Formula 1

Rosberg Sets Fastest Lap on Final-Day Washout in Barcelona

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Nico Rosberg was the quickest of a five-man field on the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona which featured very wet track conditions throughout.

The German driver completed 35 laps, more than any other driver, as Mercedes completed its fifteenth and final day of winter testing.

Team-mate Michael Schumacher also took to the track, but completed only five laps, and didn’t set a meaningful laptime.

“It was tricky out there today; there wasn't a lot of grip, but it was really useful to get the experience on the Pirelli wet tyres,” said Rosberg. “We have made a lot of progress over the four tests this winter and it's really nice to see that things are going in the right direction.

“We are on the up for sure, and all credit to the team for getting the upgrades on the car and, most importantly, to see that they are working as expected.”

Schumacher, who was nicknamed the ‘regenmeister’ in his first career, was glad of the chance to try the wet Pirelli tyres and, like Rosberg, thinks the team are well prepared as they head for the opening race.

“It was good to complete a few laps out there this morning and try out the Pirelli wet tyres,” said the seven-time world champion. “There was obviously a limit to what we could achieve, but we made good use of the time by working through our race procedures. It's been a good week here in Barcelona and we're certainly happy with our position going into the first race of the season.”

Looking back over the week in Barcelona, team principal Ross Brawn sounded very positive. He was also keen to express his sympathy on behalf of the team for the Japanese poeple after the earthquake and tsunami that affected their country this weekend.

“We've had a very productive test in Barcelona working on the final specification of the MGP W02 for the first race of the season in Australia,” said Brawn. “Our upgrade package has performed as we expected, however Formula One continually moves forward, and as always, we will keep looking for more performance.

“We are happy with the structure that we applied to our pre-season testing programme, culminating in a good quantity of miles, and the car that we wanted to produce by the end of this test.

“Both drivers and the team have achieved a good amount of work for the new season in terms of race weekend simulations and it is now down to the final preparations for the first race. Then we will really see where we stand and how we have to react.

“On a different note, we have been wrapped up in our intense programme here, but our hearts and minds go out to the people of Japan, who are great supporters of our sport, in this time of tragedy.”

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David is an occasional contributer to the site on matters related to Formula 1. You can follow him on twitter at @Dr_Bean.
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