Kubica finishes 3rd test day on top
Robert Kubica has finished top of the time sheet on the final day of pre-season testing in Valencia, with not only the fastest time of the day, but of the week.
Driving the new Lotus Renault GP R31, Kubica put in an impressive time of 1m 13.144s. This was a great finish to the first pre-season tests for the team, after they have struggled with a few teething problems over the last couple of days.
Reporting on their website the team said "Robert ran with a new steering wheel design [today] and felt happy with the new button layout, which makes it easier to manage the heavy workload associated with KERS and the adjustable rear wing."
Adding that the team used Flow Viz paint on the car in the morning, which enabled them to confirm the new aero package was working as expected. As well as completed runs with the "supersoft, soft and medium compounds of Pirelli tyres to gather preliminary data on the new 2011 rubber."
Meanwhile, Kubica said: “It’s always difficult to judge things after just one day in the car, especially with so many changes compared to last year. The main factor is definitely the new Pirelli tyres, which have a big influence on how the car behaves and we ran on some of the different compounds to start getting a feeling for them. We did have a couple of mechanical issues with the car and we couldn’t complete the entire programme, but we still did lots of laps. This is very important because we managed to complete a lot of the usual system and reliability checks needed with a new car and made sure there were no overheating issues.”
The team's technical director, James Allison added that Thursday had been “a much more satisfying day than yesterday. Over a hundred laps today with no significant problems. The KERS system and the DRS wing worked flawlessly and the car spent enough time on the track for us to do some set-up work alongside the routine task list of pre-season checks.”
Force India's Adrian Sutil was second fastest on the day just ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button. Both of whom as like Kubica completed over 100 laps of the Valencia circuit.
Mark Webber was fourth, whilst Ferrari's Felipe Massa managed fifth fastest after the rear of his Ferrari caught fire in the early stages of the morning session, cutting short his testing time, as it took until 3pm to fix the fire damage. Although, the Brazilian did manage to complete 76 laps before the end of the day.
Meanwhile, progress with Team Lotus remains a mystery as Jarno Trulli completed 38 laps in the new T128 but never crossed the start line twice consecutively, instead taking to the pits, which means he technically didn't set a time. Although, Lotus will have its own private test session on Friday to further asses the new car.
F1 Team Testing -T01 – Valencia (Thursday)
Lotus Renault GP R31
Force India VJM-03
Red Bull RB7
Toro Rosso STR6
all times unofficial