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2012 Testing Round-Up – Barcelona 2

By Mav | 5 Mar 2012 | No Comment | 1,857 views

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. Meanwhile, it was Nico Rosberg who was the busiest driver, 257 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya taking his testing total up to 2996 km, significantly more than other driver.

“I am disappointed by our performance level at the moment. I think we’ve got a lot of work to do. The change we made last week to the exhaust position has put us a little bit on the back foot and we’re trying to optimise to that.”

Pat Fry, Ferrari

This year’s testing has been particularly hard to read. McLaren and Mercedes have looked consistent on long stints, Ferrari haven’t – but relative pace has been hard to read. The midfield looks like being a tight contest but there is a lot of uncertainty about the front of the grid. Red Bull’s heavily updated RB8 only had limited running over the last two days with question marks over reliability being raised – a damaged front wing was all Sebastian Vettel’s fault, however. Meanwhile, McLaren have looked calm and confident – racking up the mileage without giving too much away on long runs. Indeed, they spent a significant amount of time practising pitstops and a new lights system associated with them.

If McLaren looked ready to go racing, Ferrari seem to be panicking. Introducing a reconfigured exhaust layout added to their problems as they struggle to come to grips with understanding their car. If/when they do figure out the F2012, it may well be a contender but until then Ferrari technical chief Pat Fry has ruled out podiums. To add to the pressure, both Mercedes and Lotus appear to have made significant improvement – if Ferrari do have to wait for a race winning car, they may have already lost too much ground in the title battle by the time they do so.

For more information, see the Testing Statistics pages.
Williams F1/Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic
Red Bull Racing/Mark Thompson/Getty ImagesSahara Force India F1Sauber Motorsport AG
Best laps of the week and distance covered:

Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1 minute 22.030 Day 4 164 laps
Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1 minute 22.094 Day 3 232 laps
Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1 minute 22.103 Day 3 108 laps
Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1 minute 22.155 Day 3 231 laps
Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1 minute 22.250 Day 4 239 laps
Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1 minute 22.296 Day 4 212 laps
Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1 minute 22.312 Day 4 134 laps
Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1 minute 22.386 Day 4 149 laps
Felipe Massa Ferrari 1 minute 22.413 Day 3 227 laps
Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1 minute 22.430 Day 4 180 laps
Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1 minute 22.446 Day 3 206 laps
Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1 minute 22.614 Day 2 196 laps
Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1 minute 22.630 Day 3 168 laps
Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1 minute 22.662 Day 3 172 laps
Vitaly Petrov Caterham -Renault 1 minute 22.795 Day 4 224 laps
Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1 minute 22.932 Day 3 257 laps
Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1 minute 22.939 Day 4 179 laps
Jean-Éric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1 minute 23.126 Day 2 144 laps
Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1 minute 23.347 Day 4 126 laps
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1 minute 23.361 Day 2 108 laps

Marussia and HRT both missed the chance to test their 2012 chassis, however they will finally take to the circuit under the premise of a filming day. That means they will be limited to demonstration tyres although they’ll at least be able to check out the car’s systems. HRT will run in Barcelona while Marussia are staying close to base at Silverstone. It’s unclear whether Marussia have yet passed the final crash test that prevented them from running last week but filming days are exempt from that rule anyway.

Weather: Mostly dry and sunny, showers during the third afternoon, overcast in the final afternoon. Maximum of 22°C, track temperatures up to 30°C

Next: 16-18 March, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne

Last Year at Barcelona (8-12 March):
1:21.249 – Mercedes, Michael Schumacher (Day 4)
1:21.614 – Ferrari, Fernando Alonso (Day 4)
1:21.761 – Sauber, Sergio Perez (Day 3)
1:21.788 – Mercedes, Nico Rosberg (Day 4)
1:21.865 – Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel (Day 2)
Weather: A mix of heavy cloud and sunny days, maximum of 18°C. Day 5 was very wet.

Related Links:
F1 Testing: Day 1 Analysis
F1 Testing: Day 2 Analysis
F1 Testing: Day 3 Analysis
F1 Testing: Day 4 Analysis
Testing Statistics

Credit: Williams F1/Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic, Red Bull Racing/Mark Thompson/Getty Images, Sahara Force India F1, Sauber Motorsport AG

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