Raikkonen tops Barcelona testing


BARCELONA, March 11 – Ferrari's former world champion Kimi Raikkonen easily topped the second day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya here on Tuesday.

KIMI_RAIKONNENWith a best time of 1min 20.314sec the Finn was almost six tenths of a second quicker that Williams’ Japanese test driver Kazuki Nakajima.

After completing 55 laps in his team’s new F60 car Raikkonen told a press conference: "I’m happy how the car works now.

"It’s a different thing in testing and in racing of course. We go in many different places but so far it’s been good and I’m pretty happy how things are going. But we’ll see in two weeks how things go."

He added: "The car is handling well and I’m happy with it. That’s the main thing. As long as we don’t have any problem, we should be okay. But it’s very difficult to say about how everybody else is doing. It’s better to wait for the first race and we’ll see."

Nakajima narrowly came in faster than Brazilian F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello whose speed in the new Brawn GP car augurs well for the former Honda team now owned by Ross Brawn.

McLaren had a low key day with Heikki Kovalainen coming in well down the times as the team’s world champion Lewis Hamilton dealt with the minor matter of a meeting with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace to pick up his MBE.

The 2009 F1 season starts in Melbourne on March 29.

Barcelona test times

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1min 20.314sec (55 laps)

Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams 1:20.907 (66)

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Brawn GP 1:20.966 (111)

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota 1:21.182 (121)

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull 1:21.347 (66)

Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW 1:21.615 (127)

Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India 1:21.834 (82)

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault 1:21.937 (111)

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren 1:21.991 (88)

Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) Toro Rosso 1:23.039 (14)