catalunyarain.jpgThe second day of F1 testing at the Circuit De Catalunya near Barcelona was effectively marred by atrocious wet weather conditions today. Heavy and repetitive rain showers hit the Spanish track throughout the day, meaning that any serious aquisition of valuable data for the teams was ruled out.

Double World Champion Fernando Alonso only carried out one installation lap before returning to the McLaren Garage having decided he didn’t fancy it much, and subsequently disappeared off to comb his eyebrow (or is it two?) for the afternoon. And this from a man McLaren have been lauding for his fantastic input so far this season, which must be quite galling for Pedro of the Rose who only managed a trifling 101 laps the previous day and must be wondering why the hell he bothered.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen maintained his dominant form so far this test by clocking the fastest time of the day, his F2007 apparently sporting new sidepods and the new cooling system for his roll mop herrings. After 54 laborious laps of driving round and round through puddles and seeing the same old sad anoraks around the track (and that’s just the McLaren team), the Kimster took a quick nap and woke up off track in turn 3 slightly embedded into the barriers. We are all relieved to know that Kimi is unhurt and there was no major damage to the car.

kimster1.jpgThe Flying Finn was then witnessed making a frantic dash towards a steward’s hut, which must have been quite frightening for the inhabitants given Kimi’s history of biffing them at a moment’s notice. However it later came to light he was just trying to get out of the rain before he melted into a big soggy heap, and the ensuing stewards frantically spilling out the hut were actually going for help and were not running for their lives or to protect their vodka collections.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber secured the second fastest time of the day, 1.5 seconds down on the Ferrari, with the Red Bull team testing a new seamless shift gearbox, which we are fervently hoping isn’t connected to his mouth as we can’t keep up with his complaining as it is. The only man who could out shift Webber in that department Jacques Villeneuve, having left F1 with a boot up his bottom sometime last season to start his musical career busking on the streets and getting paid to keep silent.

Renault’s Heikki Kovaleinen was the third fastest man of the day, and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the wet weather “The track was changing all the time, and we were able to run the wet and extreme wet tyres today. To be honest, I enjoy driving in the wet, it’s different to normal and good fun for the drivers.” the young Finn chirped. Well here at FFN we are pondering if the reason Heikki enjoys the wet so much is because it means everyone else ends up having as many off track excursions as he seems to. You can’t really blame the poor poppet though, with Flavio Briatore ranting and raving in your ear, you or I would be lucky not to completely prang the car…radio first if we hadn’t already just driven in a straight line and disappeared off over the horizon to never be seen again.

Quick Nick Heidfeld continued on with his fascination for the number four (fourth in Oz, fourth in Sepang, fourth at Sepang) being the fourth fastest in his BMW-Sauber despite the horrid weather conditions. Mind you there is probably a completely different weather system going on in that beard of his. With this fascination for four I’m wondering if the quiet little German is going to start speaking in four word sentences as well.

Nico Rosberg was fifth fastest today in the Williams, after the team spent all night repairing the car after test driver Kazuki Nakajima’s big accident on Monday however Nico’s best time was still 2.29 seconds off that of the Kimster.

rubens.jpgRubens Barrichello completed 44 laps for Honda which is probably a miracle in itself, concentrating mainly on aerodynamic evaluation (or as Ruben’s calls it ‘Parachuting down the mainstraight’) when he wasn’t busy chewing his fingernails and wondering what on earth possessed him to leave Ferrari. Team-mate Jenson Button will apparently take over testing for Honda tomorrow…that’s if he can motivate himself out of his duvet for another day of going backwards down the grid and yet more moaning.

The Spyker-Ferrari of Adrian Sutil only completing 11 laps in the wet conditions, rumour has it that the team were keen to avoid any untoward incidents in the rain…which is a ringing endorsement of one’s talents if ever there was one. Which leads me to wonder how many laps Christian “Crash” Albers would have been offered. They want to thank their lucky stars they don’t have Juan “Burger Boy” Montoya driving for them….otherwise it could have been pranged on its way out the pitlane and another 3 seconds off the pace to boot.

The thrilling testing resumes tomorrow at the Circuit De Catalunya, don’t forget to tune in…..in the meantime it’s a vodka and roll mop for me. Grazie.

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