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Formula 1 Pre-Season Testing (Barcelona, February 19th)

February 20, 2011

Circuit de Catalunya

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was once again the quickest driver around the Circuit de Catalunya yesterday.

The reigning World Champion set a best lap of 1:23.315 during a day where he broke the 100 lap barrier. There were minor problems for during the day, but nothing to get in the way of the planned simulations.
Jaime Alguersuari was next up in his Toro Rosso. The Spaniard ran 97 laps in his STR6 as he completed various set up cofigurations and brake system evaluation. Alguersuari also made use of three of the available tyre compounds, eventually taking to circuit on the two softest tyre types, as well as Pirelli’s new hard compound.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso made it two Spaniard’s in the 1:23’s. Alonso registered 90 tours of the Barcelona circuit after losing time to electrical issues. The F150th has so far proved to be very reliable so far in testing, with this being one of very few hiccough’s for the Italian team.
Rubens Barrichello completed 118 laps in his FW33 in what was a largely trouble-free day for the Williams team. A best lap of 1:24.008 was enough to leave him 4th on the time sheets ahead of Renault’s Nick Heidfeld.

Indeed, both Renault’s hit the track yesterday – Heidfeld ran 41 laps in the afternoon, following a morning session with Vitaly Petrov. Heideld struggled with the balance of his R31 as he completed some suspension set-up programmes, while Petrov ran several tyre stints on his way to the 11th overall.
Kamui Kobayashi secured the 6th best time, with a lap only 0.001 of-a-second shy of Heidfeld. The Sauber driver clocked up 125 laps of the Barcelona circuit as he completed several short stints as well as a race simulation.

Nico Rosberg was the busiest driver on Saturday as the Mercedes driver notched up 131 laps. Rosberg, who has suffered numerous car failures in testing so far, managed a programme to evaluate aerodynamic set-ups and the Mercedes KERS unit.
Rosbeg’s best of 1:24.730 put the German driver ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button in the standings. The 2009 World Champion suffered a frustrating day, especially after much of the morning was lost to a hydraulics failure. A similar problem stopped the McLaren from more running near the end of the day.
Paul di Resta was next up in the Force India. The young Scot saw to 80 laps; however his day was punctuated by a throttle failure that led to an off at turn 1. His best of 1:25.194 left di Resta in 9th.

Heikki Kovalainen set the 10th best time in his Lotus T128 machine. The Finn ran two seperate sessions during the day, broken up by a short stint with Ricardo Teixeira. Kovalainen completed 58 laps with a best of 1:26.421, while Teixeira managed a quickest lap at 1:31.581 during his 26 lap stint, leaving the Angolan some 8.3 seconds off the pace. Several minor problems surfaced during the day, but nothing that significantly dented the day’s running for the Anglo-Malaysian squad.
Vitantonio Liuizzi drove the Hispania F110 for the first time yesterday, setting a fastest lap of 1:27.044. It was an opportunity for the Italian to get used to both the tyres and the car itself; however a gearbox issue halted proceedings in the afternoon.
Timo Glock ran several different programmes throughout the day at the wheel of his new Virgin Racing charger. The German completed 66 laps in the MVR-02, as he tested various different setting on both the gearbox and the tyres.

Pos  Driver       Team                  Time                 Laps
 1.  Vettel       Red Bull-Renault      1m23.315s             104
 2.  Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m23.519s   + 0.204   97
 3.  Alonso       Ferrari               1m23.978s   + 0.663   90
 4.  Barrichello  Williams-Cosworth     1m24.008s   + 0.693   118
 5.  Heidfeld     Renault               1m24.242s   + 0.927   41
 6.  Kobayashi    Sauber-Ferrari        1m24.243s   + 0.928   125
 7.  Rosberg      Mercedes              1m24.730s   + 1.415   131
 8.  Button       McLaren-Mercedes      1m24.923s   + 1.608   54
 9.  Di Resta     Force India-Mercedes  1m25.194s   + 1.879   80
10.  Kovalainen   Lotus-Renault         1m26.421s   + 3.106   58
11.  Petrov       Renault               1m26.884s   + 3.569   61
12.  Liuzzi       HRT-Coswrorth         1m27.044s   + 3.729   70
13.  Glock        Virgin-Cosworth       1m27.242s   + 3.927   66
14.  Teixeira     Lotus-Renault         1m31.584s   + 8.269   26
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