• Young driver testing

Paffett fastest on day two at Jerez

ESPNF1 Staff
December 2, 2009 « Bianchi signs long-term contract with Ferrari | »
Paffett was quickest in the McLaren on day two © Getty Images
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Experienced McLaren test driver Gary Paffett set the fastest time on the second day of young driver testing in Spain.

He recorded a best lap time of 1:18.718s, nearly 0.5s faster than Nico Hulkenberg in second place. Although Paffett has worked with the team regularly since 2006, he still qualifies for the young driver test because he - like all the other drivers present - has competed in less than three grand prix.

Mid-afternoon rain caused lap times to drop as the track became greasy and the cars less predictable. Nobody spun off and by the end of the session grip levels returned, allowing Hulkenberg and others to set their fastest lap.

Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest in the Red Bull and enjoyed a far more straightforward session, having ended up in the gravel on day one trying to avoid Brendon Hartley's accident.

"I found it a bit easier today," said Ricciardo. "I knew what to expect this morning and the procedures were easier to understand, so I was able to concentrate on improving my driving and hopefully give my best in terms of providing the engineers with good feedback."

Paul di Resta outperformed his testing partner JR Hildebrand again, setting the fourth fastest time for Force India before handing the car to the American in the afternoon. Esteban Gutierrez was next up as he drove his debut test for BMW Sauber - a prize for winning the European Formula BMW series in 2008.

Mike Conway and Marcus Ericsson were sixth and seventh fastest in the championship winning Brawn, currently being run under the Mercedes name. The pair were within 0.3s of each other but over 1.5s off Paffett's time.

Jules Bianchi completed the most laps of all with 113, as he focussed on longer runs in the Ferrari. It was announced midway through the day that he had signed a long-term contract with the team, which will likely see him groomed in the GP2 series over the next few seasons.

Renault tested both Lucas di Grassi and Ho-Pin Tung but neither was able to make an impression on the timing charts in the team's 2009 car. Mirko Bortolotti was slowest of all in the Toro Rosso, the second consecutive day the team has been at the bottom of the timesheets. He was the only driver to cause a red flag when his car stopped on track with mechanical problems and severely limiting his track time.

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