It was another productive day in Jerez with many drivers completing more laps than yesterday. Not all the running was smooth as Marussia and Mercedes both experienced problems with their cars, resulting in another wasted day for both of the teams.
On his final outing for the test, Mark Webber had a successful day in the RB9. 101 laps were completed with out issue and Mark was positive about Red Bull’s progress.
“In terms of consistency I was very happy with the last few days and myself. The car gives me the confidence to push, and we can certainly build from there in terms of development.”
Again, Felipe was satisfied with his second program in the F138. The day was dedicated to completing aerodynamic and exhaust tests so flying laps were scarce early on.
“In the morning, I didn’t even do a flying lap because we used the time available to do constant speed runs and to analyze various aerodynamic solutions.”
Sergio Perez made his on track debut for Mclaren today, and fortunately had no mechanical issues to hamper him as he got used to his new surroundings. Ultimate lap time wasn’t on the agenda for him and he ended the day 7th fastest. Today was undoubtedly about familiarizing himself with the new car, but Sergio was very pleased with what he experienced.
“The feedback was good straight away and you definitely feel [the car’s potential]. We don’t know how competitive we are but all I can say is that the car feels good.
Grosjean finished his final day of testing in Jerez at the top of the time sheets. Capping off a very productive and glitch free two days with the fastest time of the test so far was definitely a good way to start the new year. Romain was very appreciative of the “all-round” improvement that is his Lotus E21.
“I was a bit cautious with what I said yesterday, but the feelings are better than last year.
Lewis Hamilton made his on track debut for Mercedes today and the day couldn’t have gone worse. Rear brake problems hit while he was on a fast lap and he careened into the barriers at Dry Sack corner. Nevertheless, Hamilton was very happy with the performance of his Mercedes and how it compared with the Mclarens he is used to.
Nico Hulkenberg had another low-key day in his Sauber C32. He completed many laps and ended the day a solid 5th, even though the times don’t have any significance just yet. Hulkenberg is also confident that the C32 is a car that can be improves upon throughout this season.
“It’s something we can build on; I think it’s a good baseline.”
Paul di Resta enjoyed an even more impressive day today in his Force India as he ended the day second on the time sheets with nearly 100 laps under his belt. James Rossiter, Force India’s simulator driver got his chance to drive the VJM06 today as he took over towards the end of the day. He completed just under 20 laps and ended the day last on the timesheets but for the Caterham and Marussia drivers. There were no mechanical failures to contend with and that made the day one of reliability and productivity.
“The feeling’s good in the car, I’m very comfortable in it. I think we’ve been able to explore some good potential in it as we would do as an engineering team.”
Williams has defended it’s decision to run its 2012 car in Jerez saying that testing upgrades that will potentially help its 2013 car outweighs the benefits of running the 2013 car before they think it is fully ready.
“With the test we planned to do here, there is no better way to do it than with the other car because we have a lot of confidence in it, a lot of data to compare and we are going to be more clear [in understanding the tyres] with it.
Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed another solid day of testing. There were no reliability issues with the car and he is happy with the direction the team is heading. Toro Rosso’s goal of 6th in the constructors’ championship is a lofty one, but it may not be impossible.
Another in eventful day of testing was probably the best way for Giedo van der Garde to cap off his first F1 preseason test. He completed nearly 90 laps and, but for a brief off in the gravel, made no mistakes all day. He is, however, remaining cautious about Caterham’s prospects this season.
“I don’t expect that we have found a lot of stuff and we will run in the top ten. We are still a young team and a lot of new people have come in and our new CEO is putting the right people in the right places. Hopefully we can make a good step during the year.”
Marussia endured a similar day to Mercedes today, though, in much less spectacular fashion. Razia was running well until a mechanical problem forced him to end his day early.
“We had an engine problem but took that opportunity to do our KERS checks and then we were unable to turn the car round before the red flag came out. Overall though I think we have good reason to be positive as the guys are obviously pushing extremely hard.
Today was all about getting mileage under the teams’ belts. Many achieved more laps than expected which is great news in terms of the cars’ reliability and drivability. Those whose days were cut short have a lot of ground to make up in a game where one lost session can mean a great deal
1. Romain Grosjean, 1.18.218, 95 laps
2. Paul di Resta 1:19.003, 95 laps
3. Daniel Ricciardo, 1:19.134, 83 laps
4. Mark Webber 1:19.338, 101 laps
5. Nico Hulkenberg, 1:19.502, 99 laps
6. Lewis Hamilton, 1:19.519, 15 laps
7. Sergio Perez, 1:19.572, 81 laps
8. Felipe Massa, 1:19.914, 78 laps
9. Pastor Maldonado, 1:20.693, 71 laps
10. James Rossiter, 1:21.273, 19 laps
11. Giedo van der Garde, 1:21.311, 88 laps
12 Luiz Razia, 1:23.537, 31 laps.