Testing At Circuit De Catalunya – Day 2

It’s the second day at the Spanish circuit, the sun is still shining (THANK YOU!!) and drivers like Alonso, Alguersuari, Hulkenberg and De La Rosa will be finishing off their programmes for the last time before Bahrain.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso covered the most laps on Friday, as he tried to make up for Thursday’s technical failure, he made 133 laps and clocked a time of 1:20.637 which brought him 2nd.

Last year’s championship runner-up Vettel went fifth after making 125 laps, he clocked a time of 1:21.258.

“It was good today – we didn’t have any major problems,” Vettel explained. “We had to stop in the afternoon for a minor issue, but it’s quite normal in testing. When you’re testing, you don’t want to risk any damage so it’s best to switch the car off and stop if you don’t have to push when there’s an alert in the background.”

Sauber driver Pedro De La Rosa completed the third most laps of 114, and set a time of 1:20.973 which led him to 3rd in the standings.

“The reliability of the car was perfect and I think the performance was also good, especially in the race simulation,” explained the Spaniard. “It was a very good exercise and I feel we have now done everything possible to get ready for the first Grand Prix. It was also a big day for me because it has been a while since I last completed a race distance. I feel very well and also really confident now.”

Toro Rosso’s young star, Jaime Alguersuari made the most of his last test day by covering 104 laps and setting a time of 1:21.571 to bring him in 6th.

“Today was very useful in that it is a good confidence boost to have completed a race simulation on my last day of testing before the start of the season,” said Alguersuari. “It is still too early to talk about where we are in performance terms, but with a good mileage achieved over these four test sessions, I feel much better prepared than when I made my debut in the middle of last year.”

Young rookie Nico Hulkenberg really made the most of his last day in the seat of a Williams before Bahrain by topping the time sheet, and making 99 laps.

“We’ve had a good test here,” he said. “P1 today is nice but means nothing, to be honest. We’re not in Bahrain yet! It is positive for the team, and for me, to know what the car can do though. We did a lot of set-up work today and have found some interesting things so I feel ready and confident to go to Bahrain now.”

Lewis Hamilton kept his speed under wraps on Friday, which makes it hard to compare the likes of Schumacher and Alonso with the 2008 Champion. He covered 93 laps and set a time of 1:22.152, 8th was his position in the standings.

“Lewis took over from Jenson today,” said McLaren’s website. “Continuing the development work his team-mate began yesterday: refining set-up and evaluating tyres.
The morning was spent conducting shorter runs, attempting more experimental set-ups – changes that Lewis found beneficial to the car’s balance.
The different set-up changes caused several lengthy turnarounds in the morning before Lewis could concentrate on a single long-distance run in the afternoon – which was punctuated by several late red-flag periods.
Jenson is back in the car tomorrow, conducting further fine-tuning of MP4-25.”

Force India driver Tonio Liuzzi covered 90 laps and set his best time of 1:21.056 which gave him a very good 4th. Team-mate Adrian Sutil will take over for the next two days.

“We can be quite happy about today’s programme,” he said. “We completed everything without any issues and the car showed very good reliability, even when we did the race simulation. Again it is responding very well and we are improving day by day so everything is looking positive. We still don’t know where we are relative to the others, and we will only see in Bahrain, but overall we can be really happy.”

7 time world champion Michael Schumacher also kept his speed quiet and only set a time 1 place ahead of Briton Hamilton. He covered 85 laps and made a time of 1:21.689, he focused on pit-stop practise and long runs.

“We had a positive day but it was quite stop-start with some changes on the car and then the red flags towards the end of the day,” explained the German. “We are working hard and even if the programme doesn’t run as smoothly as we would have liked, there is much more to come from the team both here and in Bahrain. We are working very well together and there is a good atmosphere within the team.”

The Lotus T127 didn’t finish at the bottom of the time sheet, for the first time! Jarno Trulli was in the cockpit on Friday, and he set a time of 1:25.524 which was faster than the Virgin of Timo Glock.

“It was a productive day in terms of set up direction with Jarno,” said chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. “We were able to identify some problems with the set up in the car and establish clear direction to improve it. We still have a long way to go, and a lot of time to come from the car. We had a couple of minor hydraulics issues which stopped the car on track, but nothing major, so all in all it was a productive day and we’re aiming to continue in the same vein on Saturday.”
Jarno will continue in the Lotus on Saturday, then team-mate Heikki Kovalainen will take over for the last day.

Ex-BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica, covered a limited 53 laps after a suspension failure hit the Renault.

“Robert was in the car today for his first laps at Barcelona in the R30,” explained Renault’s chief engineer Alan Permane. “We spent the morning doing some set-up work, but in the afternoon we had a problem with the suspension, which limited our running. We’re still looking into the issue and will have the car fixed and ready for Saturday morning.”

Virgin found themselves back at the bottom after Thursday’s crash meant they had to fly over new parts overnight, limiting their available running time.

Timo Glock was in the seat and set a time of 1:25.942, and covered 52 laps.

Everyone will be hoping for more dry running.

Button, Massa, Rosberg, Vettel, Barrichello, Buemi, Sutil, Trulli, Petrov, Kobayashi and Glock are the drivers for Saturday.

13 Days Until the New F1 Season…

Unofficial Friday times from Barcelona:
1.     Nico Hulkenberg            Williams                1:20.614          99      Laps
2.     Fernando Alonso           Ferrari                   1:20.637        133     Laps
3.     Pedro de la Rosa             Sauber                   1:20.973        114      Laps
4.     Vitantonio Liuzzi            Force India         1:21.056         90       Laps
5.     Sebastian Vettel              Red Bull                1:21.258         125     Laps
6.     Jaime Alguersuari          Toro Rosso          1:21.571        104     Laps
7.    Michael Schumacher     Mercedes GP       1:21.689         85       Laps
8.     Lewis Hamilton               McLaren                1:22.152        93        Laps
9.     Robert Kubica                  Renault                  1:24.912        53        Laps
10.   Jarno Trulli                       Lotus                      1:25.524       70        Laps
11.   Timo Glock                        Virgin                     1:25.942        52        Laps

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