A car bearing the Red Bull logo was clearly the thing to have on day two of the Barcelona group test, as Sebastian Vettel got his relationship with the factory team off to the perfect start - and headed not two, but three, Toro Rosso drivers.

Running the sole RBR car on show at the Circuit de Catalunya, Vettel posted a best time of 1min 19.751secs in the course of 70 laps to eclipse Takuma Sato's pace-setting effort from Monday, and also push the Japanese ace back into second spot on the day.

While the extreme range of aerodynamic configurations on display in Spain - as teams show their varying stages of readiness for the 2009 rule changes - meant that no-one was taking too much notice of the times, that did not hide the fact that Vettel managed to carry his 2008 form over to his new team. Once settled in to the RB4, the German carried on with the programme begun on day one by WRC champion Sebastien Loeb, which centred mainly on tyre data acquisition, running the softer of the two types of Bridgestone slicks available.

A brake problem meant some track time was lost in the morning, but the programme was back on schedule come the end of the day, allowing Vettel to head Sato, former STR team-mate Sebastien Bourdais, and potential replacement Sebastien Buemi on the timesheets as Red Bull Technologies annexed the top four places on most unofficial lists.

Buemi drove all day for STR, while Sato handed over to Bourdais at the lunch break. The two hopefuls covered some long runs to gather data on the new slick tyres, with the Swiss driver having an off-track excursion on his first set of new rubber. However, he recovered well to complete another high mileage day to underline his physical

Bourdais, no stranger to slick tyres after his time in Champ Cars, noted that Bridgestone has made a step forward in performance and consistency since testing earlier in the year. However, it was evident that the softer of the two types of tyre had a clear advantage over the harder one.

Gary Paffett proved to be the best non-Red Bull driver, claiming fifth place in the first of two McLaren chassis that he was assigned for the day. The Briton completed 31 laps in MP4-23K - the team's KERS test car - but his workload was cut short by a minor oil leak that prompted a switch to the vacant MP4-23, which he used to complete aero and slicks evaluations.

Robert Kubica was joined by regular team-mate Nick Heidfeld for the second day of BMW Sauber's test, which again concentrated on the development of its interim car featuring a lot of parts destined for 2009. Kubica and Heidfeld completed 76 and 81 laps respectively, with tyre checks and reliability being the main focus.

"Of course, we lose a lot of downforce compared to the 2008 car," Kubica explained, "but, because we are back from grooved to slick tyres, we have substantially more grip in slow corners. So, with some more development, I don't think there will be too big a difference between the 2009 and 2008 cars."

Nico Rosberg pushed Williams into seventh spot, just ahead of Jenson Button's Honda, the German taking over from countryman Nico Hulkenberg and carrying on with the set-up and development programme with the new slicks and components from the 2009 aero package. Button, meanwhile, ended his first day of winter testing by narrowly out-performing 2009 hopeful Lucas di Grassi, who slotted in ahead of countryman Nelson Piquet Jr.

Piquet was again joined by young Dutchman Giedo van der Garde, who drove for half the day as reward for winning the World Series by Renault title, and both drivers worked on a similar programme to day one, with the main emphasis being data collection and evaluation of the Bridgestones. There was also further running with
2009-type set-ups to give the team further information, which will be fed into next year's car.

"Another interesting day's testing, which saw us continue with the work we did yesterday by trying to understand the tyres, as well as some R&D work," chief test engineer noted after his two drivers separated by around a second, "We had a good morning running Giedo and he was quite competitive and gave good feedback to the engineers and worked well with the team. Nelson had a busy day jumping between the cars, working on the set-up and collecting basic data on the tyres, so it's been another productive day for us."

Surprisingly, world champions Ferrari featured well down the order as test drivers Marc Gene and Luca Badoer continued to put miles on the Scuderia's development hack. The pair again worked on familiar programmes, with engine and gearbox reliability the focus for Badoer and set-up comparisons for Gene.

The final spot was also occupied by a Ferrari-engined car, but with an strange helmet in the cockpit, as McLaren reserve Pedro de la Rosa completed a first day with Force India as part of the team's new technical partnership with its Woking rival. With the Mercedes package not yet ready to run in the back of the next generation Force India, the Spaniard no doubt took great interest in the Prancing Horse's finest.

de la Rosa will continue to run with FIF1 on the third and final day of the test, where he will be joined by Vettel, Buemi and Bourdais. Paffett expects to be back behind the wheel of MP4-23K, while Heidfeld will run alongside BMW Sauber tester Christian Klien, who returns for a second day. Hulkenberg's set-up will be bolted back on to the lone Williams, while Piquet and Badoer will also run solo.