Formula 1’s pre-season testing season ended just how it started with Lotus GP’s Kimi Raikkonen fastest out of the assembled field.
The Finn’s best effort of 1:22.030 proved to the quickest lap over the eight days spent at the Circuit de Catalunya, just outside Barcelona,
At 121 laps, Raikkonen completed the longest distance yesterday, making up much of the time lost during Saturday’s interruption filled running.
The Enstone squad spent much of Sunday evaluating aerodynamic configurations and set-up changes, in a programme that included several short stints on Pirelli’s soft and medium tyres. After lunch, Raikkonen ran a simulation.
Ferrari assigned Fernando Alonso a number of short and long stints, as the Maranello squad continue to learn about their F2012 machine. The Spaniard logged 115 laps, as the team assessing Pirelli’s various tyre compounds.
Williams once again ran both of their drivers on the final day, with Bruno Senna completing 53 laps and Pastor Maldonado registering 48 tours. Amidst set-up work and aero correlation tests, Senna had an updated package added to the FW34, while the team completed a final tyre evaluation programme.
Force India used Sunday to complete final preparations for the opening Grand Prix weekend, although Nico Hulkenberg’s anticipated afternoon race simulation was cut short; however the team used the data collected to solve several niggling set-up issues that had developed on the VJM05.
Kamui Kobayashi’s continued Sauber’s qualifying preparation programme, as commenced by Sergio Perez on Saturday, before switching to a race simulation in afternoon. Unfortunately for the Swiss squad, they lost the final ninety minutes of the test when their Ferrari-056 power unit failed in yet another knock to the C31’s reliability form.
McLaren continued with their first upgrade package of the season, with 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton registering 115 laps in the MP4-27. With such limited time available, the Woking-based squad wasted little time in testing various set-up configurations, while their pursuit of a neutral balance. A hydraulic issue ended McLaren’s day prematurely.
Vitaly Petrov had the use of a new seat for the first time yesterday, as he put the Caterham CT01 through its paces. The Russian broke the century lap barrier, while running a race simulation programme with no reported problems.
Michael Schumacher ran a series of short stints in the morning, with a focus on aero configurations and tyre management (on Pirelli’s hard and soft compounds), before moving to a race simulation in the afternoon.
Toro Rosso put Daniel Ricciardo through some long stints, as they balanced their STR7 machine; however sister team Red Bull endured a day of interruption. An early off by reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel damaged the front wing, leaving the German garage bound for a time. Conditions also restricted running in the afternoon, ensuring Vettel completed a mere 23 laps.
HRT will be completing a filming day in Barcelona today, after missing the final test due to the late build of the F1-12.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Raikkonen Lotus 1m22.030s 121 2. Alonso Ferrari 1m22.250s +0.220 115 3. Senna Williams 1m22.296s +0.266 53 4. Hulkenberg Force India 1m22.312s +0.282 101 5. Kobayashi Sauber 1m22.386s +0.356 72 6. Hamilton McLaren 1m22.430s +0.400 115 7. Petrov Caterham 1m22.795s +0.765 101 8. Schumacher Mercedes 1m22.939s +0.909 100 9. Maldonado Williams 1m23.347s +1.317 48 10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.393s +1.363 100 11. Vettel Red Bull 1m23.608s +1.578 23 ^ Notes compiled from trackside reports and updates