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2007 Testing - Hamilton quickest at Jerez
Eurosport - Wed, 05 Dec 19:06:00 2007
Lewis Hamilton bounced back from an early mishap to set the pace on the second day of Formula One testing at Jerez in Spain.
More StoriesHeidfeld tops day one
The 22-year-old Briton, who missed out on this year's world title to Kimi Raikkonen by just one point, missed his braking point at one of the circuit's slow corners during the first hour of running.
That caused him to understeer off the track and through the gravel. But, despite bringing his McLaren back to the pits for a lengthy clean-up, he was able to re-take to the circuit and set the pace later in the day with a best lap of 1:19.371.
The lap, which was Hamilton's best of 73 during the day, was a quarter of a second slower than Nick Heidfeld went 24 hours earlier on slick tyres, but was five hundredths quicker than David Coulthard's Red Bull, which was the best of the slick-shod runners on the day.
"It was pretty cool to be back behind the wheel of my car again today, it has felt like a very long time since the Brazilian Grand Prix. I have missed my car!" Hamilton said.
"I have really kick started my preparations for the 2008 season today and there are only 101 days to go until Australia. I know the time is going to go really quickly, but I am feeling pretty impatient already!
"It was the first time I have driven the car without driver aids and it was good fun. It does feel quite different and of course there is some adapting to do in driving style, but in GP2 we didn't have driver aids, so I have some recent experience of it.
"We also did some work on aero and chassis developments for next year's car, it was a productive day and we will continue in the same way tomorrow."
Ferrari duo Felipe Massa and world champion Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth fastest with test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Nelson Piquet Jr completing the top six for McLaren and Renault.
Piquet, who ran comparison tests on both slick and grooved tyres, lost an hour during the morning to a spin, but was otherwise happy with his day's work.
"It was frustrating to lose track time this morning, but the team did a great job to get the car ready again, and we got back on track before lunch and began the programme," he said.
"I think we did a good job today, and the team managed to collect some important data."
Christian Klien, who was testing for Force India, performed better than the vastly more experienced Giancarlo Fisichella, as the drivers sandwiched Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel in eighth.
Robert Kubica completed the top ten for BMW Sauber while Toyota, who had Timo Glock and Kamui Kobayashi in action, were forced to end their running 90 minutes early as they neared the 30,000 km limit that all teams are allowed annually.
Britain's Anthony Davidson was 17th fastest for Super Aguri while GP2 driver Andreas Zuber joined him for the day and Nico Hulkenberg had another 67 laps with Williams.
Australian Mark Webber brought out a red flag late in the day when he stopped his Red Bull at the side of the track after running into electronics problems.
The test continues for a further two days.
Jamie O'Leary / Eurosport