Pedro de la Rosa hit the front on the second day of Formula 1 testing at Jerez as preparations continued for the three fly-away events that will conclude the 2007 campaign.

The McLaren test driver, continuing at the wheel for a second day, focused on tyre work with Bridgestone and also on set-up for the three events in Japan, China and Brazil. The Spaniard also looked at a range of aerodynamic developments during the course of the day as en-route to a best time of 1min 19.267secs, putting him comfortably clear of second placed Mark Webber.

That however was still a solid showing from the Red Bull Racing man, who was the only other driver to break the 1min 20secs barrier during the day. His lap of 1min 19.947secs was three tenths up on third placed Nick Heidfeld, who took over from Timo Glock for BMW Sauber.

The German completed general set-up work, tested aerodynamic parts and tyres on his F1.07 with the team able to complete its programme without problems. Heidfeld will continue with the programme. Luca Badoer was fourth for Ferrari ahead of Tonio Liuzzi - who shared the Toro Rosso with team-mate Sebastien Vettel.

Liuzzi continued with his programme from the opening day, looking at car set-up, validating Tuesday's work and sorting a satisfactory balance on the car. Liuzzi also carried out work focusing on the rear wing. However, Vettel was unable to complete a lap as he was forced to stop on his out lap because of a problem with the right rear wheel. With the team investigating the cause of the problem, Vettel was unable to return to the track and will instead hit the track tomorrow.

Jenson Button was sixth ahead of Nelson Piquet for Renault, who wracked up more laps than anyone else for Renault. The youngster concentrated on aerodynamic work and brake testing and continued to run without the use of any driver aids.

"We've done a good day's work on the very abrasive Jerez circuit," he said. "It did me a lot of good to be back in the car because I always like to drive as much as possible. After 113 laps I said to myself, 'we've made a lot of progress as the programme's been completed.' We're continuing tomorrow on the basis of today's testing, and we hope to make another step forward and collect the maximum amount of data."

Ralf Schumacher was eighth for Toyota while Nico Rosberg was ninth for Williams, albeit having only completed 32 laps.

"Nico took over the reins from Kazuki for day two of running in Jerez," test team manager Dickie Stanford explained. "We were a little late getting started due to a hold up with some parts that were travelling over from the UK and Nico did a good job to get through most of his programme in the afternoon. He worked on systems checks with some 2008 parts and also signed off some components for the Japanese Grand Prix next week."

Testing continues on Thursday.

Testing times (18 September) - Jerez:

1. Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes 1min 19.267secs 70 laps
2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1min 19.947secs 109 laps
3. Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1min 20.249secs 70 laps
4. Luca Badoer Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 20.318secs 106 laps
5. Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 20.624secs 47 laps
6. Jenson Button Honda-Honda 1min 20.804secs 78 laps
7. Nelson Piquet Jr Renault-Renault 1min 21.101secs 114 laps
8. Ralf Schumacher Toyota-Toyota 1min 21.608secs 79 laps
9. Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1min 22.863secs 32 laps

all times unofficial - courtesy McLaren

Track/weather conditions: Sunny during the morning, with some cloud cover later in the day: Track temperature, 50.6?C / Ambient temperature, 28.4?C

 

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