2012 Testing Preview: Barcelona 1
The second bout of winter testing in 2012 sees the teams make the first of two trips to the Circuit de Catalunya before returning for the Spanish Grand Prix later in the year. For the majority of the teams it’s a case of continuing from where they left off in Jerez. However, Mercedes will give the W03 its formal track debut after officially unveiling their 2012 challenger on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, Marussia will take part for all four days with last year’s car having missed the Jerez test. The plan will be to better understand the new Pirelli compounds and to give new signing, Charles Pic some more experience behind the wheel of a Formula One car. HRT, however, will be absent from proceedings as they concentrate on passing the final crash tests. The Spanish outfit hopes to debut their new car at the second Barcelona test along with Marussia’s.
|Force India||Hulkenberg||Hulkenberg||di Resta||di Resta|
Subject to changes
*Running last year’s car
The home of the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991, the circuit has become a staple of the winter testing program. Indeed, critics suggest it is to the detriment of the race as teams arrive with the fullest understanding of the track and their cars strengths. However, on days when Fernando Alonso is in action you can expect surprisingly large numbers of spectators for what is only testing.
|Tuesday Cool, dry and sunny with light northerly breezes. Temperatures reaching 13°C.|
|Wednesday Sunny and warmer with gentle breezes from the northwest. Maximum temperatures of 16°C.|
|Thursday Continuing dry but with some cloud cover. Maximum temperatures of 16°C.|
|Friday Warm, dry and sunny, with gentle westerly breezes and temperatures rising to 19°C.|
While this year’s test is the second of three meetings, last year’s equivalent gathering at the Circuit de Catalunya was the third of four. By this stage the more usual suspects began hogging the top of the time sheets with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa the quickest of the week and the only driver to break the 1 minute 23 second barrier. Red Bull were not far behind, however, in an early sign of the form that would follow.
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.
This Year at Jerez (7-10 February)
1:18.419 – Lotus F1, Romain Grosjean (Day 3)
1:18.887 – Ferrari, Fernando Alonso (Day 4)
1:19.184 – Red Bull, Mark Webber (Day 2)
1:19.297 – Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel (Day 3)
1:19.464 – McLaren, Lewis Hamilton (Day 3)
Weather: Dry and sunny, maximum of 18°C, track temperatures up to 26°C.