Fernando Alonso was fastest on the second day's running at Valencia Fernando Alonso has taken Ferrari to the top of the timesheets on the second day of the first pre-season test at Valencia Ricardo Tormo circuit on Wednesday.

Sebastian Vettel highlighted the new Red Bull’s underlying pace by finishing second overall, while Paul di Resta was third-quickest in the 2010 Force India.

Conditions were once again dry and sunny, although teams were faced with chilly conditions at the start of the day with thermometers reading just 2ºC (36ºF) when the track was opened for running at 9am local time. Once the day got going, conditions improved, with the mercury nudging 17°C (63ºF) in the afternoon.

Several drivers had their first outings of the 2010 season, with Team Lotus also debuting its Renault-powered T128 chassis for the first time. The team did not run on the first day of testing, exchanging its allocation in place of a private day’s testing on Heikki Kovalainen sampled the Lotus T128 for the first time the circuit on Friday.

Heikki Kovalainen finished at the bottom of the running with a power steering problem after only a few laps, but reported that the new car already had better handling characteristics than its more conservative predecessor.

Red Bull Racing elected to split its running between Sebastien Vettel and Mark Webber, with the German running in the morning and the Australian allocated the afternoon’s driving duties. But it was a day of limited running for Webber, who managed just a handful of laps in the last half-hour of the day after time was lost with the mechanics repairing an issue with the pedals on the new RB7.

Other names to make their 2011 track debut were Lewis Hamilton – in the older-spec McLaren – and Robert Kubica, who will have back-to-back days in the Renault R31. The duo finished fourth- and fifth-quickest, respectively.

nico Rosberg enjoyed a more productive day in the Mercedes GP Sixth-fastest was Nico Rosberg in the new Mercedes GP, enjoying considerably more running in the new car after an hydraulics problem limited his running the day before.

Finishing higher up the timesheets than normal was Timo Glock, who took the older-spec Virgin Racing VR-01 to the giddy heights of seventh-fastest and two seconds adrift of Alonso’s best lap.

Two GP2 graduates in the form of Pastor Maldonado (Williams) and Sergio Pérez (Sauber) also got their first taste of the 2011 machinery, with Pérez finishing ninth-quickest and Maldonado a spot behind.

The Toro Rosso pairing of Sébastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari rounded out the top-twelve, followed by Webber.

Narain Karthikeyan finished up second-slowest of the fifteen runners of the day, but raised a few eyebrows when he peaked as high as sixth-fastest with a rapid lap time from seemingly nowhere, although that was later disallowed when it emerged he had cut the circuit.

The day’s running was interrupted by three red flags, the first of which was caused by Rubens Barrichello parking his Williams with an electrical problem half an hour after the day’s running began.

Just twenty minutes after proceedings at been restarted, Paul di Resta spun backwards into the gravel a Turn 2, thankfully arresting his Force India’s speed before he rear-ended the tyre barriers.

Buemi was the cause for the final stoppage, when he parked his Toro Rosso on the start/finish straight.


Valencia Pre-Season Test (Day 2) Lap Times:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari F150 1:13.307 108
2. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault RB7 + 0.307 43
3. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM03* + 0.537 111
4. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-25* + 1.046 83
5. Robert Kubica POL Renault R31 + 1.105 104
6. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 1.338 69
7. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth VR-01* + 2.101 34
8. Rubens Barrichello BRA Williams Cosworth FW33 + 2.716 51
9. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C30 + 2.891 42
10. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Cosworth FW33 + 2.959 29
11. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 3.052 46
12. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 3.167 64
13. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Renault RB7 + 4.058 17
14. Narain Karthikeyan IND HRT Cosworth F110* + 4.462 80
15. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Lotus Renault T128 + 7.342 15

* Denotes interim-spec or 2010 model

[Original images via AUTOSPORT and GP Update]

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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.