The second day of the Jerez test saw Michael Schumacher set the fastest time but also there were key indicators of the sheer performance of the Red Bull, the reigning world champions.
In contrast Red Bull’s Mark Webber never went for a fast lap, but his sequences of laps showed less differential between times. The same was true of Felipe Massa in the Ferrari F150th Italia, which looks to be kind on its tyres, like its predecessor.
Witnesses trackside said that Webber was following Schumacher on a long run in the afternoon and had to frequently drop back to create space before closing up again. The Red Bull was visibly superior under braking and in the faster corners.
Jenson Button had his first run in the new McLaren and was very upbeat about it afterwards, telling reporters that he felt the car was a step up. He used KERS today for the first time in his career. He also tried out the adjustable rear wing, although not on a timed lap and he kept his mirrors trained on the wing during his evaluation run to monitor its movement.
Williams have been having a miserable Jerez test. Yesterday the car covered just 14 laps after various teething problems and today the car spent three and a half hours in the garage with a KERS related problem. In addition to that Pastor Maldonado went off and recovered three times at the chicane before crashing the car.
Sergio Perez also had an accident in the Sauber in the afternoon, bringing his running to an end.
Tomorrow Nick Heidfeld will drive the Renault as he auditions for the role left by Robert Kubica.
Additional reporting: Tom Clarkson
JEREZ TEST, DAY 2
1. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m20.352s 112 laps
2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m20.413s + 0.061s 116 laps
3. Jenson Button McLaren 1m21.009s + 0.657s 69 laps
4. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1m21.214s + 0.862s 72 laps
5. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m21.613s + 1.261s 113 laps
6. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m21.780s + 1.428s 73 laps
7. Sergio Perez Sauber 1m21.857s + 1.505s 56 laps
8. Timo Glock Virgin 1m22.208s + 1.856s 57 laps
9. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m22.493s + 2.141s 65 laps
10. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m22.591s + 2.239s 38 laps
11. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1m23.216s + 2.864s 40 laps