Hamilton leads again at Paul Ricard

The second day of testing at Paul Ricard saw McLaren's Lewis Hamilton once again at the top of the times, 1:05.614 for the British rookie. The drivers again utilised the 2D SC layout of the French circuit and Hamilton continued to focus on aerodynamics, tyres and set up for the forthcoming Monaco Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was second fastest, just over a tenth off Hamilton. Set up and tyre comparison was the programme for his day. Robert Kubica was third quickest for BMW Sauber and he evaluated aerodynamic components, electronics and worked on set up. The team will look ahead to Canada on Thursday and begin preparations on a different track layout.

David Coulthard was fourth fastest fro Red Bull and tyre evaluation, aerodynamics and suspension were his focus. Over at sister team Toro Rosso, Sebastian Bourdais was back behind the wheel and set the 10th fastest time while doing long runs for tyre work and evaluation of new aero and mechanical components.

Takuma Sato was on duty for Super Aguri and despite an unspecified 'setback' in the morning he too continud with preparations for Monaco. Heikki Kovalainen was behind the wheel for Renault and was sixth quickest while carrying out aerodynamic tests.

"We completed a trouble-free day without any difficulty, and ran through a wide range of set-up solutions that we wanted to test," commented chief test engineer Christian Silk. "I think the data from today looks good, and will be a good basis for our work in Monaco and at the next races."

At Honda Rubens Barrichello took over from tester Christian Klien and sent his time evaluating various aerodynamic configurations, along with tyre work for Monaco. Alex Wurz was eighth fastest on the time sheet for Williams and reportedly had a trouble free day.

"Alex Wurz took over from Nico and spent the session finishing the Monaco set-up programme. Tomorrow, the circuit will be modified to reflect the Montreal track layout and we will be converting the car accordingly this evening so we can work on preparation for the race there," said test tem manager Dickie Stanford.

Ralf Schumacher continued for Toyota and was ninth quickest. "Today I finished my aerodynamic and tyre programmes and also worked on the different traction control maps that are used where there is a premium on acceleration out of slow corners," he explained. "We have got through a lot of work over the past couple of days, which is important when the competition is so tight."

Spyker was the only team to utilise two of its drivers, Adrian Sutil in the morning and Christijan Albers in the afternoon. Tyre evaluation, set up and systems checks were their work and chief race and test engineer Dominic Harlow was satisfied with the day.

"Both race drivers tested today, running again on the Monaco simulation short track layout," he commented. "They ran a similar programme, working on set-up and control systems developments and comparing the tyres available for the race. The engineers made good progress in improving the car behaviour in the low speed corners."