Rubens Barrichello put Williams on the top of the timesheets for the first time in pre-season testing on the second day of the second pre-season test session at Jerez.

The session opened in damp conditions, and despite their being some dry spells during the day, the circuit never completely dried. Heavy wind gusts were particularly a problem on Thursday, with one team describing it as "undoubtedly the worst" of the six days’ running there so far.

Barrichello’s quickest time was set in the late morning when the circuit was at its least wet – his time was 1:27.145 was over 4 seconds slower than Sebastien Vettel’s quickest time the day before, and over 7 seconds slower than the anticipated ‘dry track’ times one would expect to see on the 2.75-mile circuit.

Runner-up on the timesheets was – surprisingly – Vitaly Petrov in the Renault. The Russian rookie has, as yet, had next to no dry weather running in the R30, and while he managed to get a further 56 laps under his belt, he admits he is desperate for better conditions when he next returns to the cockpit at the final pre-season test at Barcelona.

Sebastian Vettel also completed his allotment of testing at Jerez, and completed 71 trouble-free laps in his Red Bull RB6.

Fourth on the timesheets was Nico Rosberg, who took over from his team-mate Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes GP. He completed the same number of laps as Vettel, but the team opted to limit him to pit stop prace drills in the afternoon as the conditions steadily worsened.

Despite being confined to the pitlane for two hours with a mechanical fault, Felipe Massa managed another 92 laps on his way to being fifth-quickest in the Ferrari F10.

Having had plenty of wet weather mileage under its belt, Sauber opted to limit Pedro de la Rosa’s running to just 8 laps for the day.

Virgin Racing couldn’t afford themselves this sort of luxury, having lost an abundance of time in their test outings – the team would no doubt be relieved that Timo Glock completed 72 laps. Glock did, however, bring out the red flag twice during the day – once after just 15 laps when he slid into the gravel at the Michelin Hairpin.

Nonetheless, his best time of 1:30.344 was impressively faster than Vitantonio Liuzzi (Force India), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) and Sébastien Buemi (Toro Rosso).

Bottom of the timesheets was Heikki Kovalainen in the Lotus, who slid into the Turn 3 barriers at lunchtime and curtailed the team’s running for the rest of the day due to a shortage of spare parts.

Thursday’s testing times:

1. Rubens Barrichello Williams Cosworth 1:27.145 (98 laps)
2. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:27.828 (56)
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 1:28.162 (71)
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:28.515 (71)
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:28.879 (92)
6. Pedro de la Rosa Sauber Ferrari 1:29.691 (8)
7. Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 1:30.344 (33)
8. Timo Glock Virgin Racing Cosworth 1:30.476 (72)
9. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India Mercedes 1:30.666 (24)
10. Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 1:30.979 (57)
11. Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:32.678 (57)
12. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth 1:33.554 (30)

[Image via ITV-F1]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.