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2012 Testing Round-Up – Barcelona 1

By Mav | 24 Feb 2012 | One Comment | 2,237 views

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.

“Not running this week has been a tough decision to take, but we feel that our choice is the right one. On the positive side, we have quickly identified the issue with the chassis and our design office has already devised a solution. We will be present at next week’s test in Barcelona.”

Eric Boullier

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.
Lotus F1/Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic
Pirelli TyresSauber Motorsport AGMerceds AMG Petronas
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.

Related Links:
Testing Statistics

Credit: Lotus F1/Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic, Pirelli Tyres, Sauber Motorsport AG, Merceds AMG Petronas

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