Friday, 10 February 2012

Alonso fastest on final day in Jerez

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso pleases his fans with the fastest time on the last day in Jerez.

Fernando Alonso was the fastest man on the last day of the Jerez pre-season test session, setting the second fastest time of the four day session by a 2012 car.

Alonso was fastest today
 The Spaniard's fast time came early in the morning, with Alonso going on short runs, when conditions were at their best for fast laps. Alonso was the pacesetter early on, posting a 1.19 before his fastest time of 1.18.877. He was clear of the field throughout the day, with the next best time being more than seven tenths off Alonso's pace. The Spaniard spent the rest of the day doing aerodynamic work, Ferrari's focus throughout the four day test. Ferrari have been struggling to understand the aerodynamic idea of their new car, but Alonso's pace today was a timely response to the criticism of Ferrari's F2012. Alonso did relatively limited running in the morning. This is because he was waiting for the team to fit a batch of new parts to the car - including a new exhaust system. Although the must-have technology from last year - downforce-boosting exhaust-blown diffusers - has been banned, teams are still doing what they can to exploit the exhausts for aerodynamic purposes. Alonso's time was the second fastest set by a 2012 car this week, just 0.429 seconds away from Romain Grosjean's time yesterday, which was the fastest set by a 2012 car. Jean-Eric Vergne's impressive two days continued as he set the second fastest time of the day, seven tenths away from Alonso after completing 80 laps. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton were closely fought once again, with Vettel in third place, 0.729 seconds away from Alonso after 49 laps. Vettel's running in the morning was delayed after a electronics problem. The world champion's team, Red Bull, have looked very impressive all four days, the RB8 looking in imperious form. Lewis Hamilton was just behind the German, four hunderedths of a second seperating the two. Hamilton set 86 laps as he had his second day with the MP4-27, so far the only car without a step in the nose.

The World Champion Sebastian Vettel
Romain Grosjean, who set the fastest time of all four days for a 2012 car yesterday, was fifth today, with Lotus also looking good from the first session, with Raikkonen topping on Tuesday, and Grosjean topping yesterday. It is also impressive that Grosjean set the fastest time for a 2012 car over all four days - with the Frenchman looking raring to go for his Formula One return. Kamui Kobayashi was sixth today, but he hit trouble after a hydraulic leak in his Sauber C31 caused him to stop on track. He later returned though, and completed the session. Nico Hulkenberg caught up on testing after yesterday's disaster, and was seventh for Force India. Bruno Senna had a very busy day for Williams, with the Brazilian causing two red flags, both of which when his car stopped on track. Senna completed 124 laps today, with a 70 lap run being a race distance simulation, during which he set his fastest time. This bodes well for Williams, who had their worst ever year in 2011. Jarno Trulli had his first run in the Caterham CT01 today, and having suffered with power steering issues all throughout 2011, he seemed to notice an improvement in that area. Having said that, he was last, and two seconds off the pace of Senna. Today, Mercedes didn't run after completing their three day run yesterday, albeit in the 2011 car. They launch their car on 21st February, when the second test session, at Barcelona, begins. Marussia will also be at that test, having being absent from the Jerez test.

Day Four's times in full:
Fernando Alonso
Jean-Eric Vergne
Toro Rosso
Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull
Lewis Hamilton
Romain Grosjean
Toro Rosso
Kamui Kobayashi
Nico Hulkenberg
Bruno Senna
Jarno Trulli

Keep with my blog for all the opinions, launches and testing updates throughout the winter, as we count down to the Australian Grand Prix.

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