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.
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