Just as he was alone in the 1:19s Tuesday, so Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Toro Rosso was alone in the 1-minute, 18-second range and again fastest Wednesay at Formula One testing in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Vettel's fast lap in unofficial...
Just as he was alone in the 1:19s Tuesday, so Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Toro Rosso was alone in the 1-minute, 18-second range and again fastest Wednesay at Formula One testing in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Vettel's fast lap in unofficial timing was 1:18.843. He covered 100 laps. He ran slick tires, scheduled for reintroduction to the series next year, all day.
As they were Tuesday, McLaren were second-quickest, this time in the form of Spanish test driver Pedro de la Rosa. De la Rosa spent the morning on 2009 spec testing, including slick tires. By afternoon, he was back to grooved tires. His quick lap was 1:19.081 set in 122 laps.
Kimi Raikkonen was third-fastest. He covered 76 laps with a quick one of 1:19.446 working on setup comparisons in the Ferrari F2008. The Finn who has slipped seven points off the drivers' championship pace had been expansive after the German Grand Prix, saying the car lacked race pace, rear grip and decent setup despite a week of testing at Hockenheimring a week before the race. "The car had absolutely no stability," Raikkonen said. "We have to check and analyze every single detail we've done during preparations for Hockenheim and find out why we went so slowly because there has to be something that didn't work properly." He said the team would take a methodical approach. "We have to stay calm and react the way we know how to."
Following Raikkonen on unofficial time charts were Nico Rosberg, 1:19.861 in 112 laps for Williams, Mark Webber, 1:20.021 in 105 laps for Red Bull, and Alexander Wurz, 1:20.416 in 77 laps for Honda. All were on slicks. Wurz brought out a red flag when a suspected engine problem stopped the Honda on course and reduced his lap total.
Said Dickie Stanford, Williams's test team manager, "We spent the best part of the morning on general setup work before turning our attention to a test of the 2009 slick tires, which we concentrated on for most of the rest of the day. We had no major problems and from tomorrow, Kazuki (Nakajima) will join the test."
Jarno Trulli put the Toyota seventh in 1:20.534. He was back to 2008 configurations after a day of testing slicks and other settings for 2009 regulations. "Our focus for the day was the Hungarian Grand Prix, looking at setup this morning because the afternoons here are too windy and too hot for that," he said.
Track temperature again crowded 120 degrees Fahrenheit with air temps into the 90s. Trulli's afternoon work included correlating aerodynamic information between circuit and wind tunnel, he said.
Trulli's teammate Timo Glock will appear for testing Thursday after his hospital stay resulting from a heavy crash in the German Grand Prix. Glock pronounced himself fine after hospital release, saying the crash looked much worse on television. He underwent X-ray and MRI tests to conclude he suffered no broken bones or concussion. The team traced the accident to a right rear toelink/trackrod failure.
Vitantonio Liuzzi ran eighth for Force India, who were not on track Tuesday. The Italian ran a 1:20.577 in 102 laps.
Renault hero Nelsinho Piquet, who acknowledged his luck in coming off second place at the German Grand Prix -- luck being a much-admired trait by French emperor Napoleon -- ran a 1:20.827 in 99 laps. Piquet spent the morning on continued development of setup and balance. The afternoon went to suspension and brake testing.
"It was very hot on the track today, especially in the afternoon, which made it difficult to get a great balance with the car," Piquet said. "The hot temperatures also meant that the tires did not last too long. But we were still able to do some setup work this morning and tried out some new things on the car, which went well. We now have lots of information that we will go over this evening so that we can maximize tomorrow."
BMW Sauber's Christian Klien rounded out timing sheets with a 1:20.866 in 89 laps. His work involved mechanical and aerodynamic development work targeting the next race, the Hungarian Grand Prix in early August. He also collected data on the standard electronic control unit (ECU).
The BMW Sauber mechanic who received a shock and was injured in kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) testing Tuesday was released from hospital testing Wednesday and returned to Switzerland.