Articles in the Testing Category
After calls for the return of in-season testing, Formula One takes a break from the excitement of a tight World Championship and heads to Italy and the Mugello Circuit for some quiet testing and development. With the field so closely packed, this test could prove to be even more valuable than originally planned as gains here may reap big rewards when racing returns.
So that wraps up pre-season testing for 2012 with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen setting the quickest lap of the week as Lotus topped three of the four days’ timesheets. Of course, that’s just the headline times and too much shouldn’t be read into it any more than doom and gloom should be implied from Sebastian Vettel’s position at the bottom of the overall timesheet.
Here endeth pre-season testing. Kimi Raikkonen finished as he started off testing in Jerez a month ago – sitting at the top of the timesheets, this time with the fastest lap of all eight days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. Sebastian Vettel, on the otherhand, was left propping up the table as a crash in which he damaged Red Bull’s latest front wing and gearbox problems limited him to a handful of laps.
Sergio Pérez topped the timesheets on the penultimate day of testing in Barcelona that was interrupted by rain towards the end of the session. The Sauber driver set a lap time of 1 minute 22.094 on Pirelli’s soft tyre compound – three tenths slower than the time that put him quickest on Day 3 of last year’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Day two of the final test before the season curtain raiser in Melbourne saw Lotus’ Romain Grosjean top the timesheets for the second day running. Once again, the Frenchman set his best lap on Pirelli’s soft compound and it should be noted that Sebastian Vettel’s best time was on the medium compound. More interestingly, however, Grosjean ran a full race simulation alongside Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
After a disastrous second test, Lotus and Romain Grosjean returned to where they’d left off at the end of the first test – at the top of the time sheets. Meanwhile Red Bull, Ferrari and, in particular, Mercedes are already well into running long stints. That comes ahead of race simulations which, for me, are more informative than the headline-grabbing quick laps set on unknown fuel quantities.