Barcelona Day 3: Rosberg shows strong pace
20 February, 2011
Feb.20 (PVM) It was a form book defying day in Barcelona as Nico Rosberg ended the third day at Circuit de Catalunya fastest of all on a day which saw substantial wet running early on.
It is the second time that the Mercedes GP has topped the timing sheets (Michael Schumacher was fastest on day tewo at Jerez last week) and after a comparatively subdued two days for the team with Schumacher on duty.
Rosberg’s 1 minute 23.168 seconds qualifying style flyer came late in the day when the track was dry. The lap was 0.295 faster than his closest rival on the day and a quarter second up on Sebastian Vettel’s best the previous day. Rosberg did a total of 91 laps.
After missing much of the wet running during the morning, Vitaly Petrov concentrated on short fast bursts in the afternoon and ended the day second quickest in the Renault R31 with 93 laps credited.
Lewis Hamilton was back in the McLaren MP4-26 cockpit and at first was frustrated with small niggles which had him in and out for most of the morning. When things were eventually sorted the 2008 world champion gave the team’s 2011 challenger its most encouraging run. With 92 laps on the board Hamilton ended the day third quickest.
Venezuelan rookie Pastor Maldonado caused the day’s first stoppage when he spun out just short of the hour mark with the track wet. He also lost track time, as the Williams team sorted out an alternator problem on the FW33, which curtailed his running to 58 laps but nevertheless managing to end the day fourth best albeit.
Fifth best at the end of the day was Mark Webber who notched up 139 laps in the Red Bull RB7. The Australian did a full race simulation run in the afternoon and brought about an early stoppage to the day’s proceedings when he his car came to halt on track with a few minutes to spare.
Despite problems hampering the Lotus T128, Jarno Trulli’s sixth best time was arguably the highlight of the day as he posted the sixth best time with only 48 laps to his name.
Next up was the other South American rookie Sergio Perez who also had a wet track spin in the morning which brought out the red flag. The Mexican focused on long runs in the Sauber C30 and ended the day seventh best.
Adrian Sutil managed to clock up a valuable 102 trouble free laps day and ended with the eighth best time in the Force India VJM04.
Ninth fastest was Sebastien Buemi in the Toro Rosso STR6 who did 31 laps as he shared the cockpit with reserve Daniel Ricciardo who impressed in the morning.
Although the timing sheets show the young Red Bull Junior graduate down in 13th he was only bettered by Lewis Hamilton when the cheqeured flag came out at lunch time. Ricciardo did not get to do any full dry running and his wet runs were also fast.
Strangely off the pace, perhaps by design, was Felipe Massa who had two wet weather spins in the Ferrari F150th Italia which caused a red flag situation. The Brazilian nevertheless notched up 123 laps but was down in tenth on the timing screens, over three seconds down on Rosberg’s best.
Virgin Racing again got good mileage out of their MVR-02, this time with Timo Glock in the cockpit he amassed 97 laps on his way to setting 11th fastest time of the day.
Hispania Racing gave Girogio Mondini time in their car late in the afternoon. The Swiss driver who never achieved much in his single seater career is connected to HRT team boss Colin Kolles. Mondini managed 39 laps, but was five seconds off the fastest pace and slowest runner while he was out circulating.
The timings sheets will show Narain Karthikeyan as the slowest man on the day, but in fairness the Indian returnee set the time in dampish conditions and was running middle of the order when doing so.
Tomorrow (Monday) is the final day of the third collective Formula 1 testing ahead of the 2011 season.
Barcelona Day 3 – Best Lap Times
|1||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes MGPW02||1.23.168||+-.—||92|
|2||Vitaly Petrov||Renault R31||1.23.463||+0.295||93|
|3||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren MP4-26||1.23.858||+0.690||93|
|4||Pastor Maldonado||Williams FW33||1.24.815||+1.647||60|
|5||Mark Webber||Red Bull RB7||1.24.995||+1.827||139|
|6||Jarno Trulli||Team Lotus T128||1.25.454||+2.286||48|
|7||Sergio Perez||Sauber C30||1.25.567||+2.399||115|
|8||Adrian Sutil||Force India VJM04||1.25.720||+2.552||102|
|9||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso STR6||1.26.155||+2.987||31|
|10||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F150th||1.26.508||+3.340||123|
|11||Timo Glock||Virgin MVR02||1.26.598||+3.430||97|
|12||Giorgio Mondini||HRT F1||1.28.178||+5.010||39|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso STR6||1:28.329||+5.161||42|
|14||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT F1||1:30.722||+7.554||32|