Lewis Hamilton did enough to grab the headlines as he was fastest on the final day of testing ahead of the 2010 season which starts in earnest in 2 weeks time.
The British driver headed the tightly packed field as top teams like Red Bull Racing, Ferrari and Mercedes all flexed their muscles with top drivers and very quick times.
Aero setups were supposed to be the plan for the last day, but many drivers put in long runs with Michael Schumacher and Hamilton playing cat and mouse for some time as Schumi covered a race distance.
Further downfield Buemi and Kobayashi put in solid days for the independent teams, ahead of Renault’s Kubica who struggled a little bit.
At the bottom though it was still Lotus and Virgin who are struggling to find their feet, Lotus still looking the more likely team of the pair to do well as Virgin are continually hindered by a major hydraulic problem.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:20.472 134 2. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:20.496 59 3. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:20.539 113 4. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:20.611 99 5. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:20.667 76 6. M.Schumacher Mercedes GP (B) 1:20.745 122 7. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:20.870 83 8. Kobayashi BMW-Sauber (B) 1:20.911 67 9. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:22.135 87 10. Kubica Renault (B) 1:23.175 106 11. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth (B) 1:25.251 65 12. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth (B) 1:26.160 47
Nico Rosberg set the fastest lap time on the penultimate pre season test day in Barcelona despite poor weather conditions.
The German driver eased fears over the Mercedes Benz performance, following Michael Schumacher’s announcement that he does not expect to be fighting for wins early on in the season.
Sebastien Buemi was 2nd for Toro Rosso as they mirrored the Mercedes Benz test day with short runs, then long runs and both drivers suffered mechnical problems.
Jenson Button was 3rd despite a slow morning, with Rubens Barrichello 4th as Williams continued their good form.
Felipe Massa couldn’t continue Fernando Alonso’s dominance in the Ferrari but did do some long runs, with a late fresh tyre run allowing him the faster time.
Vitaly Petrov moved Renault closer to the pace of the front runners, just ahead of the Force India’s and Jarno Trulli who managed to get Lotus from the bottom 2 positions and ahead of another team that wasn’t Virgin with Kamui Kobayashi ending the day just ahead of the Richard Branson backed outfit.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m20.686s 128 2. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1m21.413s + 0.727s 106 3. Jenson Button McLaren 1m21.450s + 0.764s 105 4. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m21.975s + 1.289s 101 5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m22.344s + 1.658s 115 6. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m22.523s + 1.837s 68 7. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m22.606s + 1.920s 61 8. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m23.123s + 2.437s 51 9. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1m25.059s + 4.373s 102 10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m26.216s + 5.530s 105 11. Timo Glock Virgin 1m26.305s + 5.619s 31
Nico Hulkenberg narrowly beat Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso on the second day of the final test in Barcelona.
The German driver did just under 100 laps as many drivers concentrated their morning runs on qualifying performance, and the afternoon on higher fuelrace based simulations with Bahrain being just 2 weeks away.
De la Rosa was 3rd with another impressive performance from Sauber, with Liuzzi showing the Force India pace with an impressive 4th.
Vettel and Alguersuari were close in 5th and 6th, despite the Toro Rosso now running its own chassis and aerodynamic package separate from the Red Bull teams, both ahead of Michael Schumacher in 7th however.
The new teams of Lotus and Virgin were still at the bottom of the timesheets however.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:20.614 99 2. Alonso Ferrari (B) 1:20.637 134 3. de la Rosa BMW-Sauber (B) 1:20.973 114 4. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:21.056 90 5. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:21.258 125 6. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:21.571 104 7. M.Schumacher Mercedes GP (B) 1:21.689 85 8. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:22.152 93 9. Kubica Renault (B) 1:24.912 53 10. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth (B) 1:25.524 70 11. Glock Virgin-Cosworth (B) 1:25.942 52
The morning in Barcelona hearalded a new era of Formula One, and BMW Sauber alongside Williams have brought out their 2009 specification cars. Takuma Sato is testing for Scuderia Toro Rosso, in an attempt to get his seat. Luca Badoer is testing 2 different Ferrari’s, one in 09 spec and another in 08 spec with slicks. McLaren are slick tyre testing. Red Bull Racing are testing Sebastian Loeb.
FULL REPORT THIS EVENING WITH TIMES.
PHOTOS OF 2009 SPECIFICATION CARS
Photos, timesheets and report to all come tonight.
Luca Badoer put Ferrari back in a commanding position in the first day of testing at Barcelona this week.
The test driver set a fastest time of
This was enough to push maiden GP winner in Canada Robert Kubica down into 2nd position on the sheets.
Coulthard and Buemi, who were sharing the same car for Red Bull were 3rd and 4th.
Gary Paffett joined the barrage of test drivers at the event coming 5th, just ahead of Anthony Davidson who returns to F1 as Honda’s test driver.
Nico Hulkenberg was 7th in the Williams completing 112 laps, the most of anyone; with Romain Grosjean, who had problems with his engine in 8th.
“It was a great day and I’m grateful for this opportunity to test the R28 and work with the team,” Grosjean commented.
Kamui Kobayashi was last for Toyota.
|2||R. Kubica||BMW Sauber||1.22.682||69|
|3||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||1.22.724||21|
|4||S. Buemi||Red Bull||1.22.764||79|
Mark Webber took the title of being fastest on what was a rain sodden and almost pointless day of testing in Barcelona.
The Red Bull Racing driver managed to complete just 37 laps on his way to the top of the leader board.
There was a major downpour in the morning, then the track dried before heavy rain once again.
Heikki Kovalainen took 2nd, completing just 34 laps after taking the wheel from Lewis Hamilton.
Kimi Raikkonen hardly did any running in the morning, but still took 3rd place. Not much development work and time in the car for the world champion who has taken over from Michael Schumacher.
Nakajima caused a single red flag when the Toyota powerplant in the FW30 exploded around turn 1. Not far back to the pits for the busiest driver of the day (61 laps).
Jarno Trulli was last, but only completed 18 laps.
“We knew that rain was forecast for today so we didn’t expect to be able to make too much progress,” said Trulli.
“When we finally did some running we put in a few laps of wet set-up but with the track changing so much it is always hard to draw too many conclusions.”
Some teams had elected to leave the track in the morning.
|1||M. Webber||Red Bull Racing||1.21.953||37|
|4||R. Kubica||BMW Sauber||1.24.715||32|
Fernando Alonso shot to the top of the leader boards on the 3rd day of testing in Barcelona.
The Spaniard was continuing development and set-up work for Renault who have been trying a number of new 2008 aerodynamic developments, alongside doing some slick tyre testing. Alonso put in 100 laps.
“The day has been good and I was happy with the developments to the car,” Alonso said.
“We still need to keep improving because our competitors have also improved. It’s difficult to say how we really compared with them.”
Michael Schumacher was once again testing with Ferrari, and put the F2008 into second place. He looked at ease with the car as ever is the case.
Adrian Sutil shot into 3rd place, as he looked much more comfortable and on-top of the Force India with an upgraded 2008 aerodynamic package. The German took to the track mostly in the afternoon on slick Bridgestone’s, after having a clutch problem in the morning.
Hamilton, Webber, Trulli and Bourdais only used grooved Bridgestone’s.
Sebastien Bourdais ruined the new testing of the STR3, after a heavy accident at turn 9 caused irrepairable damage. They are packing up and going home as Sebastian Vettel will be unable to test the new car tomorrow.
|3||A. Sutil||Force India||1.19.424||102|
|4||R. Kubica||BMW Sauber||1.19.785||112|
|8||S. Bourdais||Toro Rosso||1.20.715||71|
|9||M. Webber||Red Bull Racing||1.20.849||87|
Super Aguri still look in some trouble as they cannot attend the forthcoming 3 day tests at Barcelona because of issues with the deal with Magma Group.
Aguri didn’t attend a lot of preseason testing, and their 2008 car is somewhat off the pace. They need all of the testing time they can get.
But because the deal with Magma hasnt been signed off yet, they can’t piece everything together and get out to Spain. The team trucks will have to stay in Leafield while the bosses continue their negotiations with Magma’s bosses.
“The final agreement is not yet finished with the Magma Group, but hopefully it will happen very soon, and then we can press the button to start development.” Aguri driver Takuma Sato said
“So the next time I will drive will be in Friday practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.”
McLaren were once again fastest on the second day of the final testing week in Barcelona.
Lewis Hamilton ledt team mate Heikki Kovalainen ahead of the Ferrari’s for a second day.
Hamilton set a fastest lap time of 1.21.234, Kovalainen just 2 tenths slower.
Felipe Massa was in 3rd place for Ferrari and was around half a second off the pace of the fastest McLaren.
Nico Rosberg continued Williams’ good form and dropped his Williams into 4th place.
That pushed world champion Kimi Raikkonen down into 5th position.
A suprised entry to 6th place was Force India #1 Giancarlo Fisichella. The Italian Renault reject seemingly getting to grips with the Ferrari powered beast, their 2008 car. Liuzzi managed to get his Force India up to 10th in the standings.
Jenson Button proved some of the new Honda parts were working, and finally showed progress getting his RA108 into 9th position. Rubens Barrichello was a little slower and down in 15th place. Not great, but at least they are not last.
Sebastian Vettel made 10th position, as he drove the Red Bull Racing 4, deputising from Toro Rosso to the works team as Coulthard is injured.
Fernando Alonso had a dismal day, and finished down in 13th position.
In last place was Timo Glock in the Toyota, the Japanese outfit look like they have been left behind by the rest of the field including the privateers.
|6||G. Fisichella||Force India F1||01:22.516||102|
|7||S. Vettel||Red Bull||01:22.588||109|
|10||V. Liuzzi||Force India F1||01:22.942||89|
|16||S. Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||01:23.323||98|
|17||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:23.458||58|
|18||N. Piquet jr.||Renault||01:23.467||45|
Lewis Hamilton was fastest on the first day of the final week of testing before the new season begins.
The day started off damp, but cleared as final designs, setups and parts are tested before the Australian Grand Prix.
The British driver powered his McLaren to a fastest time of 1.22.276
World champion Kimi Raikkonen was just a few hundreths behind in 2nd place, with Michael Schumacher taking his first test in the F2008 finishing 3rd a couple of tenths of Hamilton.
Nakajima proved once again the new Williams was fast, bagging 4th place ahead of Heikki Kovalainen and team mate Nico Rosberg.
Fernando Alonso was left languishing down in 7th in the Renault, which still looks like it has a lot of work to do.
Nick Heidfeld was on testing duty for BMW Sauber, getting 8th position. Christian Klien was also on track for the German team, he only managed 12th place.
The RedBull teams had a varied day. Mark Webber was 9th in the RBR, 10th was Vettel in the Toro Rosso. David Coulthard was left in 19th, i.e. last.
The new Force India VJM01 was on track for the first time. The new car was at the hands of Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi. Sutil was 11th and Liuzzi 13th. Their car certainly looks more competitive than the Spyker was.
The Japanese teams of Toyota and Honda were down at the bottom of the timesheets yet again. The Toyota’s in 15th and 16th positions, the Honda’s 17th and 18th.
|8||N. Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||1.23.075||75|
|9||M. Webber||Red Bull||1.23.091||62|
|10||S. Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1.23.115||71|
|11||A. Sutil||Force India||1.23.188||95|
|12||C. Klien||BMW Sauber||1.23.239||43|
|13||V. Liuzzi||Force India||1.23.270||70|
|14||N. Piquet Jr.||Renault||1.23.442||42|
|19||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||1.24.826||25|
Scuderia Ferrari completed the week of testing at the Catalunya Circuit near Barcelona today.
The team had exclusive use of the track, as no other team was to use it.
Felipe Massa and test driver Luca Badoer were the ones on duty for the team today. They completed “Race Weekend” style events. They simulated practice sessions, qualifying and a race. They also completed associated pitlane events, such as practice pitstops.
The team had no reliability issues, apart from one point late on in the day when Badoer stopped on track with an oil leak.
Kazuki Nakajima stormed to the top of the timesheets right at the end of the session in Barcelona today.
The Japanese driver set the fastest lap time on his final lap of a 3 “hot” lap stint. He had only taken over from the team’s tester, Hulkenberg who was in last position, in the afternoon. Rosberg, had also driven at various points during the day clocking up over 100 laps and 5th position.
The rain held off, although it was damp early in the morning. A dry line began to emerge, and the rain held off during the afternoon to allow the drivers the opportunity to get their cars running.
McLaren’s Kovalainen was a few tenths slower than Nakajima, in 2nd position. He was followed by McLaren tester Pedro de La Rosa.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who was fastest yesterday, was in 4th position just slower than the McLaren’s. That said, Massa had been using the day to test some longer stint running so the level of fuel he had on that hot lap is unknown.
The Red Bull’s of Mark Webber and David Coulthard occupied spots 6 and 7, as they look to test the engines and components on long stints for reliability. Reliability was their downfall in 2007, and 2006 for that matter.
Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer was in 8th position, narrowly edging local man Fernando Alonso into 9th in the Renault.
Glock, Piquet and Kobayashi rounded off the table, as I mentioned before with Hulkenberg sat at the bottom. The young guns weren’t on fire today!
|3||P. de la Rosa||McLaren||01:22.208||92|
|6||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:22.477||81|
|7||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||01:22.499||102|
|11||N. Piquet jr.||Renault||01:23.286||104|
Felipe Massa put his Ferrari to the top of the timesheets on another day of testing in Barcelona which was heavily hampered by torrential rain.
The rain came mostly in the morning, with the remaining teams testing mostly in the afternoon’s. The wet weather is really hampering the testing plans.
Mark Webber was in 2nd for Red Bull but was over half a second slower than Massa. Coulthard followed down in 4th positon.
Splitting the RBR4′s was Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer who coped well in the conditions on the 33 laps he completed.
Alonso did a little testing for Renault, putting his car into 5th after 28 laps. Team mate Nelson Piquet Jr. opted not to test completing 1 installation lap before parking his R28 up in the garage.
Williams gave all 3 drivers a try out today. Nico Rosberg was 6th fo the Grove based team, completing the most laps of anyone, 97. Nico Hulkenberg, the team’s tester was down in 9th, with number 2 Nakajima in 10th. The Williams boys practiced a lot of pitstops.
Toyota were also back on track. Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli occupied 7th and 8th spots. Glock commented;
“That was only half a day’s work for me today because the morning was too wet for us to gain anything from testing,”
“In the afternoon we did some running in the wet conditions – first on heavy wet tyres, changing to standard wet tyres.”
|2||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:31.213||43|
|4||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||01:31.654||44|
|11||N. Piquet jr.||Renault||00:00.000||1|
Nico Rosberg kept his Williams going throughout the rain sodden session in Barcelona today to top the timesheets.
The German driver undertook testing of the new FW30, completing over 70 laps of the track.
The rain caused many teams to decide to not run at all, or do very little if they did. Williams were the only team that did “proper” testing, although Jarno Trulli made a valliant effort with Toyota.
This meant that Kazuki Nakajima took 2nd place, completing the most laps of the day, 96.
Mark Webber followed in the Red Bull Racing, with a fastest lap of 1.32.599. Team mate David Coulthard was down in 5th.
Splitting those drivers was Fernando Alonso, who commented during the day;
“It was cold and wet today and so there was no point in doing a lot of running,” Alonso said. “It was an opportunity to try the car in the wet, but it was so slippery that we did not do many laps.
“We waited in the afternoon for conditions to improve, but they did not so we ended the day slightly early.”
Jarno Trulli as i mentioned before was another driver who attempted to make something of the test today, completing around 57 laps. Even so, his Toyota was languishing down in 6th position. Team test driver Kamui Kobayashi, only completed 1 lap and didn’t set a lap time. Therefore he was last.
Nelson Piquet Jr tried his Renault in the conditions, but they were too bad and he only did 8 laps.
|3||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:32.599||26|
|5||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||01:32.924||22|
|7||N. Piquet jr.||Renault||01:40.073||8|
|8||K. Kobayashi||Toyota||No time||1|
Photos to come later.
Racist fans who hurled abuse at McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton during last weeks Barcelona tests could have put their countries F1 future in the balance.
The fans were stood in the main grandstand oppostie the McLaren garage, and hurled abuse such as “F****ng Black” at Hamilton. They also hurled missiles at his car, mechanics and garage.
This is the furthest the fans have gone so far, at other events it has only been posters and banners aimed at the driver. It is thought that the Spanish fans hate him passionatly because they believe he was the root cause of Fernando Alonso’s poor time at McLaren last season.
The Spanish authorities have completly condemmed the acts, commenting;
“The Federation wants to show its absolute repulse at these incomprehensible events, as well as showing its support to the McLaren team and especially to their driver Lewis Hamilton.
“Car racing is a sport where events that divert from cordiality between fans and drivers and teams will not be allowed.
“These kind of madmen who confuse sporting rivalry with violence must know that the Federation will have no tolerance with them.
“The RFEA wants to make clear that the protagonists of this event were a very small group that doesn’t represent the thousands of people who enjoy this sport in a fun and cordial way.
Hamilton did not comment, McLaren only saying that it was a small group of fans who had got themselves out of control.
However, the FIA are not being so lenient, sources told Autosport that the governing body are considering pulling this year’s Spanish GP at Barcelona, and the new European GP at Valencia off the calendar as a result, with little potential for a return in future years.
The FIA are demonstrating their zero tolerance policy.
Spanish racing officials have got to show a report on how they are going to stop racist attacks during the F1 events for the rest of the season.
The attacks are big news back in Britain, amazingly making front page news on the popular red-top tabloid The Sun.
Mark Webber has signalled the intentions of Red Bull Racing with their new challenger, the RBR4 by setting the fastest time of the day in Barcelona testing.
The Australian’s car, fitted with the much talked about engine box, set a fastest lap time of 1.22.385.
Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton trailed behind the Renault powered beast, managing 2nd and 3rd spots.
Robert Kubica was an impressive 4th for BMW Sauber, he was still complaining that the F1.08 had serious balance issues. Nick Heidfeld was down in 6th place.
They were split by home-boy Fernando Alonso who seems to be fitting back into Renault, but admits that there is still a lot of work to do to get the R28 into a championship challenging position. A point illustrated by Nelson Piquet Jr, down in 9th place, he really isn’t showing his full potential yet.
Bourdais and Vettel couldn’t repeat yesterday’s successes. The pair were in 7th and 10th positions, split by David Coulthard in their sister teams second car. DC was over 1.5 seconds slower than team mate Webber.
Rubens Barrichello lifted Honda off the bottom spot, into 11th position. The Brazilian covered 84 laps, but was still well off a decent race pace. Jenson Button was again left propping up the table.
Adrian Sutil was the man to split them, down in 12th place in the Force India. He set the second highest amount of laps on the damp day - 86.
|1||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:22.385||65|
|7||S. Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||01:22.887||80|
|8||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||01:23.889||81|
|9||N. Piquet jr.||Renault||01:23.039||64|
|10||S. Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||01:23.232||74|
|12||A. Sutil||Force India F1||01:23.800||86|
The Scuderia Toro Rosso’s of Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais were on top of the timesheets after Saturday’s tests at Barcelona.
The pair were putting their cars through a race weekend simulation, and their fastest pace came during “qualifying runs”.
Despite the pair using adapted 2007 cars for now, they still looked quick compared to 2008 designed rivals, with McLaren and Renault both testing and trailing.
There was little to choose between the two McLaren’s, Hamilton edging Kovalainen. They were followed by the Renault pair and Robert Kubica who had one mechanical failure during the day.
The Red Bull’s then Nick Heidfeld came next.
Williams have abandoned their tests after they failed to sort the problems with the wings that blighted their weekend of tests, despite Frank Williams flying new parts out.
Jenson Button failed to greatly improve upon Barichello’s efforts on Friday in the new Honda, gaining only 13th place.
Liuzzi was last in the Force India.
|1||S. Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||01:21.679||89|
|2||S. Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||01:21.782||88|
|7||N. Piquet jr.||Renault||01:23.002||115|
|8||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:23.020||75|
|10||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||01:23.322||85|
|14||V. Liuzzi||Force India F1||01:24.263||61|
Lewis Hamilton has set the pace on the first day of Barcelona testing. The British driver steered his McLaren MP4-23 to a fastest lap time of 1.22.263.
Behind him in second place was Fernando Alonso in the officially launched Renault R28, although he was over half a second off his former team mates pace. Alonso claimed at the launch yesterday that Renault needed to find a second a lap.
Robert Kubica was third, showing renewed pace from the new BMW Sauber. Team mate Nick Heidfeld was just behind in 5th place.
The surprise entrant to 4th place was Giancarlo Fisichella in the Force India. The Ferrari powered minnow team, with their new Italian driver completed 98 laps.
Williams completed very little testing, thanks to Nakajima’s huge shunt (reported above). The Japanese driver went straight into the barriers at full throttle, as the former gravel area was converted to a tarmac run-off. He was unscathed. This meant Rosberg only completed a handful of laps in the FW30.
Red Bull Racing were in 20th and 11th places, running a hugely radical engine box.
Honda’s new RA108 seems to be failing to live up to expectations as Rubens Barrichello and Alex Wurz were left propping up the table.
|4||G. Fisichella||Force India F1||01:23.015||98|
|7||N. Piquet jr.||Renault||01:23.367||44|
|8||S. Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||01:23.387||89|
|10||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||01:23.491||60|
|11||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:23.547||52|
|12||S. Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||01:23.836||54|
Michael Schumacher has picked up where he left off in 2006, and stormed to the top of the timesheets in emphatic style at Barcelona today.
The German took the F2007 around the track to a fastest time of 1.21.922 on the first day of the new winter testing season.
Luca Badoer made it a fantastic day for Ferrari as he took 2nd place.
Pedro De la Rosa has been leading for a significant amount of the day, but Schumacher’s pace was just too much for the Spaniard.
Force India marked their start in F1 with newly liveried cars, and 2 new testers. However, they were bottom of the timesheets.
Andreas Zuber was 14th for Honda in his F1 testing debut. He was closely followed by Toro Rosso’s new driver, Champcar champion Sebastien Bourdais.
|3||P. de la Rosa||McLaren||B||01:22.687||63|
|8||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||B||01:23.332||55|
|13||S. Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||B||01:24.048||77|
|15||S. Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||B||01:24.193||51|
|16||A. Davidson||Super Aguri||B||01:24.246||70|
|17||J. Rossiter||Super Aguri||B||01:24.480||69|
|18||K. Chandhok||Red Bull||B||01:24.896||39|
|19||G. van der Garde||Force India F1||B||01:25.317||84|
|20||Roldan Rodriguez||Force India F1||B||01:26.973||87|