Formula 1 Pre-Season Testing (Barcelona, February 21st)

Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

Felipe Massa headed the final day of running at the third pre-season test in Barcelona.

The Brazilian headed the timesheets with a lap of 1:22.625 as he completed 121 laps in his Ferrari F150th, while he spent much of the day comparing the various tyre compounds under differing fuel loads.
Massa finshed the day some eight-tenths quicker than Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who busied himself testing various new components on his RB7. There were no problems for Webber as he clocked up 69 laps over the course of Monday.
Sebastien Buemi retuned to the Toro Rosso yesterday, eventually setting what would be the 3rd best time of the day. The Swiss driver comitted his day to a mixture of long and short runs as the Italian team continued to work on tyre set-ups.

Renault started the day with a new specification front wing for Nick Heidfeld to test. The German completed a race distance under the new part, as well as several shorter runs as he garnered 95 laps in his R31; however the team lost a clump of time in the morning due to another issue with KERS – the second time they have been afflicted with such an issue in Barcelona.
Lewis Hamilton returned to the seat of the MP4-26 yesterday, as the 2008 World Champion completed numerous stints, as the team assessed tyre development. While not focussing on lap times, it was encouraging for the team to complete 107 laps – one of the ew times in testing that the new car has broken the 100 lap milestone.
Pastor Maldonado was the second driver to hit 121 laps yesterday. The Williams driver ended the day 6th on the timesheets with a best of 1:24.057; however the team ran without KERS due to a cooling issue. The Venezuelan also completed several stints as the team analysed new exhaust and aerodynamic components, while also studying mapping systems for Cosworth.

The Force India lead driver, Adrian Sutil managed 64 laps from his VJM04 machine with a quickest tour of 1:24.177 – a time that left the German three-tenths quicker than Sauber rookie Sergio Perez. The Mexican busied himself with various new set-ups at teh wheel of the C30, running through various tyre compound strategies and test parts.
Jerome D’ambrosio completed 50 laps at the wheel of his Virgin MVR-02, although it might have been more had the team not been hampered with a late-morning gearbox failure. His Belgian registered a best lap of 1:26.501, leaving him 9th on the time sheets ahead of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.
The Mercedes legend spent his day completing a race simulation and various aerodynamic evaluations, allowing the German to run 114 laps of the Barcelona circuit.
Only the Lotus of Jarno Trulli was slower than Schumacher. The Italian suffered an early accident at the wheel of his T128, when car failure pitched the veteran off the circuit. Unfortunately, the team did not have the required spares on hand to fully repair the car, leaving them to pack up early.

While the test ran, news filtered through that the next planned test at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain had been cancelled; however it looks as another four-day run will be rescheduled for the Barcelona circuit for the second week of March.

Pos  Driver        Team                   Time               Laps
 1.  Massa         Ferrari                1m22.625s           121
 2.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault       1m23.442s  + 0.817   69
 3.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m23.550s  + 0.925   90
 4.  Heidfeld      Renault                1m23.657s  + 1.032   95
 5.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes       1m24.003s  + 1.378  107
 6.  Maldonado     Williams-Cosworth      1m24.057s  + 1.432  121
 7.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes   1m24.177s  + 1.552   64
 8.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari         1m24.515s  + 1.890   74
 9.  D'Ambrosio    Virgin-Cosworth        1m26.501s  + 3.876   50
10.  Schumacher    Mercedes               1m27.079s  + 4.454  114
11.  Trulli        Lotus-Renault          1m29.992s  + 7.367   18

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