Sauber driver Sergio Perez topped the timesheets in Barcelona today as rain hit Spain for the first time in pre-season testing this year.
The Mexican’s best time of 1:22.094 was set in the morning as the team completed a qualifying simulation. Perez, like many other drivers running today, has now completed his pre-season testing duties for this year.
As rain set in during the afternoon, the 2012-spec Pirelli wet-weather tyres made their first on-track appearance.
Jenson Button of McLaren was within a tenth of Perez’s best time as the Brit finished the day second.
Daniel Ricciardo, who was third for Toro Rosso, completed 130 laps, more than any other driver managed today.
Felipe Massa was fourth quickest for Ferrari, ahead of Paul di Resta at Force India and Bruno Senna of Williams.
Heikki Kovalainen had another strong showing in the Caterham to finish the day seventh, ahead of Mark Webber of Red Bull and Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen, who was making his first appearance on track today since the Jerez test at the beginning of February, completed only 43 laps and finished the day bottom of the timesheets.
Barcelona Test II, Day Three: Unofficial Times
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||1:22.155||130|
|5||Paul di Resta||Force India||1:22.446||108|
|8||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:22.662||70|
Barcelona Test II, Day Three: Driver and Team Quotes
Sergio PÃ©rez: “I am very happy with how my final test day went. We did an intensive programme with qualifying and race preparation, which was important to do. I think we have demonstrated that the car has developed well over the testing period. The team has made the most out of all the information we have collected and certainly is in good shape. Also personally I feel ready for Melbourne.”
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “We completed a good programme today. To simulate qualifying was a good exercise for the team and the driver and all went fine. In the afternoon we also simulated procedures you have for a race start and pit stops during the race.
“After losing some track time in the early days of pre-season testing, we are now pretty happy with the mileage we have achieved. The team back in the factory obviously contributed a lot to the progress. Tomorrow Kamui will have a similar programme in the morning, but a different one in the afternoon.”
Kamui Kobayashi takes over testing duties for Sauber tomorrow, the final day of pre-season testing.
Jenson Button: “When you get new parts, you want to go out and put lots of laps on it in order to compare it to what you had previously – but we weren't able to do that today. We had a hydraulics issue in the morning, which meant we didn't do much running.
“So it wasn't the easiest morning – and then we didn't do much running in the afternoon either because of the rain. We put a couple of good laps in but didn't get any set-up work done – because of the rain.
“It was nice to drive the new package, and I have a good feeling about it, but I need to work with it for a bit longer to find the right balance for it.”
Lewis Hamilton takes over testing duties for McLaren tomorrow, the final day of pre-season testing.
Daniel Ricciardo: “A good day with my highest number of kilometres of the season, which is perfect preparation for Melbourne. I enjoyed the race simulation and we treated it like a real race when the rain came, with my engineer asking me on the radio to make the call about when to come in for tyres and which ones to fit. So it was good to have to make decisions and also to experience Pirelli's intermediates and rain tyres.”
Ricciardo will be in the Toro Rosso for the final day of pre-season testing tomorrow.
Felipe Massa: Awaiting quote
Fernando Alonso will take over testing duties at Ferrari tomorrow, the final day of pre-season testing.
Paul Di Resta: “It was my final day in the car before the first race and it was a full programme with a race distance in the afternoon. It's good to get an impression of the car during continuous running and also to try and replicate the tyre compounds we expect to use in Melbourne. We've identified some more areas where we can improve in terms of balance, so that's something to work on overnight before Nico gets in the car.”
Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer: “As the end of winter testing approaches, we are focusing more on race preparations to make sure we are fully up-to-speed before we arrive in Melbourne. We therefore simulated a race weekend today with a race distance this afternoon, as well as a pit stop drill for the entire race team. It's all about making sure everybody shakes off the winter rust and gets their eye in before Melbourne, because the next time we do it will be for real.
“The race distance today has taught us a lot about the operating window of the car and where we need to focus our efforts between now and Melbourne. The plan for tomorrow will be more of the same as we try to cover another race distance with Nico.”
Nico Hulkenberg will be on testing duties for Force India tomorrow, the final day of pre-season testing.
Bruno Senna: “Today was a very good day. We completed some runs on lower fuel, which I hadn't done before, using all the different tyre compounds. I was then able to do a full race simulation this afternoon, to learn more about the car and tyres in a race situation. We have a lot of valuable information to look at now, which will enable us to improve for next time. Unfortunately we had to cut our race simulation a bit short due to the rain, however we still met all our objectives for the day.”
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: “We had a productive day’s testing today, with Bruno completing 111 laps without issue. We concentrated on aerodynamic testing this morning prior to moving onto a race simulation. At the end of the race simulation, it started to rain and we reverted from dry tyres on to intermediates.”
Senna will be back in the Williams tomorrow morning, before team-mate Pastor Maldonado takes over testing duties tomorrow afternoon.
Heikki Kovalainen: “A pretty good day. We were able to complete this morning's plan and we have found a good direction on setup that is giving me real confidence in the balance which is what we wanted before we head to Melbourne. The afternoon session was cut short by the rain but not before we had finished the tests we wanted to do on start procedures, pre-race programs and all the background checks you have to get done over the winter tests. I think we've now caught up with the time we lost last week so now we need to make sure Vitaly has a good day tomorrow and put us in the best possible shape for the first race in just over two weeks.”
Mark Smith, Technical Director: “Day three here has been another successful day for the team. We had a couple of new parts on the car this morning and we have been able to satisfactorily test their performance, as well as running through the broader program we had planned for today. We have also made progress on each of the tyre compounds we tested today and the times we set show that we have definitely made positive progress today. Tomorrow will be more of the same for Vitaly, making sure we find a baseline setup he is comfortable with and running through a very similar program to today.”
Mark Webber: “We had a pretty good run today and once again we learned a lot. However, I suppose the thing that everyone's obviously asking about is the changes we made to the car but I have to say the car was not massively different to the one I drove on Thursday. We went through our normal programme, nothing drastic happened, and we just keep working away. It would have been nice to have a few more laps today but then again we didn't have a race simulation planned, so the rain didn't really hurt us.
“For me the next stop now is Melbourne and I'm looking forward to that. It's always good to drive out of the pitlane there. Racing's what we're all here for and while testing is good, it's nice to be on track all at the same time, all with the same window of opportunity to deliver – that's what we love doing. I'm looking forward to that weekend unfolding, and the rest of the races. It'll be good to get the season going.
Ciaron Pilbeam, Mark's Race Engineer: “We had a new chassis for Mark today with some developments parts on board. The run plan was pretty much the same as yesterday, concentrating on set-up work and short runs in the morning and with longer runs planned for the afternoon.
“Unfortunately, because of the rain we had we didn't get to complete all of the programme. Some people opted to run in the wet but we chose not to, as for us the track was neither one thing nor the other; not wet enough to gather the data we would have wanted and not dry enough to make it worthwhile running.”
Sebastian Vettel will be on testing duties for Red Bull tomorrow, the final day of pre-season testing.
Nico Rosberg: “I’m happy with my pre-season testing programme, and I believe that we have made a step forward from last year. I have been able to achieve a lot of mileage which shows that the car is very reliable, and as a driver, I feel ready now for the first race in Melbourne. Unbelievably in the last hours of my test today, it was raining! So I have also been able to experience the car in the wet. Now it’s exciting to go to the first race and see where we are compared to the others. Finally all the talking stops and the racing starts when we get to Australia.”
Michael Schumacher will be on testing duties for Mercedes tomorrow, the final day of pre-season testing.
Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen: “It was good to get in the E20 after missing testing last week. We had an issue with the power steering in the morning then we didn't run in the wet, so it was quite a short time for me in the car today. At least we got some runs. The car was reliable when on track meaning we gained some good data for the team. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow and we can complete more laps.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Aside from the time we lost early on it was clear that we were running a different programme from the other teams today. We were hampered by power steering issues in the morning, which took some time to rectify. Once on track, we steadily improved the car balance through the day. We opted not to run in the rain which meant we completed fewer laps today than would otherwise have been the case.”
RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen will be back in the Lotus tomorrow, the final day of pre-season testing.