Daily Archives: February 11, 2011

Jerez Day 2: Schumacher heads the field

Michael Schumacher was on top in Jerez

Michael Schumacher was on top in Jerez

Michael Schumacher led the way in the second day of testing today in Jerez.

His fastest lap was made more impressive by the fact that it was not a low fuel run – he had more than 10 laps of fuel on board at the time. Felipe Massa continued his good pace in Jerez, several hundreths off the Mercedes.

Sergio Perez examines his wrecked Sauber

Sergio Perez examines his wrecked Sauber

Jenson Button got his first taste of the McLaren MP4-26, and was 3rd. He later revealed that he was forced to abort his flying laps on super-soft tyres after a red flag, and never used the KERS and adjustable rear wing systems.

Jaime Alguersuari was the first of several drivers to cause red flags, the Spaniard stopping out on track in the morning. Nevertheless., he was 5th, ahead of Mark Webber, who concentrated on heavy-fuel runs, and Adrian Sutil.

Sergio Perez crashed out after only 56 laps, and ended his day prematurely in 7th, ahead of Timo Glock. Vitaly Petrov was 9th, but struggled with rear brake locking, and spun out during the day, causing another red flag.

Pastor Maldonado was the second driver to crash, but much more seriously than Perez. Maldonado crashed his Williams at Turn 4, damaging both the front and rear of the car. His team was also forced to take apart and analyse his KERS unit, after it displayed warning signs in the morning.

Jarno Trulli was last, as his day was cut short by mechanical problems.

Sutil struggled all day, and blamed high degradation on the medium compound Pirelli tyre:

"The medium tyre we have here is different to before, and I was not so confident on
that, not so happy.

The tyre is very hard, quite a lot harder than what we had before. But it doesn't last
longer for some reason.

It's very slow in the first few laps, then the degradation starts very early still.
Even after five to six laps the degradation starts again, and I was expecting much

[Pirelli] probably go a different way [to Bridgestone], which is good for the sport.
It's a big challenge to drive on the limit with these tyres.

They are very oversteery, very low grip, so it is very easy to make mistakes. The
difference you have between the compounds is very big, but in general I like them."

Times from Jerez Day 2:

Pos  Driver              Car                   Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1.20.352             112
 2.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               1.20.413   0.061     116
 3.  Jenson Button       McLaren-Mercedes      1.21.009   0.657     69
 4.  Jaime Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1.21.214   0.862     72
 5.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      1.21.613   1.261     113
 6.  Adrian Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  1.21.780   1.428     73
 7.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        1.21.857   1.505     56
 8.  Timo Glock          Virgin-Cosworth       1.22.208   1.856     57
 9.  Vitaly Petrov       Renault               1.22.493   2.141     65
10.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Cosworth     1.22.591   2.239     38
11.  Jarno Trulli        Lotus-Renault         1.23.216   2.864     40


Kubica promises to return in 2011

Robert Kubica has vowed to return to racing this year

Robert Kubica has vowed to return to racing this year

Despite going under the knife for the second time in a week after his horrific rally crash, Robert Kubica has already vowed to return before the season ends – and better than ever.

The Polish driver is set to undergo a 7-hour operation today, as doctors try to repair the damage to his hand, arm and leg. Kubica was involved in a crash at the Ronde di Andora rally, where a crash barrier went straight through the car, causing his injuries.

While doctors have warned of a 12-month recovery period, F1 personnel have speculated he could return in 6, and Kubica has stated he “must” return to racing this year:

"I want to get back on the track stronger than ever, because after these accidents 
you aren't what you were before, you improve.

It happened to me in 2007 too, after the crash in Canada. I was out for a race and 
when I got back I was better. A driver is not just throttle and steering wheel, it's
more than that. There's a difference between someone who drives at 80 per cent and 
who does at 95 per cent: in that 15 per cent extra you find the abilities and the 
motivations coming out.

Since 2007, I'm stronger head-wise as a driver. And it will be the same this time 
again, when I'll be back in good physical shape. I must return this year.

I remember well my state when, seven years ago, when I was in a car with a friend 
driving, we were hit by another car driven by a drunk. Back then too, we ended up 
against an armco barrier and bent it, before falling down a cliff.

It was the same right arm - massacred. But after four days it didn't feel as good 
as it feels now, and this reassures me. Dr Ceccarelli did the rest, and he assists 
me now too.

I have an insane urge to cut the times with the best possible preparation. I don't 
even know what a bone is like, but since they are fixing it for me, it's up to me 
to make it work the way it's supposed to."

It has been reported that Polish church leaders have sent Kubica a drop of blood from Pope John Paul II to aid his recovery. They have also sent the former Pope’s robes to Robert, for him to keep his faith.

However, it’s worth noting how close to death he actually came. His manager, Daniele Morelli, described how he was prepared for the worst:

"When he arrived here he had only one litre of blood. 'Call the boy's parents,' 
the doctors told me on Sunday afternoon. I felt a chill in my spine."