Rosberg fastest on day three in Jerez

Circuito de Jerez. © Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

Nico Rosberg took his Mercedes GP machine to the top of the timings on day three of Formula 1’s first pre-season test in Jerez.

Following 118 laps of the Spanish circuit, the German pilot registered a best of 1:17.613, although this was achieved with the team’s 2011 car.

As with Schumacher yesterday, Rosberg spent much of the day evaluating the new Pirelli’s on various fuel loads, as well as testing several 2012-spec development parts.
Today marked Mercedes final testing in Jerez – they will not now be seen until the next session in Barcelona on February 21st.

Romain Grosjean stepped into the Lotus E20 today, enjoying several trouble-free runs that allowed the GP2 Champion to register 117 tours of the course, although he did cause a late red flag when the team allowed the E20 run dry of fuel. As with the previous two days, the team evaluated the aerodynamic package, while also gaining much data.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel stepped into the Red Bull RB8 for the first time today, logging 96 laps by the day’s end. Vettel completed two long runs in the afternoon, after a morning reacquainting himself with an F1 car.

McLaren had Lewis Hamilton at the wheel of the MP4-27 today. The 2008 world champion suffered from a few minor niggles, but nothing that seems to outwardly worry the team.
Jean-Eric Vergne completed numerous short stints to set 79 laps in the Toro Rosso STR7. The Frenchman’s programme included an acclimatisation run, leading to data collection runs for differing aerodynamic configurations.
Sergio Perez endured a shortened day at the wheel of his Sauber C31. The Mexican logged 48 laps prior to lunch, as the team tested different ride height and damper modes. However the afternoon was lost when the gearbox oil filter required a time consuming change.

Fernando Alonso got his first taste of the F2012 today, completing 67 laps as the Scuderia continued to gather data concerning the new car’s aerodynamic behaviour. Ninety minutes were lost later in the day when a hydraulic failure sidelined the team.
At Williams, Bruno Senna continued the systems check programme begun by Pastor Maldonado earlier this week. The Brazilian managed 125 tours in the FW34; in effort to garner much needed pre-season mileage.
Giedo van der Garde assumed the controls of the Caterham today, setting 74 laps – part of which was re-acclimatisation. The team continued to work on their new KERS unit, while also carrying out evaluation on the DRS module.
Unfortunately, Force India had a brief and frustrating day, an off for Jules Bianchi on the third lap damaged the rear end of the VJM05. Although the section was repaired, the team were short of a brake component, rendering their day done early. It also sidelined Nico Hulkenberg who was meant to run in the afternoon.

For the nuts and bolts of things, look to Joe Saward, Kate Walker, ManipeF1 and, of course, Autosport. For the more techy minded, there are always Racecar Engineering and Craig Scarborough.

2012 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test (Jerez, Day Two, February 9th)
Pos Driver         Team            Time                Laps  
1.  Rosberg        Mercedes        1m17.613s           118  
2.  Grosjean       Lotus           1m18.419s  +0.806   117  
3.  Vettel         Red Bull        1m19.297s  +1.684   96  
4.  Hamilton       McLaren         1m19.464s  +1.851   80  
5.  Vergne         Toro Rosso      1m19.734s  +2.121   79  
6.  Perez          Sauber          1m19.770s  +2.157   48  
7.  Alonso         Ferrari         1m20.412s  +2.799   67  
8.  Senna          Williams        1m21.293s  +3.680   125  
9.  Van der Garde  Caterham        1m23.324s  +5.711   74

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