Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Hulkenberg fastest on second day at Barcelona

Nico Hulkenberg tops the second day of testing at Barcelona.

Nico Hulkenberg impressed his Force India team by topping the timesheets on the second day of the Barcelona test, with a brilliant day behind the wheel of the VJM05, leading Sauber's Sergio Perez to the top spot.

Hulkenberg was the fastest man today
Hulkenberg drove 112 laps with a best time of 1.22.608 to top the session. The German said of his time-topping day "We started the day with some aero work – trying some constant speed runs and collecting more data. Then, the rest of the day was spent working on the balance of the car and trying out all four tyre compounds. I did some short runs, long runs and just got a feel for the tyre characteristics and how the car reacts to them." The Force India man was fastest ahead of Sauber's Sergio Perez, who was 2nd in the C31. The Mexican had a very strong day for the Swiss team, with 85 laps being driven by 2011's rookie of the year. Importantly though, Hulkenberg and Perez set their best times on super-soft tyres, meaning they had an advantage over third placed Sebastian Vettel, whose fastest time came when he was running soft tyres. The World Champion was three tenths behind Hulkenberg, despite being on the slower tyres, after spending a long period of time in the pits in the middle of the day. Vettel completed a race simulation, driving 70 laps, with three pit stops. The World Champion said We are on the right road with the car. The first impressions at the last test were fine. The car reacted the way we expected. We'll spend the coming days trying to make improvements, find more performance and make the car faster. But so far, so good."

Hamilton did a race simulation today
Fernando Alonso jumped from fifth to fourth with a hot lap late on, and the Spanish genius seemed uncertain about how his new F2012 car, which has being radically and agressively desgined, stating "At the moment we don't know exactly where we are, I think maybe we are not the fastest but definitely we are not the slowest." Daniel Ricciardo continued Toro Rosso's impressive pace in testing, by being fifth on the second day in Barcelona, despite driving just 50 laps. Lewis Hamilton was sixth in the McLaren MP4-27, and like Vettel, performed a race simulation during the day. Analysis of the times of both's simulations show that Vettel was the best part of a second quicker than McLaren, and Red Bull certainly look fast at the moment. Nico Rosberg took over the duties for the W03 for Mercedes today and was seventh after 82 laps. Williams had their test and reserve driver in the car for them today, Valtteri Bottas, but he ended eighth, and over a second slower than the next quickest car. Vitaly Petrov had his first run of the Caterham since it was announced that he was replacing Jarno Trulli, and ended the day ninth. Charles Pic was in the 2011 Marussia again, and was last again.

Day Two's times in full:
Nico Hulkenberg
Force India
Sergio Perez
Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull
Fernando Alonso
Daniel Ricciardo
Toro Rosso
Lewis Hamilton
Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas
Vitaly Petrov
Charles Pic
*2011 Car
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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