Thursday, 9 February 2012

Rosberg fastest as Grosjean heads 2012 runners

Mercedes are on top again, as Romain Grosjean is the fastest 2012 car.

Nico Rosberg set the pace on the third day of testing at Jerez, in his 2011 car. The fastest man in a 2012 car was Romain Grosjean, whose Lotus team mate Kimi Raikkonen was fastest on Tuesday.

Alonso had a tough day in front of his adoring fans
Rosberg set a 1.17.613, over a second faster than Michael Schumacher's time yesterday. This concludes Mercedes' running in the Jerez test, as they aren't present for tomorrow's day. The team launches its 2012 car, the W03, ahead of the next test in Barcelona. Romain Grosjean had his first taste of an F1 car since 2009, and impressed, setting the day's fastest time of a 2012 car, registering 117 laps, and finishing just eight tenths shy of Rosberg. The Lotus driver stopped on track in the dying minutes of the session, which brought out the red flag. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton were neck and neck in the session's results, with Vettel third and Hamilton fourth, and just over a tenth of a second between the two World Champions. The current champion Vettel did 96 laps, while Hamilton did 80 in the McLaren. Vettel said of his day It's been two months since I drove and it takes a couple of laps to get back in the rhythm. The car feels fine, it's more or less what we expected, quite a big loss in grip because of the change of regulations but you get used to it fairly quickly and then you start to explore how the new car feels. I think we can be quite happy so far. We had a couple of issues that stopped us for a while. It's normal with a new car - you don't take unnecessary risks. The more you run, the more you understand." Fernando Alonso had a disappointing day as he tried out the Ferrari F2012 for the first time. Ferrari's work was delayed by a hydraulic leak that kept Alonso in the pits for more than an hour. Nevertheless, Alonso's best of 1:20.412 was 0.042secs faster than the Brazilian had managed before. The Spaniard - recieved brilliantly by his home crowd - spent the day on aerodynamic measurement work.

Bruno Senna had a productive day for Williams
Force India had a dreadful day at Jerez. Reserve driver Jules Bianchi, who was fourth yesterday, crashed and damaged the car on his third lap. It damaged the rear of the car, which meant the team had to abandon their original plan of handing the car over to Nico Hulkenberg in the afternoon. Hulkenberg will get his first run in the VJM05 tomorrow. ,“Bianchi said I made a small mistake on my second run. The tyres were a bit cold and I spun into the gravel and touched the wall with the right rear wheel. It was not a very big impact, but it caused some damage. I’m very sorry because my mistake has cost the team a lot of time and effort.” Jean-Eric Vergne was fifth fastest for Toro Rosso, while Sergio Perez was sixth for Sauber. Alonso was seventh after another troubled day for the Maranello outfit, while Bruno Senna had a great day, setting 125 laps as he drove the Williams FW34 for the first time. Giedo Van Der Garde was driving for Caterham today, with the reserve driver hitting trouble with an hour left, spinning the CT01 around.

Not much should be considered yet, as its only the first pre-season test, but Ferrari do seem to be struggling. Massa was nowhere yesterday, and Alonso had troubles today. Lotus also seem quite fast, but as we keep saying, it is silly to read too much into testing times.

Day Three's times in full:
Nico Rosberg
Romain Grosjean
Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull
Lewis Hamilton
Jean-Eric Vergne
Toro Rosso
Sergio Perez
Fernando Alonso
Bruno Senna
Giedo van der Garde
Jules Bianchi
Force India
No Time

*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.

No comments:

Post a Comment