Webber Fastest in Barcelona
Red Bull’s Mark Webber finished the first day of the final pre-season tests in Barcelona top of the time sheet. The Australian driver’s quickest time of 1m 22.544s was faster than any other lap time set not only on the day, but also faster than any of the times set at the last pre-season test session held at the Circuit de Catalunya two weeks ago. Webber produced his best time near the end of the morning session on a new set of tires and when the track temperature was at its peak.
After a slow start to the day, 2009 World Champion and McLaren driver, Jenson Button finished second fastest and just 0.366 seconds off Webber’s pace. Button spent the majority of the morning session returning to the pits to practice tyre changes. Button’s car was also running with an unusual bulge on the MP4-26’s nose cone, which the team later explained to be part of the team's measuring apparatus for its latest front wing.
Red Bull and McLaren were just two of eight teams taking to the track on Tuesday, with Ferrari, Mercedes, Williams and HRT all deciding to delay their running by one day, although, McLaren, have opted not to run on Thursday, but will test on the two days either side.
Lotus Renault GP first day was hampered with reliability issues and illness. Nick Heidfeld only completed 20 laps before bowing out at the lunchtime break due to a heavy cold. However, team-mate Vitaly Petrov was on hand to take over testing duties for the afternoon session. Completing 27 laps the Russian driver produced the third fastest time, and was only 0.027 seconds behind Button’s McLaren.
Team Lotus used the first day of testing to run its two Air Asia GP2 drivers, with Davide Valsecchi on track in the morning and Luiz Razia in the afternoon. Valsecchi was up to third fastest with 50 laps under his belt at lunch, but a spin saw him go into the barriers at turn 12. Luckily he walked away unharmed. Team mate, Razia was about a second off Valsecchi time, and only managed to complete 29 laps before he was forced to pull over to the side of the track with a mechanical problem.
F1 TEAM TESTING -T04 – BARCELONA (TUESDAY)
Paul di Resta
All timing unofficial
Image ©Andrew Hone