Grosjean and Kobayashi share top spot at the end of day two at Mugello
2 May, 2012
May.2 (Apex) At the end of the second day of official F1 testing at Mugello today (Wednesday) the top of the timing screens showed Romain Grosjean and Kamui Kobayashi with identical times, after a day of clear and sunny weather which afforded the teams maximum track time after the rain disrupted opening day in the Tuscan hills.
Although the track was green early on, due to rainfall on the previous day, it quickly rubbered-in, and with the first 90 minutes Grosjean set the benchmark time of 1 minute 21.603 seconds in the Lotus E20. Thereafter the conditions remained consistent throughout the day, so much so that Kobayashi powered around to set an identical best time in the Sauber C31, at the very end of the day.
It was Grosjean’s first of two days at the wheel (Kimi Raikkonen will not be used), while Kobayashi - who caused the only red flag period of the day when he spun and beached in the gravel – was on the final day of his two days in the cockpit, which he hands over to Sergio Perez for the final day.
World champion and championship leader Sebastian Vettel was also on duty for the first time at Mugello, taking over the Red Bull RB8 from Mark Webber after lunch. The pair finishing the day third and fourth fastest respectively.
Felipe Massa was at the wheel of the Ferrari F2012 for the day and managed 106 laps. he will hand the car over to teammate Fernando Alonso for the final day.
Daniel Ricciardo was due to take over Toro Rosso driving duties after the lunch-break, but his turn at the wheel was delayed to allow team-mate Jean Eric Vergne to finish off a particular part of the test programme with the STR7. The pair were sixth and seventh respectively on the timing sheets at the end of the day.
Seven times world champion Michael Schumacher was back at his old haunt (he did huge amounts of testing at the venue during his Ferrari days when testing restrictions did not exist, and got down to business straight away. He notched up 144 laps in the Mercedes AMG W03, which was a a substantial chunk more than any of his younger rivals.
Marussia appeared to have found some pace as rookie Charles Pic set the ninth best lap time in the morning, only 2,3 seconds down on the top pace. Timo Glock, who took over the MR01 cockpit after lunch, was 12th on the timing sheets after power steering problem forced his crew to replace the entire steering rack.
Next up, rounding out the top ten, was Vitaly Petrov having his first and only day in the Caterham and racking up 112 laps in the process.
With both of McLaren’s regular drivers absent it was Gary Paffett in the cockpit of the McLaren MP4-27, who ended the day 11th quickest and with 59 laps on his board.
Reliability issues severely curtailed Paul Di Resta’s day out on track in the Force India VJM05. The Scot only managed 14 laps all day on his way to posting the 13th best time.
At the foot of the timings sheets was Bruno Senna who notched up exactly 100 laps, but over three seconds down on the benchmark times set by Grosjean and Kobayashi.
Testing continues at Mugello for one more day – Thursday.
Subbed by AJN.
Day 2 Mugello Testing – Best lap times
|13||P.Di Resta||Force India||1:24.749||+3.146||14|