The penultimate day of Formula One preseason testing concluded today. While rain dominated the scene on thursday and Friday, it was all sunshine today in northern Spain. We saw blinding lap times from everyone today as well as race simulations up and down the field. The teams still have a lot of work to do to make sure that all of their Melbourne-spec upgrades work with the tires, as the first race of the season promises to be thrilling to say the least.
Lewis Hamilton absolutely dominated the qualifying runs today, as he became the first driver of the whole test to break the 1:21 barrier. He remained ahead of the field for the whole day as either no one could compete with the time or they felt their time was better spent focussing on longer runs.
Kimi Raikkonen was meant to begin his testing regime today in Barcelona, but was affected by food poisoning last night and pulled out of the test. Reserve driver, Davide Valsecchi took the reigns in the morning before handing the car over to Romain Grosjean in the afternoon.
Jules Bianchi also got his first taste of his new ride after his announcement yesterday as Luiz Razia’s replacement at Marussia. He certainly impressed as he got lots of work done without any major issues.
The lack of mechanical mishaps has been a feature of the final lest in Barcelona. It seems that the teams are finally working out all the niggles that could hold them back during the season.
Tomorrow will be absolutely crucial for all the teams. Once the test is over, we have a mere two weeks until the lights go out in Melbourne to signal the start of the 2013 season.
P Driver Team Time
1 Hamilton Mercedes 1m20.558s
2 Massa Ferrari 1m21.266s +0.708
3 Sutil Force India 1m21.627s +1.069
4 Maldonado Williams 1m22.305s +1.747
5 Bottas Williams 1m22.468s +1.910
6 Gutierrez Sauber 1m22.553s +1.995
7 Webber Red Bull 1m22.658s +2.100
8 Perez McLaren 1m22.694s +2.136
9 Vergne Toro Rosso 1m23.223s +2.665
10 Grosjean Lotus 1m23.380s +2.822
11 Valsecchi Lotus 1m23.448s +2.890
12 Bianchi Marussia 1m24.028s +3.470
13 van der Garde Caterham 1m24.235s +3.677