McLaren Tops 2009 Pack at Jerez
The Finnish driver clocked a time more than a second faster than what he had managed a day before, as the McLaren MP4-24 featured a 2008-spec rear wing. The Woking-based team is yet to implement the revised high-downforce rear wing for their 2009 challenger.
Third overall – second from all drivers running on 2009-spec cars and eventually the only one competing on an all-2009 aerodynamic package – was Australian driver Mark Webber. This was his first outing in an F1 car following his leg injury in November 2008. He only completed 83 laps overall, coming less than half-of-second behind Kovalainen.
Williams' Kazuki Nakajima replaced test driver Nico Hulkenberg in the FW31 on Wednesday, doing some 125 laps for the best time of 1:21.451. The Japanese driver tested several setups on the 2009 challenger, while also completing a full race simulation in his very first day of testing.
Again, Renault was at the bottom of the timing sheets at Jerez – just like it happened at Algarve a few weeks ago – as Nelsinho Piquet only clocked the best time of 1:21.908. The Brazilian again had a frustrating day in the R29 cockpit, as he only got to complete 49 laps. Nevertheless, Piquet improved his lap times by almost one-and-a-half seconds as compared to the first day of testing and is confident that his team will manage to further improve the car's performance by Friday.
Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton and Renault's ace Fernando Alonso are both expected to join the testing pack later today.