Mark Webber topped the timesheets on the first day of the final pre-season test, which got underway today in Barcelona.
The Red Bull driver completed 97 laps – more than any other driver – and his best time of 1:22.544 was the fastest that anyone managed on this opening day. However, neither Ferrari, Mercedes nor Williams begin testing at the Circuit de Catalunya until tomorrow, and so Webber’s pace cannot yet be regarded as all-conquering.
“It was a pretty good day and not much has changed since last week,” Webber said. “We got some good laps in today. I think everybody is limited by tyres – we don’t have unlimited sets of tyres these days, so the mileage is a bit controlled by how many you have at your disposal. But, all in all, we had a good afternoon and got some good information.”
Head of Race Engineering Ian Morgan was also pleased with how the day had gone, but is hoping for some warmer conditions as the week progresses. “Today was the first proper test for Chassis 02 and I'm happy to say everything went according to plan,” he said. “We had a mixture of things to get through today, concentrating on some short runs in the morning and then longer race-distance type runs in the afternoon.
“The only difficulties we encountered were the slightly low ambient temperatures and some windy conditions. It would be nice to get the chance to test in hotter conditions and we hope for a bit of increase as the week goes on. But that was a small problem really on a pretty useful day for us.”
Sebastian Vettel takes over testing duties tomorrow.