Alguersuari fastest as rain soaks Jerez
12 February, 2010
Feb.12 (YF1) Looming rain forced all teams and their respective drivers, bar Virgin Racing, out on to the Jerez track early on the third day of Formula 1 tests in south west Spain.. This is when the fast times were set under dry conditions. But shortly after the hour mark the skies opened up and rain fell throughout the remainder of the day.
Spanish teenager Jaime Alguersuari ended top of the timing screens at the close of the third. The 19 year old took advantage of a dry track to set the fastest lap of the three days, so far, in the handy Toro Rosso STR5. Alguersuari notched up 76 laps, second most of all the assembled drivers.
Second quickest for the day was Pedro de la Rosa in the Sauber who despite stopping out on track within ten minutes of the session starting still managed to get out and bang in some quick laps. He ended up doing a total of 58 tours of Jerez.
Adrian Sutil, who was back in the Force India VJM03 after his shakedown run a week earlier at Silverstone, and proceeded to set the third fastest. He only managed 48 laps due to an electrical fault and in the wet stuck to short runs.
The Ferrari F10 was back in the hands of Felipe Massa who ended up fourth quickest, with 72 laps in the bag. The Brazilian setting his best time in a short dry stint. The Ferrari website headlined a report “Not very significant day at Jerez” which pretty much summed up their feelings and perhaps most of those gathered for the test.
Sebastian Vettel took over the Red Bull Racing RB6 cockpit and tallied up 59 laps. During the dry spell the German was fifth fastest.
Renault decided the previous day to alternate their drivers, giving Robert Kubica track time on day two, which meant that rookie Vitaly Petrov was at the wheel on the third day. The Russian spent most of the time doing short installation type runs before going on to do some impressive wet weather running.
Mercedes GP also rotated their drivers thus Nico Rosberg was on duty in place of Michael Schumacher. He stopped out on track due to a systems check problem. He was back out on track and gamely gave it a go in the very wet conditions which seemed fruitless. The team packed up early with 53 laps on the chart.
Rubens Barrichello, driving the Williams for the first time at Jerez, was a man on a mission and intent on making the most of his seat time irrespective of the conditions. He completed 120 laps, substantially more than any of the drivers on the day, with long runs in the wet.
Slowest of the main runners, not counting Virgin racing, was Lewis Hamilton who was reportedly on a heavy fuel load during the dry window of opportunity in the first hour. The 2008 World Champion did 68 laps during the course of the day.
After a front wing failure the previous day on VR-01, Virgin Racing were idle for most of the day and only managing a couple of hours at the very end of the day. Lucas di Grassi got his first running in the car with his longest stint being seven laps where changes to the front wing were apparently being tested.
Towards the end of the day, as conditions got progressively worse, most teams decided to pack it in early and bringing to an end an unfulfilling and frustrating day of testing.
Day 3 best laptimes:
|2||P.De La Rosa||Sauber||1.20.738||+0.817||58|