Barcelona Day 4: Massa ends test fastest of all
21 February, 2011
Feb.21 (PVM) Late on Monday afternoon Felipe Massa put in a scorching lap, in the Ferrari F1500th Italia, to end the final day of Formula 1 testing at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona top of the timing screens and firing a warning to all his rivals including team mate Fernando Alonso. The Brazilian is back in business.
For most of the day Massa was not near the top of the timing screens as the team focused on a programme that included tyre comparison and set-up changes. Then late in the day the reds decided to go for it and in a qualy simulation run Massa went quickest of all.
Showing strong pace and commitment Massa posted a best time of 1 minute 22.625 seconds which was a whopping 0.817 than his closest rival. The smile was broad when the helmet came off after 121 laps he racked up on the day.
Mark Webber was also pretty much anonymous early on in the day, not helped by a large amount of time apparently wasted as the Red Bull team worked on the RB7 before unleashing the Australian. With 69 laps to his credit Webber ended second fastest.
Toro Rosso continued to impress in what appears to be one of their best “preseason” cars to date. Buemi made the most of the STR6 to take third best time of the day, with 90 tours to his name.
KERS issues again plagued Nick Heidfeld’s day in the Renault R31, resulting in a late start to serious running for the German. Nevertheless in the afternoon the he racked up 95 laps and set the fourth best time.
Lewis Hamilton ahs had better luck, and consequently longer running, than his team mate in the cockpit of the McLaren MP4-26. He ended the day fifth fastest with 107 laps counted.
A KERS water pump failure delayed Pastor Maldonado’s day but when the GP2Series reigning champion got going he posted 121 laps and the sixth best time of the day. Easily his best day in the Williams FW33 cockpit so far.
Adrian Sutil managed 64 laps in the Force India VJM04 on his way to setting the seventh best time of the day, ahead of Sergio Perez in the Sauber C30 who ended eighth on the timings sheets with 74 laps credited.
Jerome D’Ambrosio was ninth quickest in the Virgin MVR02 with only 50 laps on the board due to early problems which cost him track time.
Michael Schumacher would perhaps be pleased with the 114 laps he racked up in the Mercedes MGPW02, but will be disappointed with tenth fastest time and almost 4.5 seconds off Massa’s best considering the fact that team mate Rosberg topped the timing sheets the previous day. The Silver Arrows are either in big trouble or pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. Watch this space…
It was a very short day – 18 laps in fact – for Team Lotus with Jarno Trulli at the wheel. The veteran Italian had a substantial off at Turn 9 which thoroughly wrecked the T128. The teams technical boss Mike Gascoyne tweeted, “Shunt for Jarno caused by car failure, not his fault. Going to be difficult to get back out today.” His observation proved correct as there was no more Lotus track action for the rest of the day.
HRT did not partake in proceedings on the final day in Barcelona.
With the Bahrain GP and test weekend, before the race, cancelled the teams will return to Circuit de Catalunya for the final test will on 8-11 March 8-11, ahead of the Australian GP weekend starting on 25 March which will be the de facto start of the 2011 F1 season.
Barcelona Day 4 – Best Lap Times
|1||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F150th||1:22.625||—||121|
|2||Mark Webber||Red Bull RB7||1:23.442||+0.817||69|
|3||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso STR6||1:23.550||+0.925||90|
|4||Nick Heidfeld||Renault R31||1:23.657||+1.032||95|
|5||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren MP4-26||1:24.003||+1.378||107|
|6||Pastor Maldonado||Williams FW33||1:24.057||+1.432||121|
|7||Adrian Sutil||Force India VJM04||1:24.177||+1.552||64|
|8||Sergio Perez||Sauber C30||1:24.515||+1.890||74|
|9||Jerome D’Ambrosio||Virgin MVR02||1:26.501||+3.876||50|
|10||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes MGP02||1:27.079||+4.454||114|
|11||Jarno Trulli||Lotus T128||1:29.992||+7.367||18|