2012 Testing Round-Up – Barcelona 2
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.
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.
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.
F1 Testing: Day 1 Analysis
F1 Testing: Day 2 Analysis
F1 Testing: Day 3 Analysis
F1 Testing: Day 4 Analysis
Credit: Williams F1/Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic, Red Bull Racing/Mark Thompson/Getty Images, Sahara Force India F1, Sauber Motorsport AG