Brazilian Felipe Massa set the pace on the second day of this week's testing at the Jerez circuit, where a total of seven teams and 15 drivers were in action today.
Massa, at the wheel of the Michelin-shod Sauber, posted a time that was nearly two seconds faster than the closest of his rivals. The Brazilian set the time in the dry after the morning had been wet due to some overnight rains which hindered the teams early on.
"The mixed weather was not very helpful today and under such conditions I normally wouldn't say that it was a positive day," said Sauber's race engineer Giampaolo Dall'Ara. "But even we were not able to run as many laps as planned, we could still learn a lot and the day was finally productive as the quick lap times show.
"We further adapted the car to the Michelin tyres and did some aerodynamic data validation as well as worked on the mechanical set-up of the C24."
Massa finished ahead of Jarno Trulli in the Toyota. Both him and Ralf Schumacher were in action at the wheel of the Toyota TF104B as the Japanese squad continued with their preparation work for the 2005 season. Schumacher was involved in one of the incidents of the day, when he went off the track and crashed into the tyre barriers.
Nick Heidfeld completed his first day of work with the Williams team, although the German failed to impress after setting a time that was over two seconds slower than Australian Mark Webber, who drove the second BMW-powered FW26C.
"Even though the weather was mainly wet today, we completed a combined total of 917kms on the two FW26C interim cars, which is a good achievement at such an early stage with the new rear end," said Williams technical director Sam Michael.
"Mark worked on wet tyre testing for Michelin, electronics and reliability running. He was joined today by Nick Heidfeld who did a great job in the other car and also did some work on traction control. Tomorrow, Antonio is driving again with Nick."
2003 British Formula Three champion Alan van der Merwe made his Formula One debut today at the wheel of the BAR-Honda as the Brackley-based squad continue with their evaluation of young drivers. The South African worked alongside Adam Carroll, runner-up in this year's British F3 championship, as he too made his Formula One debut.
Van der Merwe was the quickest of the two, posting a time over five seconds quicker than Carroll. BAR had four drivers on track, with Enrique Bernoldi in the 006 as Japanese Takuma Sato drove the concept car to the sixth quickest time of the day.
World Champions Ferrari worked with both their test drivers, with Luca Badoer finishing as fifth fastest ahead of Spaniard Marc Gene, 11th today.
Red Bull Racing, still to confirm their drivers for next season, continued working with Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi, the Austrian at the wheel of the R5 while the Italian worked with the R5C chassis. Liuzzi was the fastest of the two with a best time of 1:21.900.
The Jordan team kicked off today their first test since the end of the 2004 season, with Dutch drivers Robert Doornbos and Christijan Albers, the former at the wheel of an interim car powered by the Ford engine while the latter drove the 2004 machine.
Albers was faster than Doornbos, but both men finished close to the bottom of the times.
Testing resumes tomorrow, when Renault and McLaren will join the session.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time Laps 1. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1.17.513 60 2. Trulli Toyota (M) 1.19.287 56 3. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1.20.171 105 4. Bernoldi BAR-Honda (M) 1:20.370 46 5. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:21.672 61 6. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:21.724 65 7. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:21.900 47 8. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:22.069 35 9. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:22.713 45 10. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:22.731 98 11. Gene Ferrari (B) 1:23.191 41 12. van der Merwe BAR-Honda (M) 1:23.730 30 13. Albers Jordan-Ford (B) 1:24.452 60 14. Doornbos Jordan-Ford (B) 1:25.291 71 15. Carroll BAR-Honda (M) 1:28.865 24 All Timing Unofficial
Visit Atlas F1's Testing Center for further information