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Jaime Alguersuari and Toro Rosso Quickest on Day Three at Jerez

Jaime Alguersuari in the Toro Rosso STR5 - quickest on day three at Jerez

Friday brought another rain-soaked test session at Jerez.  The quickest times of the day were posted early in the morning session, while the track was still relatively dry.  It was during that window that 19-year-old Jaime Alguersuari posted the quickest time of the day, recording a 1:19.919 in his Toro Rosso STR5.

A drizzle continued to fall throughout much of the morning session, and this increased to rain during the afternoon.  A total of 10 mm fell during the course of both morning and afternoon sessions.

Today’s changeable weather complicated the teams’ test programs.  For most of the day, the track was too wet for the cars to be shod with slick tires, but not wet enough for full wets, or rain tires.  As a result, most of the testing was done using intermediates.

Unfortunately, intermediates degrade very quickly, which can hamper a team’s testing opportunities.  Teams have a strict allocation of test tires, mandated by FIA sporting regulations.  As Williams technical director Sam Michael told ESPNF1, “Because you are limited to the amount of tires, you potentially can run out of tires before you can do your mileage.”

Moreover, tire degradation was exacerbated by the changeable conditions.  As Michael said, “If the conditions stay full wet or full inter, that is fine. The problem is when it dries out and gets wet again. Then you have a high wear rate on the tire, and it effectively becomes like a slick.”

On the whole, the weather prevented the teams from running through their normal test programs.  A Ferrari spokesperson said, “The track is wet but not really enough to do proper runs, at least for us.”  And a McLaren spokesperson voiced a similar sentiment, saying,  “We worked mostly on brakes and did some set-up work.  There is not a lot we can do in weather like this.”

Needless to say, today’s times were virtually worthless as a gauge of the teams’ relative performance.  Similar conditions are forecast for tomorrow.

Image by f1photo.org, licensed through Creative Commons.

Pos. Driver Car Best Time Laps
1 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso STR5 1:19.919 76
2 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber C29 1:20.736 58
3 Adrian Sutil Force India VJM03 1:21.428 48
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari F10 1:21.603 72
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull RB6 1:21.783 59
6 Vitaly Petrov Renault R30 1:22.000 68
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W01 1:22.820 53
8 Rubens Barrichello Williams FW32 1:23.217 120
9 Lewis Hamilton McLaren MP4-25 1:23.985 68
10 Lucas di Grassi Virgin VR-01 1:27.107 8
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