Testing At Circuit De Catalunya – Day 1

With only two weeks until Friday Practice 1 begins in Bahrain, the Teams started testing at the Circuit De Catalunya, which will hold Round 5 of the 2010 F1 World Championship; this gives them the chance to find out who is really on top. The first day got under way on Thursday with the likes of Button, Alonso, Webber and Rosberg.

Lotus test driver Fairuz Fauzy got another 76 laps under the team’s belt but could only manage bottom of the time sheet, with a time of 1:28.002.

“It was a very productive day, with no mechanical worries on the car,” explained chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. “In the morning we conducted some engine LAMDA running which we completed successfully. We ran through a series of system set up checks, completed our first starts and evaluated a number of other control systems on the car, as well as monitoring temperatures and pressures throughout the car. All in all this was a successful day both on the track and we ticked off a lot of behind the scenes tasks ahead of the first race. Fairuz did a very good job today, with no mistakes, and we were able to complete our whole programme.”

Almost a full second ahead of Fairuz was Virgin’s Lucas Di Grassi. He set a time of 1:27.057 but could only make 31 laps because of a hefty crash early on.

“We are continuing to debug the car hydraulics and making good progress in our understanding of the issue,” explained Virgin’s technical director Nick Wirth. “Unfortunately when we were running some experimental control settings on the car, which were adversely affecting its handling, this caught Lucas out on the entry to Turn Nine resulting in a spin and contact with the barrier. We’re going to need to spend the time before tomorrow replacing some broken suspension and wings. We should be back on track tomorrow morning when we hope to really start building up our mileage.”

Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari finished 9th after completing 111 laps.

“It was encouraging to have another trouble free day, completing a high mileage,” the young Spaniard said. “We learned a lot doing long runs on the soft compound tyre and I’m looking forward to tackling a different programme tomorrow.”

He clocked a time of 1:24.869 and will continue to test on Friday.

GP2 graduate Vitaly Petrov concentrated on pit-stop practise and set-up work on the way to 8th place.

He manged to set a time of 1:24.173, and his team-mate Kubica will take over on Friday.

Alonso got his last test off to a bad start as his Ferrari F10 stopped on track with an electrical problem. He covered just 74 laps and came 7th with a time of 1:24.170, just 0.003 seconds quicker than Petrov.

The home favourite will get his last testing day underway on Friday.

Vitantonio Liuzzi managed to come up with a good time of 1:24.064 and covered 65 laps on the way to 6th.

He will continue to test the VJM03 on Friday, then Sutil will take over for the last two days.

Current world champion, Jenson Button set the 5th fastest time and according to McLaren’s website, they seem happy with Thursday’s running.

“Jenson kicked off running in Barcelona this morning, concentrating primarily on mechanical and aerodynamic set-up work.
Despite not setting any headline laptimes, the team declared itself pleased with progress, gaining a greater understanding of the behaviour of the Bridgestone tyre over a long run.”

Spaniard De La Rosa set a quick time of 1:23.144 on the way to 4th, he covered 73 laps.

“Today we have been concentrating on different mechanical set-ups and different downforce levels in preparation for the Bahrain Grand Prix,” explained technical director Willy Rampf. “We are not satisfied with the car’s balance yet, but we have recorded a great deal of useful data which will help us further improve it.”

German Nico Rosberg also did well in the W01 Mercedes GP, setting a time of 1:22.514 which brought him in 3rd. He carried out long runs, qualifying runs and practise pit-stops.

“We had a productive day today and we were able to learn a great deal from doing so many laps,” he said. “We’re making good use of the testing time that we have and I’m feeling quite confident and comfortable in the car. Aerodynamically the car will change quite significantly for the first race in Bahrain so we’re not focusing on the details but on general set-up work and seeing how the car behaves over long runs.”

Williams driver Nico “The Hulk” Hulkenburg continues to impress in his first few months as an F1 driver by setting the 2nd fastest time of 1:22.407.

The young German will continue in the FW32 on Friday.

Australian Mark Webber went top again at the Circuit De Catalunya, which just shows it wasn’t a one off at Jerez, as well as topping the time sheet he had enough time to join up to Twitter! Follow him here: @AussieGrit

“We had a pretty good day of testing,” said the Australian. “We did some simulations and performance items in the morning and a race simulation in the afternoon. We had a precautionary stop in the middle of the race simulation because of a gearbox oil alarm, but the guys got the car turned around pretty quickly and we finished the session, so it wasn’t too bad.”

So as the teams start practising their pit-stops, which could take less than 3 seconds this year, everyone seemed pretty happy with the day. 3 days left…

14 Days Until the New F1 Season….

Unofficial Thursday times from Barcelona:
1.     Mark Webber                Red Bull                 1:21.487      109   Laps
2.     Nico Hulkenberg         Williams                1:22.407      82     Laps
3.     Nico Rosberg                Mercedes GP       1:22.514      107   Laps
4.     Pedro de la Rosa          Sauber                   1:23.144       73     Laps
5.     Jenson Button              McLaren                1:23.452      101   Laps
6.     Vitantonio Liuzzi         Force India          1:24.064      65     Laps
7.     Fernando Alonso         Ferrari                   1:24.170      74     Laps
8.     Vitaly Petrov                 Renault                  1:24.173      74     Laps
9.     Jaime Alguersuari       Toro Rosso           1:24.869     111     Laps
10.  Lucas Di Grassi              Virgin                      1:27.057     31      Laps
11.   Fairuz Fauzy                   Lotus                      1:28.002      76     Laps

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2 Comments on “Testing At Circuit De Catalunya – Day 1”

  1. […] Read more here: Testing At Circuit De Catalunya – Day 1 « VioletPingu's F1 Blog […]

  2. Well… that’s quiet interessting but honestly i have a hard time visualizing it… I’m wondering what others have to say….

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