The second day of the Spa test in Belgium went in favour of Ferrari after Lewis Hamilton of McLaren stole the limelight yesterday on the remodelled circuit. Felipe Massa set the quickest lap time, just over 0.3s faster than McLaren pilot Fernando Alonso. Rain affected todays test though, and although the sun shone in the morning, the heavens opened after lunch and soaked the track. The poor weather did allow the teams to test some wet set ups though, and with a high probability of precipitation during the Belgian Grand Prix next month, the mileage done today could prove to be invaluable.
Heikki Kovalainen put in lots of laps in the afternoon, but it was his morning time that put him in an impressive third, beating Ralf Schumacher’s Toyota by a fairly huge 0.8s. Ralf appears to have found some pace in his Japanese car recently, with a good showing at Silverstone and a productive day yesterday. Maybe the hurry-up he received from the team has done him some good!?
When it rains here like it did today it can be dry in one part of the circuit and wet in another, making it difficult to draw comparisons. Still, over these two days we’ve completed some positive work despite the weather. Ralf Schumacher.
Raising eyebrows up and down the new pitlane was German driver Adrian Sutil, who managed to pop his Spyker into fifth place after completing a modest 49 laps. With Spyker in relative chaos at the moment regarding the unknown second driver (Albers was sacked earlier in the week), it is good to see something positive come out of the Silverstone-based Dutch team.
The other big news of the day was the return of triple ChampCar champion Sebastien Bourdais to a Formula One car. Sebastien had tested a few years back with Arrows and Renault, but decided to remain in America where he took three titles and dominated the series. But the Frenchman has made no quibbles about his desire to race in Formula One, and during pre-season testing, the star drove a Scuderia Toro Rosso at a time when the current driver contracts were unknown. Alas, Bourdais was committed to racing stateside, but his appearance today in Belgium strongly suggests he could be in with a shout of a drive for 2008.
But regardless of the possible future, today Sebastien gave quite an impressive performance considering his lack of experience with an F1 car, and placed his STR (after 53 laps) in eighth, behind the two Brits of David Coulthard and Jenson Button.
Following Bourdais were Nico Rosberg in the Williams, Anthony Davidson in the Super Aguri and finally Robert Kubica for BMW. The Polish driver suffered gear box problems in the morning, and thus his running was limited to the wet track in the afternoon, meaning his pace was understandably 8.5s down on the lead lap of Massa.
|6.||David Coulthard||Red Bull Racing||1m48.915s|
|8.||Sebastien Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m49.732s|
|10.||Anthony Davidson||Super Aguri||1m52.438s|