Barrichello dodges the clouds to top Jerez testing

Rubens Barrichello topped the second day of testing at Jerez, as the weather continued to prove a disruption.

Track conditions remained damp for the entire day, with rain showers and heavy wind hampering the teams in their preparation for the Bahrain Grand Prix, in March.

However, Barrichello took advantage of a dry spell, around lunch time, to record the fastest time of the day. The Brazilian’s lap was nearly seven tenths faster than Renault’s rookie driver, Vitaly Petrov, who also made the most of the improved conditions to set the second fastest time.

One man who did not enjoy the weather conditions was Felipe Massa, despite completing 92 laps around Jerez for Ferrari.

“No, not really,” Massa said when asked by Autosport if the day had been as productive as yesterday. “It was pretty similar conditions: raining, stopping, raining, stopping. Today the track was even much worse because of the very strong wind.

“It was not so positive, but it’s the same for everybody. It’s important to be here, running in the went and in the dry. It doesn’t matter the conditions, it’s important to run and make the mileage on the car. We are maybe the team who run the most so I think that’s positive.”

“It’s just mileage. There was not a lot to do in terms of set-up, or to try something new in the car,” the Brazilian added. “It was just a day to run as much as possible and to understand some small issues that you can have in the first race.”

Bottom of the times was Heikki Kovalainen in his Lotus. Unfortunately for the new operation, the Finn only completed 30 laps after suffering a hydraulic problem and crashing into the barriers, damaging the only front wing available to the team. Despite this Kovalainen believes that the new T127 has alot of potential.

“I think the potential is there,” he also told Autosport. “My initial feeling from this morning was good. The feeling is that in the low-speed corners the car is behaving quite well.

“It’s lacking grip, it hasn’t got enough grip. And in the high-speed I think we lose quite a lot of time, partly because of the set-up problems as well. The car is a little bit heavy still and we need to make it lighter, then we can move the balance around and all these things.

“But I think otherwise, fundamentally it feels quite okay. I actually enjoyed driving it from the beginning. Apart from the hydraulic problem that we had this morning, once we got going it was all okay.”

Meanwhile it was a better day for fellow-newcomers Virgin, with Timo Glock completing 72 laps, compared to yesterday’s 10. Pedro de la Rosa completed the smallest number of laps, with just eight, as Sauber deciding to call an end to their day’s work due to the weather.

“With the same mixed conditions as yesterday, it simply wasn’t worth doing much driving today,” de la Rosa said. “We have a good understanding of the car, and I’m looking forward to the next test in Barcelona, hopefully on a dry track.”

The teams will be hoping for improved weather when testing resumes tomorrow.

Day 2 times from Jerez:

Pos Driver         Team/Car            Time            Laps
1.  R. Barrichello Williams FW32       1:27.145        97 laps
2.  V. Petrov      Renault R30         1:27.828 +0.683 56 laps
3.  S. Vettel      Red Bull Racing RB6 1:28.162 +1.017 70 laps
4.  N. Rosberg     Mercedes GP W01     1:28.515 +1.370 70 laps
5.  F. Massa       Ferrari F10         1:28.879 +1.734 91 laps
6.  P. de la Rosa  Sauber C29          1:29.691 +2.546 8 laps
7.  P. di Resta    Force India VJM-03  1:30.344 +3.199 33 laps
8.  T. Glock       Virgin Racing VR-01 1:30.476 +3.331 72 laps
9.  V. Liuzzi      Force India VJM-03  1:30.666 +3.521 23 laps
10. L. Hamilton    McLaren MP4-25      1:30.979 +3.834 55 laps
11. S. Buemi       Toro Rosso STR5     1:32.678 +5.533 56 laps
12. H. Kovalainen  Lotus F1 T127       1:33.554 +6.409 30 laps