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02 Feb 2010

Valencia day two - Massa stays quickest in Spain

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F10. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 2 February 2010. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 2 February 2010. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) BMW Sauber C29. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 2 February 2010. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 2 February 2010. Williams FW32 detail. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 2 February 2010.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa took the top honours for a second consecutive day, as this week’s test at Valencia continued on Tuesday. Massa’s fastest time of 1m 11.722s in the Italian team’s new F10 was over three tenths of a second quicker than the best effort of Kamui Kobayashi, who made his debut for BMW Sauber at the Spanish track.

Massa continued with the development work he began on Monday, concentrating mainly on set-up evaluations and analysing tyre behaviour. The Brazilian, who covered 124 laps, will hand the Ferrari over to new team mate Fernando Alonso on Wednesday. Kobayashi completed 96 laps as he started work in the C29. The Japanese driver ran the car with different fuel levels and was pleased with his progress.

“It was definitely a good day,” said the 23 year-old. “We had no problems with the car and covered a lot of mileage. The car felt good. I enjoyed driving a lot and also working with the team. It was a difficult winter for everyone but they seem to have done a good job; I want to thank them for that. Now it is important to keep working hard for the remaining test opportunities.”

Exactly two-tenths down on Kobayashi was Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren MP4-25. Hamilton completed 108 laps during the course of the day, as he sampled his 2010 car for the first time. He continued the programme started by tester Gary Paffett on Monday, focusing on car set-up and evaluating the effects of the heavier fuel loads and narrower front tyres. Reigning world champion Jenson Button will be in action for the team on Wednesday.

Robert Kubica set the fourth-fastest time for Renault, ahead of Nico Rosberg for Mercedes GP. Both Kubica and Rosberg covered 119 laps. After he had spent Monday checking the car’s systems, Kubica spent Tuesday evaluating how the R30’s balance responded to different set-up changes. With overnight changes curing some of the understeer that had affected his pace in the car, Kubica was well satisfied.

“It’s quite different to what I have been used to, so it was important to get a good feel for how the car behaves,” he said. “We did one very long run, which went pretty well, and there have been no problems, which is a good sign for our reliability.”

Rosberg also enjoyed a productive session, despite some problems with his seating position, focusing on long runs which saw him cover a race distance mileage over the course of the day. He will hand over the car to team mate Michael Schumacher on Wednesday.

"I'm very pleased with our first full day of testing and we were really able to get into the programme and achieve some good work today,” said the young German. “We successfully completed a race distance on the car's second day of running and I'm quite happy with how the car felt on the longer runs with heavy fuel. It felt like the same car, just a little bit slower, but the balance was good.

“We've still got some work to do on my position in the car as I dropped down by 1.5 centimetres during the day which explains why the visibility got a little difficult towards the end but that's something we can fix before the next test. Overall it's been a positive start to our pre-season testing and I'm enjoying working with the team and feeling very comfortable here."

Sixth quickest was Rubens Barrichello for Williams, while Sebastien Buemi was the day’s final runner in seventh for Toro Rosso. After the gearbox problems that blighted his debut in the STR5 on Monday, Buemi was able to put in 107 laps, carrying out basic evaluations of the car’s systems and brakes.

“The car felt good today and I’m happy to have completed many more laps compared to yesterday,” said the Swiss driver. “We still had some minor issues, but we were able to fix these. By the end of the day we have collected a lot of data to analyse, which will help us to get a better understanding of the new car. All in all, it was a good day.”

Testing concludes at Valencia on Wednesday.

Unofficial Tuesday test times from Valencia:
1. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:11.722, 124 Laps
2. Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber, 1:12.056, 96 Laps
3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:12.256, 108 Laps
4. Robert Kubica, Renault, 1:12.426, 119 Laps
5. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP, 1:12.899, 119 Laps
6. Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 1:13.377, 102 Laps
7. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 1:13.823, 107 Laps