Kimi Raikkonen may have ended up quickest of the three drivers present on day two of the second week of pre-season Formula 1 testing around the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, but the Finn endured a troubled day, as KERS woes and stray dogs threatened to play havoc with proceedings in much the same way as the sandstorm did last week.

After several stints spent trying out a variety of different set-up configurations, developing new components on the Scuderia's F60 and evaluating different Bridgestone tyre compounds, the 2007 F1 World Champion found himself grounded just over two hours' in, when a problem with the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) cooling circuit on his car forced him into his pit garage after only 40 laps - and he would remain there for more than three hours.

Amidst the frustration, the unanticipated delay did at least enable Ferrari to experiment with an emergency in case of a KERS failure, building on the analytic and safety work it has conducted over the winter months regarding the controversial energy-saving devices as it followed all the necessary procedures in a rigorous and precise manner.

However, no sooner had Raikkonen returned to the fray than he was halted again by two stray dogs, which brought out the red flags to allow for the runaway canines to be caught. Following that, the 29-year-old spent his time focussing upon race simulations - with a series of reasonably long stints on-track - pit-stops including re-fuelling and practice starts. With 107 laps on the board in all, he ended the day just over a tenth of a second clear of second-placed Jarno Trulli.

"Until today the car's development had gone well," mused the 17-time grand prix-winner, who will hand over the wheel to team-mate Felipe Massa on Wednesday, "although we were mainly concentrating on its behaviour and the tyres. Today we had a problem with the cooling system of the KERS, but these things can happen during the tests. Anyway, we drove many laps.

"The whole car improved during these tests, but it's still too early to say where we are compared to our competitors. I think we have to wait until Melbourne for that. Today was the first time I could get close to a car in front of me, but I wasn't close enough to understand if the new aerodynamics really make overtaking easier."

Trulli was the only one of the three drivers not to run into any kind of difficulty, as the experienced Italian made the most of the fine weather to conduct set-up, tyres and suspension work on Toyota's new TF109, getting through a mammoth 149 tours of the desert circuit before he relinquishes the cockpit to team-mate Timo Glock for the remaining two days of the test.

"This has been a very good test for us," enthused the 34-year-old from Pescara. "I've covered well over 2,000km in three days and I feel happy with the car. It seems competitive and reliable, so a start like this gives us a solid base for the season ahead.

"There is still a lot of time before the first race and there is plenty of scope for teams to make big steps between now and Melbourne, so we will have to keep pushing hard to keep up the momentum in the factory and at the remaining tests. Still, so far so good."

"The second week of this test continues to go very well," concurred the Cologne-based outfit's senior general chassis manager Pascal Vasselon, "and today we were able to complete another full day of work on the TF109.

"Our programme included set-up, suspension and tyre comparisons and we made it through everything we had planned without any problems. The reliability of the TF109 is impressive and is helping us to make the most of the sessions. We look forward to more of the same over the rest of the week."

Bringing up the rear on the final timesheets, more than three tenths shy of Trulli, was Nick Heidfeld, who concentrated on mechanical set-up work on BMW-Sauber's new F1.09 - trying out various specifications of dampers and torsion bars - and practice starts towards the end of the day.

The German lost time early on, however, when a standard kill switch accidentally cut off the main electronic control unit on the car and engaged the automatic fire extinguishing system, necessitating some modifications to the switch linkage and limiting him to just 104 laps at the close.

"Today I drove the new BMW-Sauber F1.09 in warm weather conditions for the first time," remarked the 31-year-old, who will remain on-track for the duration of the test, "so the most important thing for me was to learn more about the general balance of the car. Overall it was a good day because I tried a lot of different set-up solutions. I already feel happy about how the car reacts to changes."

To see the testing times in full, click here



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