On the penultimate day of running at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Mercedes pilot, Nico Rosberg topped the timesheets ahead of Renault’s Vitaly Petrov.
The track, which started out very damp, took several hours to completely dry up as overcast and cool weather slowed the changeover to dry conditions; however it did give the field an opportunity to test Pirelli’s intermediate tyre compounds. Although Rosberg used the afternoon to complete some long distance runs, the German driver set out on several qualifying simulations just prior to the chequered flag. His time of 1:23.168 was the best during his 92 lap day.
Petrov meanwhile registered 93 tours of the Barcelona complex, with a best just 0.3 of-a-second shy of Rosberg. The Russian had a trouble-free run as the team assessed different exhaust specifications on the R31.
Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a day evaluating the new Pirelli tyres over both short and long distances. The 2008 World Champion notched up 93 laps on a day when no problems occurred.
Pastor Maldonado lined-up 4th on the final standings, just behind Hamilton; however the best the new Williams driver could manage was one second shy of the McLaren ace. The Venezuelan suffered something of a quiet morning as first a spin and then an alternator failure sidelined him.
Maldonado’s quickest lap of 1:24.815 was enough to keep him ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber. The Australian completed an astonishing 139 laps yesterday, during which Webber found himself committed to a race simulation, although thoughts of a qualifying simulation were lost to the morning dampness.
Lotus had another so-so day. Although Jarno Trulli set the 6th quickest time, the Norfolk-based squad only managed 45 laps, mainly due to lost time fixing a water leak; however when running the Italian maintained some consistent laps in the T128.
Sergio Perez took over from Kamui Kobayashi at Sauber in a day that saw the Mexican notch up 115 tours of the circuit. Like many of the days participants, Perez ran a race simulation; however the Swiss team concentrated on evaluating the hard and medium compound tyres.
Adrian Sutil ended yesterday 8th on the timing sheets as he completed some 102 laps. The Force India team concentrated on set-up aligned to tyre compounds, as well as working on set-ups taking the new drag reduction system into account.
The Toro Rosso team split their running between both Sebastien Buemi and reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo. Buemi took to the STR7 during the afternoon, allowing the Swiss driver to set quick laps, while evaluating aerodynamic settings. Ricciardo, however, was on track during the morning’s changeable conditions, giving the Australian an opportunity to test the Toro Rosso to overlap from wet to dry tyres. Come the chequered flag, Buemi set a best of 1:26.155 (9th, 31 laps), while Ricciardo’s quickest lap under the morphing conditions was 1:28.329 (13th, 42 laps).
Felipe Massa rounded out the top-ten with a lap 3.34 seconds down on Rosberg; however the Brazilian spent his day in the F150th completing race distances. Massa completed 123 laps by the close of day – a good deal more than Timo Glock in the Virgin or either Hispania tester for that matter.
Glock still did an impressive number though, as he clocked up 97 laps in his MVR-02 with a best of 1:26.598 – the German suffered no apparent problems. Hispania Racing split their day between race driver Narain Karthikeyan (14th, 32 laps) and one-time Minardi test driver Giorgio Mondini (12th, 39 laps). Karthikeyan took to the F110 during the morning, although a gearbox issue cut the Indian’s track time short; however Karthikeyan set a best lap of 1:30.722.
Mondini’s afternoon session was his first time in a Formula 1 car since 2006, while he has not raced at all for two years, making his afternoon run quite impressive. While it is unknown what Mondini’s fuel levels were; however the Italian suffered no problems as he ran through various tyre compounds.
Today marks the final day of testing in Barcelona. At this point, it is still unknown as to where the next test will take place as a trip to Bahrain currently looks untenable.
Pos Driver Team/car Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.168s 92 2. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m23.463s + 0.295s 93 3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m23.858s + 0.690s 93 4. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m24.815s + 1.647s 60 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m24.995s + 1.827s 139 6. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m25.454s + 2.286s 48 7. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.557s + 2.389s 115 8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m25.720s + 2.552s 102 9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.155s + 2.987s 31 10. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m26.508s + 3.340s 123 11. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m26.598s + 3.430s 97 12. Giorgio Mondini Hispania-Cosworth 1m28.178s + 5.010s 39 13. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m28.329s + 5.161s 42 14. Narain Karthikeyan Hispania-Cosworth 1m30.722s + 7.554s 32