2012 Testing Preview: Mugello
After calls for the return of in-season testing, Formula One takes a break from the excitement of a tight World Championship and heads to Italy and the Mugello Circuit for some quiet testing and development. With the field so closely packed, this test could prove to be even more valuable than originally planned as gains here may reap big rewards when racing returns.
As well as the usual faces (well helmet designs) behind the wheel, the test will also be an opportunity for reserve drivers to put in some track time. Jerome d’Ambrosio (Lotus F1), Jules Bianchi (Force India), Valtteri Bottas (Williams) and Rodolfo Gonzalez (Caterham) will hit the track on the first day before handing over the reigns to the regular drivers. At McLaren, meanwhile, Gary Paffett and Olivier Turvey are set to conduct the entire test themselves although Lewis Hamilton hinted that he may gatecrash the party. However, Paffett is notable as having previously raced on the Mugello circuit in the DTM series, as has Force India’s Paul di Resta.
|Force India||Bianchi||di Resta||Hulkenberg|
*Subject to changes
Not present at all will be HRT who say they will be busy moving into their new headquarters – presumably that means Pedro de la Rosa will be driving the van while Narain Karthikeyan does the unpacking. The reality is more likely to be that the team simply doesn’t have any updates to test and that attendance will be of limited value.
While the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello near Florence is a staple of the MotoGP calendar, and hosted Formula Two events in the 1970s and 80s, it is something of an unknown to the Formula One crowd – with one notable exception: The circuit is owned by Ferrari. Toro Rosso tested on the circuit back in 2007 but you have to go back to 2005 for the last British outfit – BAR alongside Ferrari and Minardi. However, with its long straight and a mix of relatively quick chicanes, medium and high-speed corners, the undulating circuit makes an ideal, and picturesque, location for testing.
|Tuesday Starting overcast with increasing probability of showers, some thundery, as the day progresses. Temperatures reaching 18°C.|
|Wednesday Scattered cloud with the possibility of a light shower. Quite cool with maximum temperatures of 18°C.|
|Thursday Dry and sunny periods but south-westerly breezes strengthening. Temperatures reaching 17°C.|