Pastor Maldonado was the surprise fastest driver on Day Three of the second pre-season test today in Barcelona.
The Williams driver topped the timesheets with a lap of 1:22.391, and was nearly a second quicker than second-placed driver Michael Schumacher who, with 127 laps completed, notched up more mileage than any other driver.
Kamui Kobayashi built on the competitive showing of team-mate Sergio Perez yesterday by being the third quickest driver, ahead of Jenson Button in fourth, Jean-Eric Vergne in fifth, and Mark Webber of Red Bull in sixth.
Felipe Massa was seventh fastest in the Ferrari as he took over from team-mate Fernando Alonso ahead of Paul di Resta who endured a tricky day in the Force India.
Timo Glock enjoyed his first day of testing of the pre-season period by dragging Marussia of the bottom of the timesheets, albeit using the team’s 2011 car. Vitaly Petrov in the Caterham finished the day tenth.
Barcelona Test I, Day Three: Unofficial Times
|5||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1:24.433||78|
|6||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:24.771||97|
|8||Paul di Resta||Force India||1:25.646||83|
Barcelona Test I, Day Three: Driver and Team Quotes
Pastor Maldonado: “It was a good day today, as we completed all of our planned programme with no issues. We have put more mileage on the car which is great for everyone here and back at the factory as we now have a lot more data to analyse. The car is progressing well and I feel everything is going in the right direction.”
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: “It has been a very pleasing day with Pastor successfully completing his whole run plan, covering 106 trouble-free laps. We started with some aerodynamic correlation runs, followed by race weekend preparation and set-up optimisation. In the background, we also ran some bodywork cooling sweeps throughout the day.”
Maldonado will be back in the Williams tomorrow for the final day of the test.
Michael Schumacher: “I’m very happy with the race simulation that we ran this afternoon. It confirmed what we have seen from the first tests with our new car, and that we don’t seem to have any big issues with reliability. The small things from the last two days I would rate as typical testing issues. So from my side, I am happy with our first full testing session, and we have definitely improved our game which is what we wanted to achieve. To what extent, we can only see later, but I am finishing with a positive feeling.”
Nico Rosberg will be in the Mercedes tomorrow for the final day of this test.
Kamui Kobayashi: “It was my first day of driving the new car here in Barcelona, and it was a good one. We had no noteworthy problems all day and went through a lot of test items. I can feel we have made some progress compared to the test in Jerez. But, of course, we have a lot more work to do and there is room for improvement.”
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “We have had a straightforward test day. Kamui did almost a hundred laps. His programme was mainly about improving and confirming what we understand about the car. For example we were looking for improvements in the front tyre warm-up, evaluating different aero parts and ran different suspension configurations. The programme required a lot of five to ten lap runs. It was a productive day for Kamui and the team. Tomorrow's test programme tends to become a bit more exciting, and that is also for the outside world.”
Kobayashi will be back in the car for Sauber tomorrow, the final day of this four day test.
Jenson Button: “We've done a lot of reliability work over the past three days – more than 100 laps on each day. Most of that has been longer runs, getting used to the feeling of the car over a long-run and set-up work for the longer runs.
“We've also been really working hard to understand this year's Pirelli tyres and getting the car to work efficiently around them. That's a key part of the programme this winter.
“There are a lot of cars out there that look competitive: so we'll keep pushing. We should hopefully bring our upgrade package to the next test and that will see us through to the first race in Melbourne.”
Button will be back in the McLaren tomorrow for the final day of this four day test.
Jean-Eric Vergne: “It's good to be back in the car after Jerez. We got through a lot of work today, including some aero evaluation and different set-ups. We ran all day long on the Medium tyres, which gives us a good baseline to analyse the data. We are learning more about our new car with every lap and it has performed well on this Barcelona track which is always a true test of how a car is performing. Towards the end of the day, I had my first experience of proper Formula 1 pit stops. It was a scary feeling at the beginning, coming in at 100 km/h and seeing so many people. At first, I was worried about hitting someone, but by the end I had got used to it. It's an exciting experience!”
Mark Webber: “All in all, it wasn't a bad day at all. Not the smoothest of morning's and we didn't get too many laps done there, but in the afternoon the race simulation went OK. We're still learning plenty.
“It would have been nice to have done a few more laps, but I think everyone always wants to get 20 or 30 more and, even with the problem this morning, there were loads of positives to look at. We're a very ambitious team, so we'll keep working on that.”
Ian Morgan, Head of Race Engineering: “Mark only got a handful of laps in before we had a problem with the gearbox. But whereas it didn't set us back too much yesterday, today needed more time.
“Mark then went out for his race simulation this afternoon a bit cold, but he managed to put a whole race distance on and the gearbox ran flawlessly. We stopped a couple of laps earlier than planned because we saw something in the data, but in the end it was nothing. So, while we had a limited morning, the afternoon was a pretty good recovery.
“These two days of race simulations have been valuable too in that we've got some good information on the tyres.”
Felipe Massa: “The car is definitely better compared to Jerez and we are beginning to define how we must move forward to continue to improve. I ran all the time on the hardest tyres and I am reasonably pleased with the work we did. Tomorrow, I will try the other compounds and we will work on fine tuning the car. It will be important to do a lot of kilometres over these final five days to be as well prepared as possible for the first race of the season.”
Paul Di Resta: “Quite an intense day and a very busy afternoon, but the main thing is that we achieved the objectives for the day. There will be a lot of analysing tonight to see what we can learn, especially trying to understand the data from the long runs this afternoon. Once we've been through the numbers, it should give us a direction for tomorrow. As I said in Jerez, it's nice to have a car with such a good baseline because it makes it easier to experiment with the set-up and that's what we're trying to do at the moment.”
Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer: “After the install lap we went straight into the aero programme with some sweeps around the front of the car. We lost some time with a bodywork issue late in the morning, but the afternoon proved more productive and we made up for the time we lost with a revised programme. We ran with the hard and medium compound tyres and completed the short and long runs we had planned, whilst also making numerous changes to the mechanical and aero balance of the car. It was an excellent effort from the team at the track to come away with all the long run data we needed and that has set us up nicely for our final day of work tomorrow.”
Timo Glock: “It's good to be back on track again after the long winter break and to start our preparations for the new season. Although we are still using the old car it has been really useful to work through the tyre evaluation programme and have the team working together again trackside. I'm looking forward to driving the new car now.”
John Booth, Team Principal: “It's great to see Timo back in the car and in such fine form. It is clear he has been working very hard over the extended winter break and I don't think I've seen him quite as prepared as this. We've achieved some good results today evaluating all the specifications of tyres, which will give us good background information going into the season. Timo also completed some tyre-specific set-up work which will feed into the new car programme. Overall another rewarding day of testing.”
Vitaly Petrov: “We spent quite a bit more time today looking at various areas of the car to help me find a setup I'm really comfortable with and can push on from. Once we'd sorted out this morning's issue we were able to try a few different setup options in the afternoon and by the last couple of runs I think we were heading in the right direction, both mechanically and with the different tyre compounds.”
Steve Nielsen, Sporting Director: “That was a bit of a difficult day where we struggled to give Vitaly the sort of setup he wants. He did a good job today to drive around a couple of basic issues we knew we would encounter, but those will be solved with new parts that are coming for the next test, and they should not affect Heikki tomorrow. We have saved a number of tyres up for tomorrow and that means we can run through the whole tyre program we had set for the last day of this test which means we should leave here with a better understanding of how the 2012 compounds behave and decent amount of data we can use to prepare for next week's test.”