Nico Rosberg managed to peel off a quick lap early in today’s testing sessions in Barcelona, before ran fell. The time was never bettered, even though the track began to dry later in the day. Although drivers ran slick tires again in the afternoon session, and lap times fell, Rubens Barichello brought out a red flag after he spun into the kitty litter, which brought the afternoon session to a close.
It was Barichello’s second spin of the day. He had made an off track excursion earlier, during the worst part of the rainy spell. Even so, Barichello, normally very able in the wet, managed to record the fourth fastest time of the day.
Most of today’s testers concentrated on long, heavy-fuel runs, simulating race conditions. It’s widely expected that, weather permitting, they’ll reveal their hands a bit more tomorrow, in qualifying trim. It will be their last chance to do so prior to the season-openener in Bahrain, in two weeks’ time.
Thus far, of course, the lap times from most of the pre-season testing has given only partial glimpse of the teams’ relative performance. While it’s easy to see that newbie teams like Lotus and Virgin are clearly at the bottom of the pecking order, the situation with the Big Four (Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren) is a bit more nebulous.
Even Michael Schumacher allowed that there were question marks regarding who would be the quickest out of the box in Bahrain. As reported in Autosport, Schumacher said, “I don’t know who has played all their cards yet. Even with my experience I really struggle [to see who is quickest]. There are several teams that look very competitive.”
Image by slitzferrari, licensed through Creative Commons.
|1||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes W01||1:20.686||128|
|2||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso STR5||1:21.413||106|
|3||Jenson Button||McLaren MP4-25||1:21.450||105|
|4||Rubens Barrichello||Williams FW32||1:21.975||101|
|5||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F10||1:22.344||115|
|6||Vitaly Petrov||Renault R30||1:22.523||68|
|7||Adrian Sutil||Force India VJM03||1:22.606||61|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull RB6||1:23.123||51|
|9||Jarno Trulli||Lotus T127||1:25.059||102|
|10||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber C29||1:26.216||105|
|11||Timo Glock||Virgin VR-01||1:26.305||31|