Friday, 24 February 2012

Kobayashi fastest on last day of Barcelona test

Kamui Kobayashi is fastest on the final day at Barcelona.

Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi was the fastest driver on the last day of the four day test at Barcelona. This means F1 leaves Barcelona with Kamui Kobayashi fastest over the four days, before we return to Barcelona next week for another four day test.

Kobayashi was fastest today for Sauber
Kobayashi's best time was 1.22.312, which is the fastest time of all four days at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Japanese driver was hampered by an exhaust problem earlier in the day, but this didn't stop him from being the fastest man today. He also completed more than two Grand Prix distances. With a quarter of an hour to go, having already covered over 660km in a single day, his car came to a stop and brought out the red flags. The session was briefly re-started before being red-flagged again. Pastor Maldonado continued his strong pace, after topping yesterday, he was 2nd fastest today. The Williams driver also completed more than two Grand Prix distances, and was just two tenths away from Kobayashi's time. Paul di Resta was third fastest for Force India, whose Force India team have been strong this week. Despite bringing out a red flag when he went off at Campsa, di Resta drove 101 laps. Jenson Button was fourth fastest today, and was the early pacesetter. Once again he was fastest of the "big" teams, and said "We have an update on the car for the first race. It is not a completely straightforward update as it is not about bolting downforce on the car - it is slightly more than that. I just hope we are going in the right direction. The wind tunnel says we are. I am looking to the update next week, and then we can start balancing the car and finding a direction for the first race."

Rosberg in the F1 W03
Ferrari's day was once again compromised with technical difficulties, with a lengthy delay while they made setup changes to Felipe Massa's car. Massa still did 103 laps, the first time Ferrari have done a century of laps this week. The Brazilian was fifth today, ahead of Mark Webber's Red Bull. The Australian only did 85 laps but was just a few tenths shy of Massa's time. Jean-Eric Vergne ended the day seventh for Toro Rosso, with a best time of 1.23.792. Nico Rosberg, who was eighth fastest, joined Kobayashi and Maldonado in completing over two race distances. Heikki Kovalainen was ninth in the Caterham, but his day was seriously affected by an engine change. However, Caterham's day wasn't as bad as Marussia's, with the team having to abandon all running for today. The team were planning to give Charles Pic his third day in the 2011 car, but suspension damage from yesterday's session couldn't be repaired in time. According to the team, a replacement for the broken part was available, but they did not wish to run before completing an analysis of the failure at their factory, which could not be done in time for Pic to get any meaningful running done.

After eight days of testing, eight different drivers have topped the session - Kimi Raikkonen, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado and Kamui Kobayashi. The final test, also at Barcelona, starts on 1st March, next Thursday.

Day Four's times in full:
Kamui Kobayashi
Pastor Maldonado
Paul di Resta
Force India
Jenson Button
Felipe Massa
Mark Webber
Red Bull
Jean-Eric Vergne
Toro Rosso
Nico Rosberg
Heikki Kovalainen

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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