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Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

Friday testing as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times GMT)
606: DEBATE

To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used)

By Mark Orlovac

1615: So another fascinating day is over. Rookie Hulkenberg finishes with a quicker time than Alonso, while McLaren do not make the headlines - although they say there will be updates for Saturday. There are hydraulic troubles for Lotus while Red Bull stop again. Read the full report here. Thank you for reading and thanks for all your comments, they make my day. See you again tomorrow for more nonsense. Take care.

1612: Here's a full list of times for you before I go: Hulkenberg (1:20.614), Alonso (120.637), De la Rosa (1:20.973), Liuzzi (1:21.056), Vettel (1:21.258), Alguersuari (1:21.571), Schumacher (1:21.689), Hamilton (1:22.152), Kubica (1:24.912), Trulli (1:25.524), Glock (1:25.942).

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Jarno went out on new tyres but stopped with another steering rack hydraulic problem. Lots of work tonight. Generally very good progress on setup direction today from Jarno. Long way to go but direction very clear."

1601: That is it for day two. The Hulk leads the way with a 1:20.614 with Alonso, De la Rosa and Liuzzi following behind.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Men in red suits are peering under the bottom of Alonso's Ferrari. It's quite an inspection and rather unusually they are towing it home."

1556: It's another red flag in Barcelona, this time it's Fernando Alonso. That could bring the day to a close. On a happier note, my bike has been fixed and for a price which does not require me to re-mortgage my house.

Virgin on Twitter: "Timo just getting back in for a last few laps after another change in set-up. This is a real test day at last!"

Ferrari on Twitter: "A very intense afternoon for Alonso. Race simulation completed successfully. Now there is a lot of work for the engineers to analyse the data."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "It's that man Jarno Trulli again for Lotus. Maybe it wasn't such a good speedy repair job on the car after all. Oh dear."

1542: Oops, another red flag. Jarno Trulli's Lotus has stopped for the second time this afternoon.

Renault on Twitter: "Limited running this afternoon so we'll try the race distance later this week. Robert's still working on set-up."

1530: Interesting chat from Jonathan Legard there about McLaren. All eyes tomorrow will be on Button's performance. We have a green flag, and there is 30 minutes until the close.

BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard in Barcelona: "I ran into Mike Gascoyne at the back of the Lotus garage after Jarno Trulli's stop on track this afternoon. The technical chief isn't too worried and told me it was nothing major, just a hydraulic leak. He's very happy with the rookie team's progress. I also gleaned a bit of information about McLaren, who haven't been among the headline-makers so far in Barcelona. The team are planning a whole raft of updates for Saturday when Jenson Button will be back in the car. The new parts are arriving on Friday night from the team's Woking headquarters."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Another red flag. Sebastian Vettel this time has stopped for Red Bull - just like team-mate Mark Webber did on Thursday. What's going on?"

ferrarista1 on 606: "McLaren are doing lots better than Mercedes, I wonder how long that will go on them having the Mercedes engine. I don't think Mercedes will allow that for a long time. I am happily surprised by the pace of the Cosworth engines, especially in the Williams."

Force India on Twitter: "The team will now move to prepare the second chassis that will be tested tomorrow by Adrian Sutil."

1513: Liuzzi has completed his race simulation and Force India say "that's the close of the programme for us today". The Italian is currently fourth on the timesheets with a best of 1:21.056.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Barcelona: "Nico Hulkenberg, sitting pretty with the fastest time seen at the Barcelona test so far, said that Williams were planning on adding some unspecified aerodynamic updates to the car on Friday. It's so far so good for Sir Frank Williams's team, winners of nine constructors' championships, in their 2010 build-up. When asked about what he could achieve on his race debut, Hulkenberg, 22, said: 'A fastest lap could be possible but I'm not sure about a podium. Unlike last year I hope we can carry forward our Friday pace into qualifying and the race. We have a good baseline with this car and the engine and my goal is to score many, many points.'"

1504: Talking of McLaren, just a quick update on how 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton is faring. He is currently on a fairly long stint and his best time of 1:22.152, which was set just before lunch, is the eighth fastest of the day so far.

355gts on 606: "Concerned with McLaren's pace. Last week they were great, this week seem off the boil. Maybe surpassed by other's updates. Hope they have something back at Woking for Bahrain."

From Rowan in London via text on 81111 or +44 7786200666: "What Peter from Glasgow forgets is that the times set by Alonso this morning were during the first set of qualifying simulations Ferrari have undertaken this year; they already have their long runs sorted. Ominous stuff."

1456: Lotus technical director Mike Gascoyne explains what happened to Jarno Trulli's car on his Twitter feed. "A seal failed in the power steering. Rack fitted and car set-up checked. Jarno getting ready to resume run with rear set-up change."

Mercedes on Twitter: "The car's been in the garage for a little while whilst we made some changes but Michael's back in now and almost ready to go out... "

Virgin on Twitter: "Timo coming in. His best that session was 1:25.9, a useful improvement."

jonnybario on 606: "Williams (I am biased admittedly) are starting to look very good - certainly better than Mercedes. The Hulk was second overall yesterday and fastest so far today and they have been piling in the laps at every test day so far. I think they will definitely knocking on the top four at the start of this season."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Hulkenberg, who'll make his race debut in Bahrain, promised updates were coming but this looks like some qualifying simulation from Williams ."

1439: Well, well. I didn't think Alonso's time would be beaten today but it has... by Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg. He completes a blistering lap of 1:20.614 to shave 0.023 off Alonso's time.

1429: We now have a lovely photo gallery from today's testing up and running. Take a look here. Meanwhile, Virgin driver Timo Glock, who had to wait two-and-half hours before starting today's testing following Lucas di Grassi's crash yesterday, has just set his best time of the day - 1:26.425.

From Peter in Glasgow via text on 81111 or +44 7786200666: "Ferrari are just going for glory runs to please the Spanish Alonso fans. Testing is exactly what it says on the tin - testing. Time spent to dot the i's and cross the t's."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Sauber's Pedro de la Rosa is the first out, he probably wants to look at the pit-straight banner that reads 'Pedro, you'll never race alone'."

1419: Liuzzi was in the pits for what Force India said were going to be "new soft tyres" when the red flag came out. The team now says that the "car won't be touched now until the track goes green so race sim can be resumed". That can happen now as we have a green flag.

1411: I was just about to type that there have been no stoppages today when... the first red flag of the day comes out. The Lotus of Jarno Trulli is the culprit, technical director Mike Gascoyne tweets that a "hydraulic leak has stopped the car".

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Barcelona: "After Virgin, came Lotus in the BBC lunch-time feeding frenzy. It really is hungry work all this car watching, you know. We were also invited to hear more about the progress of the car which the team say is evolving all the time. The Malaysian-backed team are bringing the Lotus name back to F1 after a 16-year absence and hopes are high that over time the famous name will once again be on a par with Ferrari and McLaren. Technical director Mike Gascoyne, who strolled in humourously describing himself as "small, fat and ugly" and team owner Tony Fernandes are the key forces in providing a friendly and fun atmosphere at the rookie team. For the foodies out there, the hard-working Lotus F1 were snacking on halal Cornish pasties, as the team respects Malaysia's Muslim traditions, while I had some salmon and cream cheese followed by apple pie."

From Deepan in London via text on 81111 or +44 7786200666: "What must be really worrying the other teams is the Ferrari's consistent solid pace on longer runs. Looks like Ferrari have hit the sweet spot on the design of the car this year!"

Renault on Twitter: "He's not in the car, but Vitaly [Petrov] is at the track keeping an eye on Robert's [Kubica] progress. In fact, he's just having a massage with his physio."

1344: The teams seem to be doing long runs at the moment with the likes of Vettel and Liuzzi putting in some miles. Lotus driver Jarno Trulli goes above Virgin's Timo Glock into 10th with a time of 1:25.524.

BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie: "I was invited by Mercedes for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the garage as Michael Schumacher prepared to go for another run on Friday. The seven-time world champion usually gets ready in the back of the garage but he was already sat in the car looking very focused - until my cameraman and I turned up and stood in front of him! His new race engineer Andrew Shovlin, who was the steady voice behind Jenson Button's world title last year, was there as well as fellow engineer Peter Bonnington. Team members then took the boards off the front of the garage - there to keep out prying eyes - and Schumacher was out and off down the pit lane. Don't worry, cameraman Mat and I got out of the way first!"

MajorDanby on 606: "I think the slower times being set by McLaren yesterday and today are because they are trying to evaluate any balance changes due to the upgrades brought to the track today. I think as soon as they have some baselines for the data between the two set-ups on heavier fuel runs, we will start to see some qualifying times out of them by the end of the day."

Claire Williams of the Williams team on Twitter: "All the drivers ran safety car practice runs just before lunch. They have to meet a certain time that is transmitted to their dash. Clever."

From Chris in Chesterfield via text on 81111 or +44 7786200666: Afternoon Mark. I, and I'm sure many of your other readers, would like to know how your puncture repair went!"
You are very kind Chris, I'm waiting for the dreaded call to inform me how much the damage is. Blasted nails.

Lotus on Twitter: "Doing various tyre runs and mechanical set ups... sunny, warm and totally lovely."

1305: Just by way of a quick comparison, Alonso's quickest time of 1:20.637 set today would have seen him qualify in second for last year's Spanish Grand Prix. Button was on pole with a time of 1:20.527. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, Vettel and Liuzzi are first drivers to make a move after the interval.

Renault on Twitter: "It's a full house at RF1. Not a spare seat for lunch. The motorhome is buzzing with guests. The chocolate soufflé was particularly popular."

1256: Look lively, we're about to resume. Will anyone beat the quick time set by Alonso? We've got three hours to find out.

Associated_Press on 606: "I can't make any sense out of what Schumacher and Hamilton are doing. Ferrari just look quick wherever they go. The F10 is on rails. Red Bull look handy too."

Claire Williams of the Williams team on Twitter: "Session stopped for lunch. Nico completed 82 laps this morning, fastest time of 1:23.513, doing long runs."

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Made some definite progress with the ride of the car. Jarno happier and a clear direction for improvement."

1201: That's it. We can all take a break as the chequered flag has fallen for the lunch interval. Here's a quick summary of the times so far: Alonso (1:20.637), De La Rosa (1:20.973), Liuzzi (1:21.056), Vettel (1.21.258), Alguersuari (1:21.571), Schumacher (1:21.689), Hamilton (1:22.152), Hulkenberg (1:23.513), Kubica (1:24.912), Glock (1:26.622), Trulli (1:26.677). I'm now off to see how much a mechanic will fleece me for fixing a punctured tyre on my scooter. Wish me luck.

Renault on Twitter: "Almost lunch-time. So far Robert's [Kubica] clocked up 40 laps doing short runs. We're still aiming to do the race distance this afternoon."

1146: That's the last we will be seeing from the Ferrari team this morning, they are taking an early break as there is "some set-up change to be done on the car". Hamilton in the McLaren clocks his quickest time of 1:22.152 while Schumacher records a 1:21.689. The seven-time world champion has the sixth fastest time of the day so far.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "I've witnessed with my own eyes Michael Schumacher replete with red helmet emerging from the Mercedes pits for a pre-lunch spin."

Claire Williams of the Williams team on Twitter: "Nico [Hulkenberg] seems to be lapping relentlessly. He must be exhausted, bet he can't wait for lunch break! On lap 66 now, more than anyone else."

1134: Vettel, who finished runner-up to Jenson Button in the world championship last year, is up to fourth on the timesheets following a 1:21.258.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "A fast lap of the day for Mr Sebastian Vettel. He's gone round in 1:21.455 - which just, just, betters team-mate Webber's day-one time."

VW Pete via text on 81111 or +44 7786200666:
"Good to see rule changes giving a level playing field this year but Alonso is on fire today. Will need a brave run to better that time."

1119: Italian Jarno Trulli is currently bottom of the times for new F1 outfit Lotus but is ready to go back out on the track after repairs to the seat fixing. Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Seat fixed and ready to go again. Jarno not happy with the balance so will do some tests to investigate."

BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard in Barcelona:
"I've been on a fact-finding mission at Virgin Racing, whose return to the track on Friday was delayed following Lucas di Grassi's crash on day one of the test. It was another long night for Virgin as they tried to sort out hydraulics problems - something they were dogged by in Jerez. The new parts have now been fitted to the VR-01 and the team are keen to get cracking with some proper running after losing time on Thursday."

1110: Alonso is not lapping as quickly now. Here's the latest Ferrari update on Twitter: "Back on standard for Alonso. So far it was an interesting and productive day."

Force India on Twitter: "Morning programme has been completed and we're moving on to longer runs this afternoon after the lunch-time break."

Webbers-Ugly-Brother on 606: "Conditions are different today, and even a small change in temperature can have a massive effect on the times. Also, we still don't know anything about fuel loads. There's no doubt Alonso will be competitive this year, but to say he's miles ahead of everyone else based on this year's testing results is premature to say the least."

Mercedes on Twitter: "Some more changes to the car and Michael [Schumacher] is now out doing a sequence of runs with some practice pit stop activity."

1044: Alonso is putting in some quick laps with that Ferrari of his - setting a new fast time of 1:20.637. Vettel in the Red Bull goes steadily quicker in his little burst with a best time of 1:21.606. Former McLaren reserve driver Pedro de la Rosa, now with Sauber, is third quickest with a 1:21.433.

Virgin on Twitter: "Installation lap OK on rebuilt car - a new start procedure outside the garage highlighted a small heat shield issue which is being fixed."

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Seat fixing broken so a bit of down time to repair."

1035: Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber set the fastest time on the opening day in Barcelona and said afterwards on his new Twitter account: "Good day's work. Still learning loads about new wagon, team performing well, I have the feeling it is going to be tight in the Middle East!!"

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Timo Glock has eased the repaired Virgin out for what is known as an installation lap. Now he's gone back to the pits, maybe for a cuppa."

1023: Vitantonio Liuzzi and Jaime Alguersuari are busy trading times this morning. Alguersuari reclaims second only for Italian Liuzzi to nab it back with a 1:21.056.

1017: Now this commentary would be nothing without you lot so here's how you can get involved. There's 606, you can text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 or you can use the ultra-modern Twitter. I would like to apologise in advance for the photo on my account, I look as if I'm bursting for the loo. I must do something about it. Anyway, get in contact and I'll use as many contributions as I can throughout the day. Excellent.

BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie:
"I spoke to a buoyant Mike Gascoyne in Barcelona. The Lotus F1 technical director has been happy with both the car's performance and reliability and says the team are exactly where they hope to be. He also tells me that because of time constraints, the team are already running quite close to their Bahrain set-up. But the former Renault and Toyota technical chief says the car could be stronger aerodynamically."

Lotus on Twitter: "22 laps in and the sun's shining (first real heat on UK skin since Oct 09 - those of us with northern euro complexions looking a bit nervous)."

0959: Following yesterday's crash, Virgin are the only team not have come out so far today. Here's the latest from their Twitter feed: "The guys are busy completing the car rebuild after a long night at the track and Timo will be hitting the asphalt very soon..."

0953: It was an action-packed opening day at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday, with numerous red flags, a crash for Brazilian Lucas di Grassi which ended the day's testing for Virgin, and a fastest time of one minute, 21.487 seconds set by Mark Webber in the Red Bull. Alonso has already eclipsed that this morning with his 1:20.738, Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi has just gone second with a 1:21.812, Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari is third while Hamilton is currently fifth quickest after a 1:22.924.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Barcelona:
"It is a gloriously sunny day in Barcelona with winter blue skies and the temperature rising to 14C. After what he described as "not a perfect" first day, Fernando Alonso has got out of bed in fiery mood for Ferrari. The Spaniard has made the morning even better for the flock of home fans as he has clocked the fastest time seen at the Barcelona test so far with a 1:20.738. More significantly, Alonso set that time during a run of consistently fast laps which suggests he probably had a fair splash of fuel on board. Elsewhere, Lewis Hamilton is back in the car for McLaren, Michael Schumacher returns for Mercedes while Robert Kubica is at the helm of the Renault. More than plenty to keep us occupied on day two of the final test, I'd say."

0936: Morning gang. Yesterday we had Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Mark Webber, now it's the turn of Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and er... Alonso again. Welcome to the second day of the event they are now calling, 'Barcelona pre-season testing'.



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see also
Williams novice upstages Alonso
26 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
F1 testing photos
28 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull in best shape - Webber
25 Feb 10 |  Formula 1


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