Kamui Kobayashi set the quickest time of the entire Barcelona test that has taken place this week at the Circuit de Catalunya.
On the fourth and final day of this second pre-season test, Kobayashi completed 145 laps – more than any other driver today – which included his best time of 1:22.312.
That time was two-tenths faster than that of second-placed man Pastor Maldonado, who had another good day for Williams.
Paul di Resta was third quickest for Force India, just ahead of fellow Brit Jenson Button.
Felipe Massa was in a positive mood after ending the day fifth fastest for Ferrari, ahead of Red Bull‘s Mark Webber.
French rookie Jean-Eric Vergne was seventh in the Toro Rosso, ahead of Nico Rosberg, who completed 139 laps in the Mercedes.
Heikki Kovalainen was bottom of the timesheets in the Caterham.
The final pre-season test, also taking place in Barcelona, begins on the 1st March and runs for four days.
Barcelona Test I, Day Four: Unofficial Times
|3||Paul di Resta||Force India||1:23.119||101|
|6||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:23.774||85|
|7||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1:23.792||92|
Barcelona Test I, Day Four: Driver and Team Quotes
Kamui Kobayashi: “I'm quite happy. We achieved a very good mileage today. The set up changes we did in the morning meant an improvement in lap times, which, of course, is very positive. There is still a lot of work to do in terms of understanding the car and the different tyre compounds at different fuel levels, but we are working in the right direction. I think it was a good test for us.”
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “It was another positive test day for us. We started in the morning with some further aero comparisons and set-up work. Before lunch Kamui did qualifying runs. Qualifying was actually a weakness of ours in the last two seasons and we have to resolve this. This obviously requires proper practice. Kamui started with the medium compound before he used two sets of soft tyres, and in the end he got his first taste of the 2012 super soft compound. He did his fastest lap on the second set of softs.
“This lap time now stands as the overall fastest for this week, but of course this doesn't mean much because proper comparisons are never possible during testing with each team running different programmes. In the afternoon we did longer runs for race preparation.”
Pastor Maldonado: “It has been a positive test for the team. We've had no problems with the car, getting in some good mileage across all four days. We now have a great deal of data to analyse so we will keep pushing to improve our car for the next test. I am looking forward to coming back next week for the final test, and getting back to racing very soon.”
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: “We’ve had a really productive day’s testing to end an excellent couple of weeks. Today Pastor went through a competitive race simulation and both the car and he performed very well, ending the day with some long run comparisons. We have gathered a prodigious amount of data over more than 3500kms of testing and we will now regroup back at the factory to understand how to further improve the set-up and development direction ahead of the next Barcelona test.”
Paul Di Resta: “It was another successful day and a good way to end the week. I had a small trip through the gravel in the morning, but nothing that caused too much of an issue, although we lost half an hour of running. The important thing is that we still managed to do our long runs in the afternoon and I could feel the changes we made compared to yesterday. It's given me a good impression of the car's balance and consistency, and we've seen that our long run pace is improving step by step.”
Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer: “Today's programme with Paul completes another very productive test for us. Having focussed on reliability in Jerez, we've been able to come here and get straight on with performance work to really start understanding the car. We've built up some good knowledge of all the dry tyre compounds, collected lots of aero data and given the drivers a good opportunity to experiment with setting up the car. What is encouraging is the feedback from both Nico and Paul, which is positive about the handling of the car, especially over longer runs. It's good to hear those comments at a high-speed aero circuit such as Barcelona, which suggests our development steps are leading us in the right direction.”
Dave Redding: “Today was spent completing some of the fundamental tests that we don't normally get the opportunity to do at race weekends. We also used the time to continue tyre testing and complete a number of reliability prove-outs.
“It was a good day: we did 115 laps and felt the car went well. This week we've completed more than 2100km of running, which is impressive. It's been a pleasing end to a very constructive week.”
Felipe Massa: “I am happy: not only because we finally did so much mileage without problems but above all because we managed to improve the car in a significant way. The situation has changed above all compared to the morning, especially from the point of view of consistency of the lap times. The important thing is that, after having evaluated so many solutions, both on the exhausts and at the front, we are now taking a direction in which we can work to get the best set-up. There's still a lot to do, for example on the exits of corners, but I'm satisfied and from the next Barcelona test we will be able to really start true and meaningful testing.
“Today we could certainly have done a better lap time but that wasn't our target. We had so many things to test over the course of these few days and our priority was to identify what is worth working on for the early races. We managed that and now we can concentrate on those areas with a large margin for improvement, like set-up and how to use the tyres. In the afternoon we were able to do some long series of laps with pretty consistent times, which I didn't manage in the morning. The warm-up, that had been a particular problem for me in recent years, is also much improved – so much that I can consistently put together a time on the first lap. The car doesn't have anything new on it but it's definitely improved since Jerez.
“We are ready to fight but it's impossible to say how we really compare to the others. We will discover that only when we all run with low fuel and soft tyres at the same time on the track, which will be during qualifying for Melbourne. Today people can say whatever they want but until we are all in the same conditions words count little. It's true that I've seen some strong teams: Red Bull above all but also others like Sauber, Force India and Williams if you look at this week's times.”
Mark Webber: “Today we got through a lot of stuff! We tested a lot of elements and everything worked well, especially since we had such a big programme. That can mean not a lot of laps and a lot of garage time, but we gathered a lot of good information today and that's a pleasing way to finish the week.
“We have a lot of work to do back in Milton Keynes over the next few days to get the car ready for the next test. We've done well over these two first tests and the feeling is pretty good.”
Ciaron Pilbeam, Webber’s Race Engineer: “We had quite a lot of work to get through today, basically finishing off the performance and data gathering work we started at the beginning of the week. It went well and we got through everything we wanted to, even though it was pretty busy this morning. Unlike yesterday, we had no issues at all and it was a good day's work.
“This test has been a good one I think in terms of information gathered, so we'll take it all back to the factory, have a look at all the data and try to apply what we learn from it when we come back here next week.”
Jean-Eric Vergne: “I am much more confident in the car now than I was by the end of the Jerez test. We worked on many different aspects of the job and for example, today I had a much better understanding of the pit stops than I did after trying them yesterday for the first time. We did some good work today, acquiring plenty of data and I expect this will help us to improve still further next week.”
Laurent Mekies, Chief Engineer: “From a technical point of view, we completed our programme, working through a large number of test items, which are the type of thing you can only achieve in winter testing when you have a lot of tyres. Some of the work of making these changes to the car was time consuming, which explains why we have not completed such a large number of laps, but it was important to get the answers on the items we wanted to evaluate here.
“We can be reasonably satisfied with the results achieved. The drivers are getting into the rhythm. Next week here there will be plenty of race simulations and our drivers will get a lot of time on track to experience race conditions. Overall this week, we achieved what we came here to do.”
Nico Rosberg: “After our first full test with the F1 W03, I can see that we are making good steps forward. Our test programme went well this week and we have made evident progress each day. In terms of reliability, the car is performing pretty much as we expected which is really important as we can concentrate on improving the performance. Of course it’s difficult at this stage to predict how we will fare in race conditions against our competitors but overall I’m pleased with the start that we have made. I’m looking forward to the final test next week before the season begins, and continuing our learning with our F1 W03.”
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: “We have had a very positive first week of running with the F1 W03. After five full test days, we have completed over 2000 km, Nico and Michael have done consistent mileage and reliability has been ok, aside from a couple of problems earlier in the week.
“Both drivers have already completed full race simulations, and this really is a tribute to all the hard work that was done back at base in Brackley and Brixworth to ensure we hit the ground running this year with the new car – as well as to the efforts of our day and night shifts at the track in Barcelona. This basis means that the drivers and engineers have been able to work well with the car rather than chasing problems, and next week we hope to focus even more on getting performance out of our current package.
“Overall, we are in a reasonable position, but I don’t for a moment believe we have achieved our objectives yet. It may be something of a winter testing clichÃ©, but there is still an awful lot to be done, and it’s far too early to make any kind of judgement about our competitiveness.”
Heikki Kovalainen: “This is the sort of test you look back on and think we’re pleased to have got behind us, but we have still learnt a lot here and have ironed out quite a few issues that could have been more serious later in the season. Things haven’t exactly gone as we would have liked, but I think we all know where the car can and should be when it gets real in Australia, so now the challenge is to regroup in time for next week and make sure we come back here ready to put in a final week of hard work on track and get back to where we want to be.”
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “Heikki’s first laps this morning went according to plan and he was reporting that the car felt more like it had in Jerez. Unfortunately we then had a small electrical issue in the engine so we decided to make a precautionary engine change which obviously cut short our track time in the morning.
“In the afternoon we got back to where we wanted to be, with long-run fuel loads throughout the afternoon, and I think we caught up quite a lot of the time we had lost this morning. We definitely have work to do in preparation for next week, but we know the areas we need to focus on, and we will have the race one aero package here for T03, so we have plenty of reasons to look forward to the last test of the season.”