Raikkonen fastest again at wet Barcelona

Raikkonen fastest again at wet Barcelona

The second day of testing this week at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya was hit by rain, so the 12 drivers present did fewer laps than usual as the weather interfered with scheduled programmes. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was once again the fastest...

The second day of testing this week at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya was hit by rain, so the 12 drivers present did fewer laps than usual as the weather interfered with scheduled programmes. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was once again the fastest man with a time of 1:30.280 and managed the most laps, 54, while working on wet weather set up.

Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Mark Webber surprised with second quickest in the Red Bull, although he was just about one and a half seconds off Raikkonen's pace. Heikki Kovalainen was on duty for Renault and was third fastest, a further four tenths away from Webber. The Finn worked on set up and collected some 'interesting' data in the difficult conditions.

"Clearly, we didn't follow the programme we had initially planned owing to the poor conditions, but it was still a useful day for myself and the team," he said. "Personally, I tried to use every lap to improve something: trying a new line, or pushing the braking points a bit further. The track was changing all the time, and we were able to run the wet and extreme wet tyres today."

BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld only did 17 laps but managed fourth on the time sheet. He carried out a brief programme of system checks in the afternoon. Nico Rosberg was fifth fastest for Williams and did similar work to Heidfeld and general preparation for the Spanish GP at this circuit in less than two weeks.

"It was very wet all day, we even had thunder and lightening at one point which obviously affected the number of laps we could complete today," test team manager Dickie Stanford commented. "Between the rain storms Nico concentrated on systems checks and set-up work all day in preparation for the race."

Rubens Barrichello continued for Honda and was sixth overall. Like most of the other drivers the Brazilian didn't get down to serious work until the afternoon, then he focused on aero evaluation on extreme wet and wet tyres. He managed 44 laps and was over two and a half seconds off Raikkonen's top time.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli was seventh on the list despite doing limited running. The Italian ventured out for an installation lap just before noon and after lunch he put in a few runs for systems checks. These included different engine specs, software work and different mappings for the wet conditions.

"All I can say is that it has been a wet day," Trulli remarked. "The weather and conditions have been so bad that it has been pretty much impossible for any of the teams to get any meaningful work achieved. We managed to do some work on systems and electronics in the few laps that we were able to do, but that's about it. Hopefully we will have a better day tomorrow."

Super Aguri's Takuma Sato was eighth fastest and focused on wet starts and development of the control systems. Toro Rosso was the only team to share duties between two drivers; Tonio Liuzzi was ninth overall and covered the most laps of the pair with 38. Teammate Scott Speed did only seven laps and was at the bottom of the timesheet in 11th.

10th, in between the Toro Rossos, was Spyker's Adrian Sutil. He only ran in the afternoon due to the ream having to repair accident damage to the car after tester Adrian Valles crashed on Monday. Heavy rain showers meant Sutil only completed 11 laps before Spyker decided to call it a day and conserve tyres and parts in the hope of better weather on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately due to the inclement weather conditions, we could only do a limited number of laps," said chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. "The boys did a fantastic job working through the night to repair the car from yesterday's accident, so thanks to them, but due to a shortage of spare parts, we didn't want to risk too much."

McLaren's Fernando Alonso was present but only did one installation lap after lunch. "With further, yet more sporadic rain predicted over the next days and only limited Bridgestone Potenza wet weather tyres available, there was little value seen in running a wet weather programme in the afternoon due to the limited useful data to be gained," was the team's comment.

Due to the weather the teams have agreed to extend this test to include Thursday.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jarno Trulli , Rubens Barrichello , Mark Webber , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Scott Speed , Nico Rosberg , Mike Gascoyne , Adrian Valles , Adrian Sutil
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso , Williams