Pirelli’s official tyre test concluded in Abu Dhabi overnight, with Fernando Alonso continuing Ferrari’s pacesetting running on the new tyres by heading the timesheets in the final test session of the 2010 season.
The two-day test has given all twelve teams the opportunity to sample the Italian manufacturer’s tyre compounds they will present to the grid as part of their full-time return to the sport after a twenty-year absence.
The Spaniard completed the equivalent of two full race distances as he tried out the new tyres for the first time, after team-mate Felipe Massa headed the running in yesterday’s test.
Sebastian Vettel wound up second quickest at the end of the day – a repeat of the result yesterday. Coincidentally, he would have another repeat of the tyre failure he suffered yesterday as well – the first being blamed on track debris.
Williams’ Rubens Barrichello completed over 100 tours of the Yas Marina circuit and wound up third-fastest at the end of the day’s running, finishing up about half a second faster than fourth-quickest Robert Kubica.
McLaren’s test driver pairing of Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey were fifth- and sixth-fastest respectively, and there was little to separate the pair with DTM title hopeful Paffett proving the quicker by just 0.1 seconds.
Fellow DTM runner Paul di Resta was eighth fastest on his outing in the Force India – quicker than regular driver Vitantonio Liuzzi, who was eleventh-fastest – but he lost some mileage when a sensor fault shut down his car while on-track.
Michael Schumacher split the DTM rivals with the German getting his Mercedes GP seventh quickest by the end of the day’s proceedings. The seven-time World Champion had a time that was just 0.156 seconds off Alonso’s best lap disallowed when it was found he had cut a chicane that very lap.
Sauber fielded two drivers for the second day of testing, with Kamui Kobabayshi getting a second day on the Pirelli tyres, while the team’s new signing, Sergio Pérez, had his first outing on the Italian rubber. The Mexican lapped less than seven-tenths slower than his more experience team-mate.
Toro Rosso gave Sébastien Buemi an outing on the Pirelli rubber, and the Swiss driver wound up tenth fastest.
The three rookie squads predictably brought up the rear of the timing screens, with Jarno Trulli going quickest in his Lotus, a quarter of a second faster than Pastor Maldonado in the HRT, who was enjoying his second day’s running on the new-for-2011 tyres.
Timo Glock finished slowest of all runners in his Virgin Cosworth, but just fifteen thousandths of a second off Maldonado’s best lap.
Pirelli Tyre Test Day 2 Lap Times: