Michael Schumacher continued to make it look as though he had never been away by remaining on top of the timesheets during the second day of F1 winter testing in Barcelona - and not only that, but he nearly doubled the margin of his dominance from day one.

With the 2007 cars deprived of traction control for the first time, the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion wound up almost four tenths of a second clear of McLaren test-driver Pedro de la Rosa, as both the German and ex-team-mate, fourth-placed Felipe Massa, worked on the development of new components and electronics on the F2007. Schumacher will make way for test-driver Luca Badoer on the third and final day of the test on Thursday.

De la Rosa, meanwhile, covered 60 laps of his home circuit, with fellow Woking tester Gary Paffett backing the Spaniard up in fifth, just under half a second further back. The only driver to break the Ferrari-McLaren monopoly at the front of proceedings was Renault's Heikki Kovalainen, who slotted into third position with a lap just four hundredths of a second shy of de la Rosa's best effort. The Finn was the R?gie's sole representative on day two, having been joined by Nelson Piquet Jnr on Tuesday, and he spent his time on set-up work, brakes and testing the reliability of next season's common ECU.

"The day went pretty well," Kovalainen confirmed, despite suffering a minor electrical glitch. "We lost a little bit of track time early afternoon, but it was nothing serious and I reckon we've made good progress. The car ran well and we're going in the right direction. That's what really counts."

"We've made a good step forward today," concurred test chief engineer Christian Silk. "The mechanics did a really good job to allow us to cover the maximum number of laps and Heikki made good progress. He's found his marks and he feels comfortable in the car, which has proved reliable over the last two days. Tomorrow we're hoping to take full advantage of our last day here to complete our programme."

Nico Rosberg set the sixth-quickest time for Williams - three spots and seven tenths of a second clear of recently-confirmed 2008 team-mate Kazuki Nakajima, while David Coulthard ensured a Red Bull Racing presence inside the top ten by lapping eighth-fastest, evaluating a number of new mechanical and aero components on the RB3. The Scot was joined for the second successive day by Karun Chandhok, the GP2 race-winner impressing by going eleventh-quickest, exactly seven tenths in arrears as he tried out various electrical systems. The Indian will make way for regular RBR test-driver Robert Doornbos on day three.

Nick Heidfeld completed a marathon 102 laps for BMW-Sauber in eighth, as team-mate Robert Kubica encountered technical issues. The Pole consequently only managed to cover 37 tours of the Circuit de Catalunya and had to settle for the 14th-best time at the close, half a second further back. The duo once again focused on testing the new standard ECU for 2008, alongside several aerodynamic parts and mechanical components for next year.

Sebastian Vettel in the Scuderia Toro Rosso rounded out the top ten, with new boy and four-time Champ Car king S?bastien Bourdais getting to within four tenths of a second of the German's time in 16th. Both drivers separately tested a car with the 2008 common ECU and one with 2007 electronics but traction control and engine braking switched off. Bourdais' afternoon programme also included some aero testing, while both men continued to evaluate new brake materials.

Jenson Button ended the day twelfth for Honda, five spots and four tenths of a second ahead of impressive GP2 graduate Luca Filippi as the Italian tries out a Formula 1 car for the first time during the test. Jarno Trulli was a low-key 13th for Toyota - almost a full two seconds off the leading pace, with the Japanese squad's test-driver Franck Montagny back in 18th out of the 21 drivers present as both Toyota pilots went for a spin under the Spanish sun.

"Today was a smooth day for me," the Italian remarked afterwards, despite winding up in the gravel trap in the morning session. "Again I enjoyed myself driving without traction control, and I must say we had a very positive and productive day.

"We were testing several things which made our car quicker. I lost part of the morning because I went off in the gravel, but apart from that we got the best out of our day. We have had some good and clear indications for next year regarding car development so I am very happy."

Montagny, for his part, carried on working on the standard ECU for 2008, as well as other development items. Like Trulli, the Frenchman similarly brought out the red flags when he caught the kerbs at turn 13 and spun backwards into the wall, damaging the rear of his car. However, his crew worked hard to get the TF107 ready in time for the afternoon session and, in spite of issues with the standard ECU, he was able to resume and gather important data.

"I've had quite a bad day really today," the 29-year-old acknowledged. "The car looked quite good yesterday, even if it was not perfect, but today with more grip from the track surface we were struggling to find the right set-up.

"I had a problem getting the tyres up to temperature and spun in the morning, which took a couple of hours to repair. Then we had a software problem which cost us more time. Even though I am driving a modified car with some 2008 elements, we were expecting better. It was disappointing but I hope we can improve tomorrow."

"Today was quite a productive day," countered Toyota senior general chassis manager Pascal Vasselon. "We made good progress on Jarno's car working on set-up comparisons, and we are pleased with the results which are very encouraging.

"Franck again worked with 2008 development parts and the new standard ECU and, even though he suffered some delays and was not entirely happy, he was able to bring back some information which will help our understanding. We will continue with that programme tomorrow when we hope to make more progress."

Anthony Davidson set the 15th-fastest time for Super Aguri as the Briton continued the on-going development of the MES controls system in the morning session, whilst simultaneously completing a programme of engine and gearbox settings. In the afternoon the team focused on 2008 suspension settings and aero work.

The three Force India machines of Christian Klien, Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi brought up the rear, as all three drivers lapped within almost a tenth of each other. The newly-renamed outfit completed more than 1,000km over the course of the day, reporting encouraging progress and no problems.

Testing times (14 November) - Barcelona:

1. Michael Schumacher Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 21.486secs 90 laps
2. Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes 1min 21.857secs 60 laps
3. Heikki Kovalainen Renault-Renault 1min 21.894secs 65 laps
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 22.044secs 56 laps
5. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1min 22.293secs 57 laps
6. Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1min 22.333secs 64 laps
7. David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1min 22.555secs 74 laps
8. Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1min 22.946secs 102 laps
9. Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1min 23.021secs 78 laps
10. Sebastian Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 23.187secs 74 laps
11. Karun Chandhok Red Bull-Renault 1min 23.255secs 57 laps
12. Jenson Button Honda-Honda 1min 23.358secs 79 laps
13. Jarno Trulli Toyota-Toyota 1min 23.465secs 54 laps
14. Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1min 23.488secs 37 laps
15. Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 1min 23.547secs 80 laps
16. Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 23.596secs 74 laps
17. Luca Filippi Honda-Honda 1min 23.753secs 72 laps
18. Franck Montagny Toyota-Toyota 1min 23.977secs 45 laps
19. Christian Klien Force India-Ferrari 1min 24.446secs 56 laps
20. Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1min 24.537secs 105 laps
21. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Ferrari 1min 24.555secs 55 laps

All times unofficial - courtesy of McLaren-Mercedes

Track/weather conditions: Overcast during the morning, with sunny spells during the afternoon. Track temperature, 24.4?C/Ambient temperature, 15.7?C.

Comparative lap times:

Spanish GP 2007:

Pole position: Felipe Massa Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 21.421secs [Q3] / 1min 20.597secs [Q2] / 1min 21.375secs [Q1]Fastest lap: Felipe Massa Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 22.680secs

 

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