosa still fastest at Jerez

It was busier on the second day of testing at Jerez with 12 drivers from seven teams taking to the Spanish track on July 5th. Once again McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa was the fastest man and set a best time of 1:17.782. Fellow team tester...

It was busier on the second day of testing at Jerez with 12 drivers from seven teams taking to the Spanish track on July 5th. Once again McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa was the fastest man and set a best time of 1:17.782. Fellow team tester Gary Paffett was eighth and they continued with tyre work for the upcoming races and engine development.

Pedro de la Rosa.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Renault tester Heikki Kovalainen was second fastest, a couple of tenths off de la Rosa, and the team's championship leader Fernando Alonso was third. Preparations for France, Renault's home race, were their programme and Alonso tested the latest update of the RS26 engine.

Honda test driver Anthony Davidson clocked the fourth best time and Rubens Barrichello was 10th overall. Davidson carried out chassis set up work and also tyres for the upcoming races. Barrichello focused on aero evaluation and moved onto set up later. A spin caused minor damage to his car then his day was cut short by an engine failure.

Test driver Alex Wurz was the sole Williams present, fifth fastest. "Over the course of the session, we predominantly worked on aero evaluations and tyre comparisons," said test team manager Mike Condliffe. "Towards the end of the day, Alex also carried out some brake work."

BMW Sauber tester Robert Kubica was sixth. He worked on tyres and aerodynamics but finished early due to a mechanical issue. The team also had Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel for the day. The German youngster won the German Formula BMW title in 2004 and currently competes in the F3 Euroseries.

"This was obviously a special opportunity for me, but I just tried to take it easy and concentrate on my job," Vettel said. "The whole day went really well. I was able to complete many laps without any problems. I learned a lot, particularly on tyres."

BMW attracted attention today due to two vertical fins mounted half way between the chassis and the nose on either side of Kubica's car. They only made a brief appearance and the team was not forthcoming about what they were for, but apparently they are not likely to be used in races.

Ricardo Zonta was the quicker of the two Toyota test drivers on duty, seventh, and Olivier Panis was ninth on the time sheet. The team's test is mainly for preparations for France and today they focused on tyres and set up work. Racers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher are scheduled to take over on Thursday.

"Today was spent working on tyres," said Zonta. "In the morning I felt that my car was having problems with grip and as if the car was sliding a lot. The afternoon went much better and the grip improved. We also did some aerodynamic testing and completed some launches."

Red Bull's sole representative of the day was tester Robert Doornbos and he was 11th fastest. The Dutchman worked on aerodynamics but was hampered by a hydraulic problem. Christian Klien is due to take over tomorrow.

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