Formula One: Jerez Test Week 2 Recap

After four days of nearly total wet weather running last week, eleven of this year’s F1 entrants were back at the Jerez Circuit in Spain for four more days of testing. For the second straight week, it was supposed to be a wet winter week in Spain as the teams battled the weather and each other for testing supremacy. However, everyone caught a break as the final two days dried out and the speeds picked up. This week also saw the debut of Lotus to run alongside fellow new entrant Virgin F1. The week’s testing time and analysis after the jump.

Day 1 (February 17)

It was a mostly wet day at Jerez but the pace picked up as a dry line developed in the afternoon. In the dying moments of the session, everyone hit the course to set a flying lap but it was the RB6 of Sebastian Vettel that topped the time sheets. After a luckluster debut test, you had to figure that there was loads of pace still in the new Red Bull car. He was followed by all the Mercedes and Ferrari powered cars which would give me hopes that the cars are all fairly evenly matched this season. F1’s two new entrants had two different days despite similar times. Lotus’ Fauzy got 76 laps in despite not having power steering which the team blamed on a supplier part problem. Virgin F1 ran just as well as last week meaning Timo Glock only got 10 laps in.

  1. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault – 1:22.593
  2. Lewis Hamilton – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:23.017
  3. Felipe Massa – Ferrari – 1:23.204
  4. Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:23.322
  5. Pedro de la Rosa – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:23.367
  6. Michael Schumacher – Mercedes – 1:23.803
  7. Adrian Sutil – Force India-Mercedes – 1:24.272
  8. Paul Di Resta – Force India-Mercedes – 1:25.088
  9. Vitaly Petrov – Renault – 1:26.237
  10. Rubens Barrichello – Williams-Cosworth – 1:27.320
  11. Fairuz Fauzy – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:31.848
  12. Timo Glock – Virgin-Cosworth – 1:32.417

Day 2 (February 18)

While the first day of the week at Jerez had some dry weather running, there was no such luxury on Day Two. It was the Williams of F1’s elder statesman Rubens Barrichello that topped the time sheets but he was still some 4.6 seconds behind the fastest lap from day one. The Renault of Vitaly Petrov also made a surprise jump up the leaderboard but both are likely as a result of runs on low fuel. Three of this season’s likely constructors’ championship contenders rounded out the top five with Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari, respectively. As for the new boys, it was a role reversal from the prior day. Glock got his Virgin machine out for some serious testing time while Heikki Kovalainen slid off the road, into the gravel and broke the front wing which ended his day’s work.

  1. Rubens Barrichello – Williams-Cosworth – 1:27.145
  2. Vitaly Petrov – Renault – 1:27.828
  3. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault – 1:28.162
  4. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:28.515
  5. Felipe Massa – Ferrari – 1:28.879
  6. Pedro de la Rosa – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:29.691
  7. Paul di Resta – Force India-Mercedes – 1:30.344
  8. Timo Glock – Virgin-Cosworth – 1:30.476
  9. Vitantonio Liuzzi – Force India-Mercedes – 1:30.666
  10. Lewis Hamilton – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:31.633
  11. Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:32.678
  12. Heikki Kovalainen – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:33.554

Day 3 (February 19)

After two bad days of rain in Spain, the sun made a cameo appearance at the Jerez Circuit. The dry running saw all team put in hundreds of laps in an attempt to hone their cars for the 2010 season which is now less than three weeks away. Just after the lunch break, Mark Webber’s mock qualifying run vaulted him to the top of the time sheets with the fastest run at Jerez this year. The other members of the 2010 Big Four were all in the first five with Williams joining them. It wasn’t smoothest day of running despite the weather. There were six red flags interrupting the day’s proceedings including one caused by Webber when he spun and stopped on course. At least his day went better than Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi who only managed 22 laps due to a fuel system failure.

  1. Mark Webber – Red Bull-Renault – 1:19.299 
  2. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 1:20.115
  3. Jenson Button – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:20.394
  4. Nico Hulkenberg – Williams-Cosworth – 1:21.432
  5. Michael Schumacher – Mercedes – 1:21.437
  6. Robert Kubica – Renault – 1:21.916
  7. Adrian Sutil – Force India-Mercedes – 1:21.939
  8. Kamui Kobayashi – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:22.228
  9. Jaime Alguersuari – Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:22.564
  10. Lucas di Grassi – Virgin-Cosworth – 1:23.504
  11. Heikki Kovalainen – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:23.521

Day 4 (February 20)

For the first time this pre-season, the #1 car was P1 as Jenson Button laid down a flyer to beat Mark Webber’s previous day’s best by about four-tenths of a second to make him Jerez’s fastest man. As for Webber, he needed an engine change which meant the team took it easy on the car on Saturday. For the second time this week, a Renault was second fastest. This time it was old Bob Kubica on a low fuel run. As for the two new teams at the test, it was a tough day in different respects. Timo Glock’s Virgin VR1 suffered a hydraulic failure which limited his running. Jarno Trulli put in a day’s high 141 laps but most of it was to get him used to the car in his first time in the T127.

  1. Jenson Button – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:18.871
  2. Robert Kubica – Renault – 1:19.114
  3. Kamui Kobayashi – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:19.188
  4. Vitantonio Liuzzi – Force India-Mercedes – 1:19.650
  5. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:20.061
  6. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 1:20.436
  7. Jaime Alguersuari – Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:21.053
  8. Mark Webber – Red Bull-Renault – 1:21.194
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – Williams-Cosworth – 1:21.919
  10. Timo Glock – Virgin-Cosworth – 1:22.433
  11. Jarno Trulli – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:23.470

By the end of the week, the track had dried up and rubbered in. The second day was the worst day of the test since there was absolutely no dry running. The first day was better but no by much. That really means that this week’s tally of all times is nothing worth concerning yourself over if you’re a fan of a particular driver. For example, Rosberg is over a second faster than Schumacher but it’s very likely they were on different testing programs, not to mention the fact that Rosberg was running on a grippier circuit. Also, I wouldn’t expect to see Jenson Button ahead of Lewis Hamilton too many times either. Unless you’re talking about the times put up by Campos and USF1 so far. In that case, buy into the hype of those teams.

Best Times of the Week

  1. Jenson Button – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:18.871
  2. Robert Kubica – Renault – 1:19.114
  3. Kamui Kobayashi – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:19.188
  4. Mark Webber – Red Bull-Renault – 1.19.299
  5. Vitantonio Liuzzi – Force India-Mercedes – 1:19.650
  6. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:20.061
  7. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 1:20.115
  8. Jaime Alguersuari – Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:21.053
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – Williams-Cosworth – 1:21.432
  10. Michael Schumacher – Mercedes – 1:21.437
  11. Adrian Sutil – Force India-Mercedes – 1:21.939
  12. Timo Glock – Virgin-Cosworth – 1:22.433
  13. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault – 1:22.593
  14. Lewis Hamilton – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:23.017
  15. Felipe Massa – Ferrari – 1:23.204
  16. Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:23.322
  17. Pedro de la Rosa – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:23.367
  18. Jarno Trulli – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:23.470
  19. Lucas di Grassi – Virgin-Cosworth – 1:23.504
  20. Heikki Kovalainen – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:23.521
  21. Paul di Resta – Force India-Mercedes – 1:25.088
  22. Vitaly Petrov – Renault – 1:26.237
  23. Rubens Barrichello – Williams-Cosworth – 1:27.145
  24. Fairuz Fauzy – Lotus-Cosworth – 1:31.848

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