So, the 2010 Formula 1 season finally ended this afternoon in the dipping evening sun in Abu Dhabi.
Today, saw the last day of testing at the expansive Yas Marina circuit also bore witness to Ferrari topping the time sheets once again, as the teams try to get used to their new Pirelli rubber. As pointed out yesterday, the registered lap times don’t actually mean that much, but it is all about the detail that engineers can bank.
Drivers, too, play their part, as the Formula 1 pilots feed information to their team as they effort to understand what the new tyres are doing.
On track Fernando Alonso registered both the fastest time and the most laps, as the twice World Champion clocked up 105 tours of the track – a distance only just shy of two full Grand Prix. Newly crowned World Champion, Sebastian Vettel was next up, three-tenths of-a-second shy of the Spaniard. Vettel managed 66 laps during the day’s running, following a tyre failure similar to the one he suffered yesterday – it is thought both failures were caused by cuts from debris.
Rubens Barrichello also got in a solid 101 lap run, setting the 3rd fastest lap in the process – the Brazilian had an advantage of four-tenths of-a-second over Renault’s Robert Kubica and the McLaren pair of Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey.
Michael Schumacher eventually ended up 7th on the timing list after his fastest lap was disallowed, after it was judged that the German veteran had severely cut a corner.
There was an early red flag for Force India’s Paul di Resta when his Mercedes-powered machine ground to halt on track with a sensor failure; however the young Scot still managed to notch up a fastest lap 0.6 of-a-second quicker than team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Of the so-called “new teams”, Jarno Trulli was the quickest in his Lotus Cosworth. In his 83 lap run, the Italian managed a lap time of 1:44.521 – some two-tenths faster than Hispania’s Pastor Maldonado (65 laps), with Virgin’s Timo Glock only just last on the timing sheets after his 83 laps.
Despite all his criticism, Maldonado has actually been quite impressive in terms of some raw speed this week; although it remains to be seen if he can keep whatever car he ends up driving out of barriers and walls.
And that is it. Formula 1 has officially finished for 2010. There will be no more testing until the first week of February when the new cars will roll out of their garages for the first time in Spain.
Until then, there will be stories, news, rumour, hype and Christmas, but truthfully, nothing ever stops in this sport.
Abu Dhabi, Pre-Season Test (November 20th)
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m40.529s 105 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m40.825s 66 3. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m41.294s 101 4. Robert Kubica Renault 1m41.614s 91 5. Gary Paffett McLaren 1m41.622s 46 6. Oliver Turvey McLaren 1m41.740s 30 7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m41.757s 74 8. Paul di Resta Force India 1m41.869s 35 9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m42.110s 43 9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1m42.145s 98 10. Tonio Liuzzi Force India 1m42.416s 47 11. Sergio Perez Sauber 1m42.777s 46 12. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1m44.521s 83 13. Pastor Maldonado Hispania 1m44.768s 65 14. Timo Glock Virgin 1m44.783s 83