Seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher topped the fourth day of testing at Barcelona.
The 42-year-old completed 67 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya, setting a best of 1:21.268 during a qualifying simulation; however the Mercedes veteran also took in a number of aerodynamic evaluations during the day.
Schumacher’s teammate, Nico Rosberg, had a small amount of running yesterday. As Schumacher completed his work, Rosberg took to the track with an hour remaining to register 22 laps and 3rd position on the timing screens.
With rain forecast in Barcelona for today’s session, the team felt it necessary to give Rosberg some running at least.
Fernando Alonso split the silver cars in his Ferrari 150º Italia. The Spaniard completed 141 laps as he ran various upgraded aerodynamic components and a race simulation.
Renault ran with Nick Heidfeld yesterday, picking up 4th on the time sheets, while the team concentrated on high fuel runs, with work on achieving a nominal balance with the new Pirelli tyres a premium. There were plans to run a race simulation, however an afternoon gearbox change put paid to those plans.
Williams ran both of their race drivers yesterday, with Rubens Barrichello placing his FW33 5th in the final standings. The Brazilian had a solid day, but teammate pastor Maldonado suffered thanks to an oil leak just prior to his afternoon stint. The English squad have suffered from numerous reliability problems during this test and Maldonado’s lack track time (11 laps in the end) only served to add to their woes.
Kamui Kobayashi had only slightly better luck in his Sauber C30. The Japanese driver took on 98 laps in Barcelona, interrupted somewhat by a driveshaft problem.
Toro Rosso completed a programme testing aerodynamic parts, followed by race set-up configurations, all of which appeared to satisfy the Italian squad. With Jaime Alguersuari at the wheel, the STR6 finished the day 7th, some 1.407 seconds down on Schumacher.
Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel placed his 2011 Red Bull charger 8th on the timing sheets following a 64 lap day. The team completed some final preparations before they head to Australia having done more testing this year than they have ever done in the short existence.
Lotus had a busy day as Heikki Kovalainen completed a double-race test. The Finn notched up 138 laps, with a best of 1:23.437 as the T128 once again showed itself to be quite a reliable machine.
Both Force India drivers took to the track yesterday, completing just over a race distance between them, with Adrian Sutil running in the morning (11th, 26 laps) and Paul di Resta in the afternoon (10th, 42 laps). Meanwhile the team fine-tuned several aerodynamic parts and can take some positives thanks to some solid reliability.
Jenson Button lined up 13th on the time sheets in his McLaren MP4-26, as the team decided to forego outright pace during their 57 lap session. The team ran several pitstop practices as well a number of aerodynamic tests using high-visibility flow paint.
Jerome d’Ambrosio completed Virgin’s final testing with a 46 lap run, taking in further tyre evaluations. The Belgian’s best lap was some 6.107 seconds off Schumacher’s pace. but for d’Ambrosio, the opportunity to get in a full week of testing was something that could not miss.
Unfortunately Hispania Racing cannot now run this week at all, thanks to certain parts of the car being held up in customs. The team’s shakedown will now be in practice for the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks time.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m21.268s 67 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m21.614s + 0.346s 141 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m21.788s + 0.520s 22 4. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m22.073s + 0.805s 67 5. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m22.233s + 0.965s 89 6. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m22.315s + 1.047s 98 7. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m22.675s + 1.407s 72 8. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m22.933s + 1.665s 64 9. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m23.437s + 2.169s 138 10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m23.653s + 2.385s 42 11. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m23.921s + 2.653s 26 12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m24.108s + 2.840s 11 13. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.837s + 4.569s 57 14. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m27.375s + 6.107s 46