Testing At Jerez – Day 1

With yet another wet test on the horizon, all the drivers and teams who make their debut want to make a positive start to their year. Lotus’ Fairuz Fauzy, Force India’s test and reserve driver Paul Di Resta, and Lotus themselves were the debutants on Wednesday.

The Red Flag flew four times during the session, which included the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, new kid Paul Di Resta, Rubens Barrichello and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. A very hard start for the Lotus and Virgin teams.

Even so, Lotus’ test and reserve driver Fairuz Fauzy managed to bag his super licence by driving over the 300km mark. “It’s been an excellent day for the whole team,” said chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. “Firstly I want to say a big thank you to Fairuz who did an excellent job today with the first proper day of running. With so much going on, such as doing systems checks, it can be a pretty disjointed day for the driver. When you add into that the changeable conditions, and also the fact we were running without power steering today, it could have been a tricky day for Fairuz but he didn’t put a foot wrong so well done to him and a big thank you. With the car we had no major reliability issues – a few niggles with overheating which were quickly solved and then the car ran pretty faultlessly. The power steering issue will be fixed for tomorrow so all in all a very successful first day and a busy evening ahead preparing the car for tomorrow.”

The Malaysian completed 76 laps and finished 11th with a time of 1:31.848.

Schumacher went well at the rain soaked track by completing 111 laps with the wet, intermediate, and finally the dry tyres.

“The weather was really changing all the time today which made it difficult to follow our planned programme and to have a clear picture of everyone’s performance,” the German explained. “From the laps that we achieved, we have again confirmed the reliability of the car, and from the impressions and data gathered, we can say that the pace and performance looks very good.”

Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi is testing the STR5 this Wednesday and Thursday.

He carried out a brake system evaluation in the STR5 and covered 79 laps and set a time of 1:23.322 which brought him 4th.

Scotsman Paul Di Resta also earned his super licence on Wednesday after completing over 300 km’s.

“Paul completed 76 laps today in unsettled conditions to get his first experience of the VJM03,” said Force India’s chief race engineer Domini Harlow. “He also carried out some control systems tests and ran wet, intermediate and dry tyres. During a very windy afternoon Adrian took over the car for a short programme in predominantly dry conditions continuing set-up development from last week’s test. The VJM03 ran reliably all day, which gives a good basis for the remaining three days.”

Felipe Massa continued his good pace by setting the 3rd fastest time of 1:23.204 over 72 laps.

Lewis Hamilton also kept up the impressive form from the last test and finished in 2nd with a time of 1:23.017 covering the same amount of laps as Massa.

But it was Sebastien Vettel in the RB6 who topped the time sheets with a time of 1:22.593 covering 104 laps.

“We got a lot of laps done and the car has been good and reliable,” explained Ian Morgan, Red Bull’s head of race engineering. “We’ve made a few small changes but we didn’t get through as much as the programme as we’d hoped because of the weather. Sebastian and the car were consistent on the long runs in the dry which is promising. We’re continuing to make steady progress; the car is better than it was last week and every time we turn a wheel we seem to be moving forward a little bit.”

Sebastien will continue to test the Red Bull on Thursday, then team-mate Mark Webber will take over for the next two days.

So with more rain coming, the driver line-up for Thursday looks like this:

Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Heikki Kovalainen, Sebastien Vettel, Pedro De La Rosa, Rubens Barrichello, Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock, Sebastien Buemi, Vitaly Petrov and Paul Di Resta.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Jerez:
1.     Sebastian Vettel                   Red Bull                   1:22.593         104    Laps
2.     Lewis Hamilton                    McLaren                  1:23.017          72     Laps
3.     Felipe Massa                          Ferrari                     1:23.204          72      Laps
4.     Sebastien Buemi                   Toro Rosso            1:23.322          79      Laps
5.     Pedro de la Rosa                   Sauber                     1:23.367         76       Laps
6.     Michael Schumacher         Mercedes GP         1:23.803         111       Laps
7.     Adrian Sutil                            Force India           1:24.272         28        Laps
8.      Paul Di Resta                          Force India           1:25.088        74         Laps
9.      Vitaly Petrov                         Renault                   1:26.237       55          Laps
10.    Rubens Barrichello            Williams                  1:27.320     109         Laps
11.     Fairuz Fauzy                          Lotus                       1:31.848      76            Laps
12.     Timo Glock                            Virgin                       1:34.417     10             Laps

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