Team Sauber-Petronas driver Felipe Massa set the pace today [Wednesday], during the second day of testing at Jerez, however unlike yesterday, conditions were far from good, with rain on and off throughout the day disrupting proceedings at the Spanish venue.

Massa though still managed 59 laps, his best a 1 minute 19.150 seconds, set in the dry before the heavens opened. He will hand the C23 over to team-mate, Jacques Villeneuve tomorrow.

"The mixed weather was not very helpful today and under such conditions I normally wouldn't say that it was a positive day," noted Sauber, race engineer, Giampaolo Dall'Ara. "But even though we were not able to run as many laps as planned, we could still learn a lot and the day was finally productive as the quick lap times show.

"We further adapted the car to the Michelin tyres and did some aerodynamic data validation as well as worked on the mechanical set-up of the C24.

"The next two days Jacques will further acclimatise to the team and the car. In addition, we have scheduled more aerodynamic tests and will continue to work with Michelin."

Jarno Trulli meanwhile was next up for Toyota, second quickest in a TF104B, which was being run to evaluate new aerodynamic parts for 2005. The Italian was just one tenth slower, after completing 56 laps.

His team-mate Ralf Schumacher in contrast managed only 35 laps in the sister Toyota, after going off the track.

Mark Webber was third for Williams, on a low 1min 20secs, he managed over 100 laps the most of anyone single driver. The Australian focused on Michelin tyre testing and electronics, as well as putting miles on the new FW26C interim car.

Nick Heidfeld was on track in the other FW26C, the German making his test debut for the Grove based squad as he seeks to secure a drive there in 2005. He was over two seconds slower, however due to the weather, comparing the times is misleading to say the least.

Sam Michael, Williams' technical director, told the teams' official website: "Even though the weather was mainly wet today, we completed a combined total of 917kms on the two FW26C interim cars, which is a good achievement at such an early stage with the new rear end. Mark worked on wet tyre testing for Michelin, electronics and reliability running.

"He was joined today by Nick Heidfeld who did a great job in the other car and also did some work on traction control. Tomorrow, Antonio [Pizzonia] is driving again with Nick."

Further down the field BAR-Honda duo Enrique Bernoldi and Takuma Sato, sandwiched Ferrari's Luca Badoer in fifth, the Brackley based boys completing 48 and 69 laps respectively, Taku running in the 2005 'concept' car.

Alan van der Merwe and Adam Carroll were also on track for BAR, as part of their 'Young Driver Programme'.

At Ferrari the 'sandwiched' Badoer completed over 60 laps despite a minor off, with Marc Gene 13th fastest, after notching up just 38. Both were working on a development programme of Bridgestone tyres and new components.

As usual the Scuderia were also at Fiorano, where Andrea Bertolini worked on new mechanical components. The Ferrari Maserati Group test driver completed a total of 55 laps, twenty one of them on the short version of the track. The best time on the day was a 1m 03.951s.

Of the rest, and returning to Jerez, Red Bull Racing were on track with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien, seventh and ninth fastest respectively, while Jordan kicked off their winter test programme, with Christijan Albers and Robert Doornbos.

Testing continues tomorrow [Thursday].

Leading times (1 December) - Jerez:

1. Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 1m 19.150s 59 laps M
2. Jarno Trulli Toyota-Toyota 1m 19.257s 56 laps M
3. Mark Webber Williams-BMW 1m 20.163s 106 laps M
4. Enrique Bernoldi BAR-Honda 1m 20.333s 48 laps M
5. Luca Badoer Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 21.658s 63 laps B
6. Takuma Sato BAR-Honda 1m 21.701s 69 laps M
7. Vitantonio Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth 1m 21.843s 48 laps M
8. Ralf Schumacher Toyota-Toyota 1m 22.071s 35 laps M
9. Christian Klien Red Bull-Cosworth 1m 22.655s 48 laps M
10. Nick Heidfeld Williams-BMW 1m 22.728s 101 laps M
11. Alan van der Merwe BAR-Honda 1m 23.686s 32 laps M
12. Christijan Albers Jordan-Cosworth 1m 24.450s 62 laps B
13. Marc Gene Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 25.248s 38 laps B
14. Robert Doornbos Jordan-Cosworth 1m 25.331s 74 laps M
15. Adam Carroll BAR-Honda 1m 28.831s 26 laps M

B denotes Bridgestone tyres
M denotes Michelin tyres.

Track conditions: Mixed - wet and dry on and off.

All times unofficial.

 

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