Sergio Perez topped the third day of testing at Circuit de Catalunya today.
There are those that will say that testing times are irrelevant as one can rarely tell what fuel loads are being run and this may well yet be another case of such an situation. Admittedly, Perez’s quickest lap (1:21.761) came at the end of a Q3 simulation on the super-soft tyres, however the day was not all positive for the Swiss team.
An afternoon race simulation was halted after only six laps, when the C30 suffered a powertrain failure, leaving Sauber’s 2011 charger garage bound for a time.
Felipe Massa had no such issues. The Brazilian took part in a programme comparing various aerodynamic parts and configurations, before assuming race length duties after lunch. By the chequered flag, Massa had completed 132 laps, with a best some three-tenths slower than Perez.
For the first time this week, a Red Bull did not top the charts; however Mark Webber still registered a solid 97 laps in the untried third chassis, registering a best lap of 1:22.466 to place him 3rd in the standings.
Rubens Barrichello had something of a mixed day though. The Brazilian finished the day 4th following a series of aerodynamic mapping checks, but suffered from two separate car failures; although it is thought the faults were due to high wear rate.
At Mercedes, Michael Schumacher took to the wheel of the MGP-W02. The seven-time World Champion took in 89 laps of the Barcelona circuit, as the German continued with set-up work, while trying the recent upgrade package for the first time.
Renault, meanwhile, ran both Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov today. Heidfeld claimed 6th on the timesheets, with Petrov in 8th, although neither set a blistering number of laps. Heidfeld completed just 32 tours, as the team concentrated on set-up work and other evaluations; however Petrov’s day was blighted by a KERS failure during the morning running.
Also on track with both race drivers were Team Lotus. Heikki Kovalainen ran during the afternoon, eventually splitting the Renault pair with a best of 1:23.990 as the team worked on various programmes.
Things, however, did not progress so well for Jarno Trulli. The Italian finished bottom of the timing sheets after only completing six laps. Trulli’s tough day started with a gearbox failure not long after the green lights, followed by a water leak shortly afterward.
Adrian Sutil had more luck than Trulli at the wheel of his new Force India machine. The German driver ran 108 laps in the VJM-04, as the Silverstone based squad prepared several programmes aimed at testing new aerodynamic configurations. His best lap of 1:24.334 came during a qualifying stint in the morning.
Toro Rosso ran through various length race simulations and pitstop practices with young Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari fronting the STR6. Alguersuari completed 107 laps with no issues, with the headline grabbing pace of the previous two days forsaken.
A fuel pressure problem did not get in the way of Jerome d’Ambrosio completing 96 laps in his MVR-02. The Belgian pilot has been taking advantage of the illness of his teammate, Timo Glock, to get a large number of laps under his belt. Several long stints left d’Ambrosio 5.57 seconds down on Perez.
Hispania Racing did not run today.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m21.761s 95 2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m22.092s + 0.331s 132 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m22.466s + 0.705s 97 4. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m22.637s + 0.876s 105 5. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m22.892s + 1.131s 89 6. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m23.541s + 1.780s 32 7. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m23.990s + 2.229s 40 8. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m24.233s + 2.472s 24 9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m24.334s + 2.573s 108 10. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m24.779s + 3.018s 107 11. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m27.336s + 5.575s 96 12. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m34.485s + 12.724s 6