Massa fastest in Barcelona
Ferrari's Felipe Massa has finished the final day of the 3rd winter test session with the fastest time of not only today, but of anyone else this week in Barcelona. Massa’s produced the fastest lap time of 1m 22.625s in the closing 30 minutes of the afternoon session to knock Red Bull’s Mark Webber from the top spot. Massa knocked 0.817 seconds of Webber’s times, and his fast time came from a low fuelled short run.
Speaking at the end of the afternoon session Mark Webber said: “Not too bad today. We had a few niggles here and there but we did well and that’s been the case over the whole weekend. We had a very productive test, no question about it. We have a whole raft of data to go through, so we’ll see where the next test is and get ready for that.”
Webber also added his thoughts about the postponement of the Bahrain GP. The Australian driver said: “I think the right decision was made, in light of what is going on, so we look forward to Melbourne instead. It would have been nice to go to Bahrain, but hopefully it can stage the race again. As for starting in Melbourne, it’s my home race and, as always, I’m looking forward to it. It is a sensational event, we’re in good shape as a team, so I hope to go there and get a very good result.”
Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi's was third fastest today, after setting a quick time in the morning, just ahead of Lotus Renault GP’s Nick Heidfeld. Buemi said: “Today went well and I am happy with what we achieved. We got through the entire programme we had planned and did enough laps to improve our understanding of the various types of Pirelli tyre. Along with the two other drivers, we gathered a lot of data over the past four days here in Barcelona and it will be important to analyse everything very carefully to find the right way to move forward in terms of reliability and performance, when we tackle the final pre-season test session. The team, at the track and back at the factory worked well to deliver a car reliable enough to do plenty of laps, which is always the most important thing at this point in the year.”
Hiedfeld suffered a problem with the R31’s KERS system earlier in the day. Although, once the problem was fixed, the German driver managed to complete a race distance in the afternoon. Hiedfeld said: “In the morning we were not able to do most of our programme because we had an issue with the KERS. It’s a shame because track time is so limited, but it’s obviously better to have problems during testing before the season starts. In the afternoon we started the race simulation, which went reasonably well. We were using different tyre compounds and tried both scrubbed and new sets. We learned a lot by running the car on high fuel and have lots of useful data about the degradation rates. Then, at the end of the day, we returned to the set-up work.”
It was a good day for McLaren when Lewis Hamilton, managed to clock up over 100 laps in the new MP4-26 for the very first time in a single day. Hamilton set the fifth fastest time as the team continued to focus on the car's reliability.
It was Michael Schumacher’s turn to drive the new Mercedes GP car again today. Unfortunately Schumacher was only able to produce the tenth fastest time today, after his team mate Rosberg finished fastest on Sunday. Schumacher completed 114 laps over the course of the day, although 15 minutes to the end of the session and he stopped out on track.
Team Lotus’ last day of testing came to an early end, after just 18 laps in the morning session Jarno Trulli went off at turn nine into the barrier. The accident was due to a car failure. But without enough spares to repair the car fully, the team had no choice but to pack up early and head back to Norfolk where the T128 will be repaired in time for the next test.
Jarno Trulli said: “It's obviously disappointing to have the test cut short like this but these things happen in motor racing. We started the day well and until the accident happened I had picked up where I left off yesterday - the car has good balance, pace we can build on and has the potential to help us take the fight to the midfield, so I'm leaving here feeling confident about the season ahead and am looking forward to the next test, wherever that will be."
F1 TEAM TESTING -T03 – BARCELONA (MONDAY)
All Timing Unofficial