Timo Glock paced quickest for the second day of testing in Jerez as rain continued to hamper the teams’ development programmes.
While heavy showers disrupted proceedings in the morning, the circuit dried out sufficiently to allow the teams to use slick tyres in the afternoon.
Glock, who quickly got to grips with the wet weather yesterday to go fastest overall, was once again in control of proceedings posting a best time of 1:19.814, just over four tenths of a second clear of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
“That was a productive day,” said the German. “This morning we were again a bit unlucky with the conditions, which made the race simulation quite tough. But it was useful to find out when to change to slick tyres and our pace wasn’t bad.
“Then we got some dry running for the rest of the day. We did a lot of set-up work and late on we did some shorter runs to make it through the programme. We’ve made it through a lot of miles over these two days and we’re making useful progress.”
Felipe Massa, who was present but not in action yesterday, racked up 134 laps today posting the second fastest time, ahead of Renault’s Fernando Alonso who also got substantial mileage under his belt with 152 laps of the Jerez circuit in his R29.
“Today was a very productive day as I managed to complete 152 laps which gave us lots of useful data,” said Alonso afterwards. “At this stage of the season it’s important to have as much time in the car as possible to get used to the new rules such as the moveable wings and the KERS system and so I’m happy to have done so much today.
“Everyday we keep learning new things and I’m feeling more and more comfortable in the car. Hopefully tomorrow we can have another dry day to build on the work we did today.”
Heikki Kovalaiane had a quiet but productive day focusing on wet weather tyre development in the morning before switching his focus to the MP4-24’s aerodynamic setup in the afternoon.
McLaren disclosed in their testing notes: “Heikki made good progress understanding Bridgestone s intermediate tyre before the drying track prompted a switch in focus for the afternoon.”
“The MP4-24 was subsequently fitted with a 2009 front and rear wing package – for the first time in dry conditions – and Heikki carried out a series of set-up evaluation runs until the end of the day.”
Lewis Hamilton will take over testing duties for the final two days of testing.
It was another crucial day of testing for Force India who unveiled their new challenger, the VJM02, on Sunday. Adrian Sutil replaced teamamte Giancarlo Fisichella at the wheel, lapping an impressive fifth fastest, a mere tenth of a second shy of Kovalainen.
“I think today was a good day,” said Sutil. “It was important to get into the car again and to get confident. The car was OK; there is definitely potential, and we were able to do more mileage and find some reliability in the afternoon.
“In the morning we had a little problem but we could fix it over lunch and start to do our programme. The tyres dominate a lot and the different compounds react differently: you have to find a good set up and get them to work and that is where we are concentrated now.
“We had some instability on the rear and oversteer, but we will see tomorrow. We are at least more reliable and can try and get some real mileage on the car now.”
Mark Webber, who is recovering from a broken leg, was sixth quickest, ahead of BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica.
“Overall it was a good day,” Kubica said. “We were able to make up some of the time we lost yesterday when rain meant we had to change our schedule. I started on extreme wet tyres, changed to wet tyres and finally drove slick tyres.
“Together with the various different set-up solutions I tried that helped me get an even better feeling for the car.”
Williams’ Nico Rosberg completes the timesheets in eighth place, some one and a half seconds off the pace.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Glock Toyota (B) 1:19.814 141
2. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:20.238 134
3. Alonso Renault (B) 1:20.296 152
4. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:20.535 85
5. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:20.621 63
6. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:21.021 98
7. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:21.069 98
8. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:21.412 125