x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Kobayashi sets the pace for Sauber

Kamui Kobayashi set the pace on the second day of testing at Jerez as the teams finally managed to get some serious mileage on the board.

Kamui Kobayashi set the pace on the second day of testing at Jerez as the teams finally managed to get some serious mileage on the board following Wednesday's rain-affected sessions. Kobayashi, the Japanese driver, was one of five drivers to rack up over 100 laps as his Sauber team and their rivals took full advantage of the improved conditions in Spain. Kobayashi took top spot with a late effort of 1min 19.950 secs to dislodge long-time pacesetter Sebastien Buemi.

The Toro Rosso driver completed 121 laps of the 2.751-mile circuit as he finished less than a tenth off the pace. Jenson Button continued to get to grips with his new McLaren, posting the third-quickest time, half-a-second down on the benchmark after concentrating his efforts on aerodynamic mapping and variable fuel-load runs. Button stopped his car out on the circuit when a warning light came on late in the day but the team later confirmed it had just been a precautionary measure.

A hydraulic leak cramped Nico Hulkenberg's efforts early in the day but the German rookie recovered to post the fourth-fastest time for Williams, while Vitantonio Liuzzi was fifth for Force India. At 41 years, Michael Schumacher is far and the away the oldest driver in the field, but the seven-time champion belied his advancing years by pounding around for 124 laps today on his way to the sixth-fastest time.

"I managed to complete a lot of laps which is very precious to me," said Schumacher. "A new car, a new team and new conditions, therefore our first goal has to be to make the car reliable. Days like today help massively in that respect." The Ferrari of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso was down in seventh after concentrating on longer runs. * PA Sport