Nick Heidfeld of BMW Sauber was the fastest man on the track during the second day of testing at Monza, ahead of September’s Italian Grand Prix.
The German driver’s fastest lap was 1 minute, 22.62 seconds but news reports suggest that it might not be enough for him to have his contract extended beyond this season.
Testing at Monza will be taken very seriously by F1 teams as its circuit is faster than many others and serious adjustments might have to be made to cars to ensure that they can cope with the new conditions.
Nico Rosberg in the Williams FW30 was the only other driver to record a time of under 1 minute 23 seconds.
McLaren, and Lewis Hamilton, will take heart from Heikki Kovalainen’s exertions. He was the third quickest man of the day with 1:23.34.
Many of the drivers will be hoping to emulate the career achievements of Phil Hill, the F1 great who died this week after losing his brave battle with Parkinson’s disease.
The 81-year-old became the only US-born F1 champ in 1961, clinching the title by a single point – the race this year could be just as close and exciting.