2012 Testing Round-Up – Barcelona 1
The second week of testing concluded with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi posting the fastest lap of the week. He also put in the most mileage of any driver – 244 laps over his two days at the wheel, pipping Williams’ Pastor Maldonado on both counts. Four different teams topped the timesheets across the four days. However, it is probably Sebastian Vettel’s lap of 1 minute 23.265 on the first day that stands out in particular – set on the hard tyre when other headline-grabbing times were posted on supersoft and soft compounds.
The opening day should have been Mercedes’ big day as the W03 was unveiled – “leaked” images aside. However, in the end it was Lotus that was the day’s talking point after a front chassis problem ended their test with it barely begun. “This morning was our first shakedown of our second chassis,” said Lotus’s Alan Permane. “Once the car was on track it was soon evident that everything wasn’t quite as it should be.” The team subsequently abandoned the rest of the test as modifications to both this chassis and chassis E20-01 were required. The latter had set the quickest lap of the Jerez test but the problem didn’t manifest itself until they hit the higher-speed Barcelona circuit. The problem appears to be at the front end of the chassis although Autosport have suggested that the engine mounts may be the cause. Whatever the problem, it is preparation time lost although it is likely that the outfit will add an extra day on to the final test.
At the other end of the timesheets, Caterham still trail while there are signs of mixed messages from Williams as the first two days saw them off the pace too.
For more information, see the Testing Statistics pages.
Best laps of the week and distance covered:
|Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||1 minute 22.312||Day 4||244 laps|
|Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Renault||1 minute 22.391||Day 3||240 laps|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1 minute 22.608||Day 2||209 laps|
|Sergio Pérez||Sauber-Ferrari||1 minute 22.648||Day 2||151 laps|
|Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1 minute 22.891||Day 2||183 laps|
|Paul Di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1 minute 23.119||Day 4||184 laps|
|Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||1 minute 23.180||Day 2||162 laps|
|Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||1 minute 23.200||Day 4||229 laps|
|Michael Schumacher||Mercedes||1 minute 23.384||Day 3||178 laps|
|Felipe Massa||Ferrari||1 minute 23.563||Day 4||187 laps|
|Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||1 minute 23.590||Day 1||234 laps|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1 minute 23.618||Day 1||124 laps|
|Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1 minute 23.774||Day 4||182 laps|
|Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1 minute 23.792||Day 4||170 laps|
|Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||1 minute 23.843||Day 4||221 laps|
|Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||1 minute 25.711||Day 1||97 laps|
|Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Renault||1 minute 25.738||Day 2||117 laps|
|Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||1 minute 26.035||Day 1||101 laps|
|Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||1 minute 26.448||Day 3||139 laps|
|Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||1 minute 26.809||Day 1||7 laps|
With HRT absent from this week’s test, Marussia hit the track for the first time in 2012. However, it was with last year’s car as Charles Pic was given the opportunity to gain some valuable track time alongside evaluation of the new Pirelli tyres. The Frenchman notched up 229 laps over his two days at the wheel but was over a second off the quickest pace of team mate Timo Glock on his day on track.
Weather: Dry and sunny, maximum of 22°C, track temperatures up to 31°C
Next Test: 1-5 March, Circuit de Catalunya, Spain
Last Year at Barcelona (18-21 February):
1:22.625 – Ferrari, Felipe Massa (Day 4)
1:23.168 – Mercedes, Nico Rosberg (Day 3)
1:23.315 – Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel (Day 2)
1:23.442 – Red Bull, Mark Webber (Day 4)
1:23.463 – Renault, Vitaly Petrov (Day 3)
Weather: Mostly dry and sunny but track wet at the start of the day, maximum of 19°C.
Credit: Lotus F1/Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic, Pirelli Tyres, Sauber Motorsport AG, Merceds AMG Petronas