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Schumacher quickest on day two of F1 test in Jerez
Mercedes veteran Michael Schumacher assumed the quickest time on the second day of pre-season F1 testing in Jerez.
The seven-time world champion set his fastest lap of 1:18.561 some 32 laps into his Wednesday running, eventually completing 132 tours throughout the day, falling just shy of two Grand Prix distances.
Mercedes spent the morning comparing Pirelli’s new-for-2012 soft and hard compound tyres, before focussing on tyre-related set-up programs later in the day.
Although times in testing are generally thought to be rather irrelevant, Mercedes’ may be considered even moreso, as the team continue to work with the 2011 car until the next test at Barcelona.
Teammate Nico Rosberg is to be at the wheel of the MGP W02 tomorrow.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber was the fastest of the 2012-spec machines, with the Australian completing 97 laps in the RB8. Beyond several minor niggles – to be expected in a new car – Webber had few problems, allowing him to focus on tyre evaluations.
Daniel Ricciardo clocked up exactly 100 laps during what was another good day for Toro Rosso team. The STR7 ran smoothly throughout, showcasing none of the issues that capped their session on Tuesday. Débutante Jean-Eric Vergne will take over the Toro Rosso from tomorrow.
Force India had both Jules Bianchi and Paul di Resta on track today, completing 46 and 69 laps respectively. As well as learning about the VJM05, Bianchi spent time completing system checks and set-up evaluation work.
Di Resta continued those programmes in the afternoon; however his hopes for a clean run were dashed as the afternoon aged due to winds making the VJM05 a tricky prospect.
Lotus pilot Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed 117 laps at Jerez today, despite damaging the floor slightly on a kerb. When he stayed completely on circuit, the Finn tested three compounds, although lessons were limited in Southern Spain’s cool conditions.
Felipe Massa concentrated on collecting data, as the Ferrari team continue to assess the balance (poor or otherwise) of the F2012. The Brazilian logged 95 laps and will hand over to Fernando Alonso for the final two days.
McLaren, on the other hand, spent the session collecting information on their new chassis, while also focussing on various changes made to the car during the day – particularly regarding brakes and general set-up. The Woking squad also examined software changes, as they work to understand the balance and stability of the MP4-27 in low and high-speed situations.
Sergio Perez ran 68 laps of the Sauber C31. The Swiss squad arrived at the circuit with some new aerodynamic parts, all of which were added before the start of the afternoon. Unfortunately a fuel system failure curtailed the team’s running late in the day.
Williams fared rather better with Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan managed 97 laps behind the wheel of the FW34 with the Grove squad continued evaluations on their new Renault engine. Maldonado also completed several systems checks (including KERS), wile also conducting some aerodynamic and mechanical set-up tests.
Heikki Kovalainen managed a very impressive 139 laps in the Caterham CT01, clocking up time with each of the available tyre compounds, while also using KERS for the first time. In addition, the Finn caught up on some of the workload missed following the starter shaft problem yesterday.
Pedro de la Rosa managed a respectable 64 tours of Jerez in his HRT F111 machine, as the Spaniard finished the team’s testing schedule for the week. They continued yesterday’s programme of tyre testing, running through each tyre compound during the day. HRT hope to be in Barcelona with their 2012 car. It topped off a busy day for HRT, who announced today their new headquarters will be in Madrid, after their potential move to Valencia fell through.
2012 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test (Jerez, Day Two, February 8th) Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m18.561s 132 2. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m19.184s + 0.623 97 3. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m19.587s + 1.026 100 4. Jules Bianchi Force India 1m20.221s + 1.660 46 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m20.239s + 1.678 117 6. Paul di Resta Force India 1m20.272s + 1.711 69 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m20.454s + 1.893 95 8. Jenson Button McLaren 1m20.688s + 2.127 85 9. Sergio Perez Sauber 1m20.711s + 2.150 68 10. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m21.197s + 2.636 97 11. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1m21.518s + 2.957 139 12. Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1m22.128s + 3.567 64