Alonso finishes second day of tests on top.
Local hero, Fernando Alonso has pleased his Spanish fans in Valencia after finishing the second day of pre-season testing with the fastest time.
Alonso showed good pace all day, after pipping 2010 World Champion Sebastian Vettel to the quickest time in the morning session. But the Spaniard only continued to get quicker finishing the day with a fastest lap of 1m 13.307s. Whilst Vettel finished second fastest.
F1 Rookie, Force India's Paul di Resta finished third, although his day wasn't without incident, when he spun off at turn two, which brought the morning session to a halt as he was pulled out of the gravel trap. Although, the young Scottish driver continued and completed a substantial 111 laps of the Ricardo Tormo circuit, more than any other driver in the day.
Speaking about his second test day, Paul di Resta said: "Another good day of testing for the team, gathering lots of information for the guys to work on as we prepare for the debut of the VJM04 next week. We're now understanding a lot more about the performance of the Pirellis and the differences between the compounds, particularly with regards to long and shorter runs and different fuel loads. At this stage we're not going for times, just trying to get representative data to work on. I'm feeling good and well integrated into the team and my new role, there's a really positive atmosphere, which will set us up extremely well for next week when the new car testing programme starts."
Rubens Barrichello, was forced to stop his Williams on track at turn five with a mechanical issue. But managed to complete 45 laps before having to stop. The Brazilian driver later complained about balance problems with the new FW33 and also commented that the extra buttons on the steering wheel due to the KERS and adjustable rear wing were a concern, as they are quite a distraction when driving.
Barrichello said: "The number of buttons on the steering wheel can distract you from the driving. I don’t think it’s a danger, but I think it’s a concern. In terms of execution, the additional controls are obviously necessary, but people have different steering wheels, so drivers may therefore be able to reach some buttons easier than others. The problem is you are taking your eye off the road. There is not a single straight where I don’t press a button and change gear. In my role in the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) we will keep talking about this, but I think the FIA will let us practice a little more. I think the strong comments will come now but will lessen as people get used to things."
Over at the McLaren garage it was Lewis Hamilton's turn to take over testing duties from reserve Gary Paffett. Hamilton completed 84 laps, and finished fourth quickest on the day. Whilst the Lotus Renault GP car of Robert Kubica was just behind in fifth, and HRT's latest signing Narain Karthikeyan finished 6th.
Team Lotus's new T128 made its track debut in the morning session. However, only managed to complete 15 laps, after the car suffered a problem with its power steering.
F1 Team Testing -T01 - Valencia (Wednesday)
Red Bull RB7
Paul di Resta
Force India VJM-03
Mercedes GP W02
Virgin Racing VR-01
Toro Rosso STR6
Toro Rosso STR6
Red Bull RB7
all times unofficial