The second test got under way on Wednesday and saw the first runs for the Force India and Virgin F1 teams, the latter of which should raise an eyebrow for a few reasons. Firstly, the new Virgin machine is the first F1 car to run that was developed by Nick Wirth using just Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD – i.e., the car was designed purely on computer) and are also the first of the new teams to hit the track in any sort of competitive manner, with Lotus not joining until the Barcelona test next week. Campos Meta-1 and USF1 will be skipping all tests and will (hopefully) be joining the rest of the grid in Bahrain in three-and-a-half weeks. Lastly, the Virgin team will be giving an F1 début to Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi, who has spent quite a time in GP2 and other racing formulae and has finally made the jump to the top level just when it looked like he had lost out on Formula 1 for good.
Unfortunately for this test, the weather forecast was not optimistic and come Wednesday, a wet and miserable outlook descended upon the Jerez circuit. With rain over most of the four days (and especially heavy on Friday), very little dry running was done and little in the way of mileage was clocked up. Of all the teams to lose out, it was Virgin who suffered the most as Timo Glock suffered a front wing failure early on Wednesday morning and spare parts did not arrive until the following afternoon, by which time the circuit was a wash out. Most of the Friday running was also hampered by heavy rain, with only today’s running being relatively dry for any amount of time.
Glock’s front wing collapse eerily brought back memories of the failure that would end up causing Roland Ratzenberger’s fatal accident at Imola 1994 – another Wirth designed car. Alas when the team finally did get some good running in on Saturday, the times posted appeared to be relatively good. However, we should all know by now that testing times mean nothing… right??
Jerez, February 10th
1 ROSBERG Mercedes 1m20.927s (57)
2 BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m21.031s (84)
3 HULKENBERG Williams 1m22.243s (118)
4 ALONSO Ferrari 1m22.895s (88)
5 KOBAYASHI Sauber 1m23.287s (55)
6 BUTTON McLaren 1m24.947s (68)
7 LIUZZI Force India 1m24.968s (71)
8 PETROV Renault 1m25.440s (27)
9 WEBBER Red Bull 1m26.502s (50)
10 GLOCK Virgin 1m38.734s (5)
Jerez, February 11th
1 KOBAYASHI Sauber 1m19.950s (103)
2 BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m20.026s (121)
Jerez, February 12th