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Michael Schumacher fastest as Mark Webber is best-placed of 2012 cars in Jerez test

Michael Schumacher led the way in the second morning of Formula 1's pre-season test at Jerez, while Mark Webber was the best of the runners in 2012 machinery

It was the Australian who set the early pace as he dropped down to a 1m19.184s, at the time putting him 1.1s clear of the field.

While all eyes were therefore on Webber and the RB8 - the car with which Red Bull is bidding to defend its 2011 crowns - it was Schumacher who stole the limelight with a series of blistering laps.

A three-lap burst allowed the German to get down to a 1m18.622s, which he duly lowered on his next run, dropping to a 1m18.561s.

That was comfortably enough to put the German top halfway through the second day, with Webber - unable to improve on his early time - finishing second, more than half a second down.

Daniel Ricciardo was the only other driver to dip below the 1m20s mark, putting him third fastest at the midway mark of a session in which yesterday's pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen suffered an early off at Curva Dry Sac.

The Finn had completed just four laps when he ran wide and into the gravel at the tight right-hander. He was able to rejoin, but damaged his car on the kerbs as he did so.

He also dragged gravel onto the track, leading to the first of two early red flags - the second following shortly after for further checks at the corner.

Lotus took the opportunity to not only repair his car but also adjust the steering column, and when he was able to get back underway he quickly rose to fifth - behind Force India reserve driver Jules Bianchi, who completed 46 laps before handing over to Paul di Resta for the afternoon.

Jenson Button took McLaren's MP4-27 to sixth fastest, more than two seconds down on Schumacher.

Felipe Massa was little more than three tenths further back for Ferrari, with the team again choosing to focus on aerodynamic and set-up work rather than chase outright laptimes.

After competing just 25 laps yesterday Pastor Maldonado enjoyed far more running in the Williams, ending eighth fastest after completing 61 laps in the morning.

Sergio Perez, taking over Sauber duties from Kamui Kobayashi, edged Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen for tenth. The Finn put yesterday's broken starter shaft woe behind him by completing 78 laps, the most of any driver.

Pedro de la Rosa in the 2011 HRT rounded out the morning's runners.

Morning times:

Pos  Driver              Team         Time                Laps
 1.  Michel Schumacher   Mercedes     1m18.561s            53
 2.  Mark Webber         Red Bull     1m19.184s  + 0.623   58
 3.  Daniel Ricciardo    Toro Rosso   1m19.587s  + 1.026   41
 4.  Jules Bianchi       Force India  1m20.221s  + 1.660   46
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen      Lotus        1m20.239s  + 1.678   26
 6.  Jenson Button       McLaren      1m20.688s  + 2.127   25
 7.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari      1m21.060s  + 2.499   38
 8.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams     1m21.197s  + 2.636   61
 9.  Sergio Perez        Sauber       1m21.289s  + 2.728   35
10.  Heikki Kovalainen   Caterham     1m21.518s  + 2.957   78
11.  Pedro de la Rosa    HRT          1m23.468s  + 4.907   23

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