Vettel quickest as Barcelona test begins

Vettel quickest as Barcelona test begins

21 February 2012 – Sebastian Vettel put Red Bull on top as F1 testing continued in Barcelona on Tuesday. With a best effort of 1:23.265, the Champion led the way from ever-consistent Force India and Nico Hülkenberg, with Michael Schumacher sixth in the new Mercedes. Lotus’ day was shortened by a chassis problem.

It was a cold start in Montmeló when Mercedes launched its F1 W03, with ambient temperatures meeting figures of just 4°C (39°F); this increased to over 12°C (54°F) in the afternoon, although the track surface only saw double figures in the last hour.

To nobody’s great surprise, Caterham and Heikki Kovalainen were first out of the pit lane; however, the Finn was also first to cause a red flag as he stopped in an usual position just before the last corner, but after the pit lane entrance; the team confirmed to GPUpdate.net that this was due to a rear suspension issue. There was no further stoppage until ten to four, when Daniel Ricciardo parked the Toro Rosso at Turn 8; the exact cause is unknown and lost Ricciardo the 60 minutes of running time.

After the first hour, it was Sauber and Sergio Pérez leading the way, with Vettel first topping the timesheets 40 minutes later. Hülkenberg briefly stole the top spot after the first red flag, then trading the place with Ricciardo before Vettel rubberstamped his name on P1 ten minutes before the lunch break at one o’clock; the German’s eventual quickest time came in the final hour, with fuel loads remaining highly confidential.

Lewis Hamilton’s day ended amongst the top three runners, with Ricciardo and local favourite Fernando Alonso fourth and fifth as Schumacher’s best effort left him close to nine tenths off the top spot and in sixth position; in the paddock, Mercedes remains optimistic but insist that 2012 will bring ‘step-by-step’ improvements.

There were mixed moods at the bottom of the listings. Romain Grosjean barely managed two hours and seven laps as he continually complained of an ill-handling car; confirming the worries of the Franco-Swiss, the Enstone team diagnosed a major chassis problem and duly placed their E20 into retirement for the rest of the day. The plan is for Grosjean to drive again tomorrow with a tested chassis, with Kimi Räikkönen stepping in for Thursday and Friday.

It was a rather more positive affair for Charles Pic, who began Marussia’s 2012 running with the team’s 2011 car, the squad having admitted that it has fallen behind on its new machine. Despite setting the day’s slowest lap time, the Frenchman - fresh out of GP2 - recorded more laps than anybody, with a mammoth 121 to his name.


Barcelona testing continues at 9am local time (GMT +1) on Wednesday and can again be tracked live through the GPUpdate.net Live Test Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Thursday 18 September 2014

  2. Video: 24 hours after a Formula 1 race 17:00

    Video: 24 hours after a Formula 1 race

    Ever wondered what happens at the factory when a team returns from a race? Red Bull reveals all.

    F1
  3. Ricciardo: Podium to keep title hopes alive 15:35

    Ricciardo: Podium to keep title hopes alive

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo believes that a podium finish at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix will be the minimum...

    F1
  4. Rumours not helping Ferrari, admits Alonso 15:07

    Rumours not helping Ferrari, admits Alonso

    Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has criticised rumours in the media suggesting that he could swap places with Red Bull's...

    F1
  5. 14:45

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday in Singapore

    F1
  6. Jones confirmed as Singapore steward 12:47

    Jones confirmed as Singapore steward

    Former World Champion Alan Jones will act as the FIA's driver steward at the Singapore Grand Prix. Jones, who claimed his...

    F1
  7. Pérez questions timing of radio rule change 12:20

    Pérez questions timing of radio rule change

    Force India driver Sergio Pérez has questioned the decision to introduce Formula 1's radio clampdown during the season, even...

    F1
  8. Video: Pirelli's guide to the Singapore GP 12:02

    Video: Pirelli's guide to the Singapore GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli previews this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix.

    F1
  9. Watson: Rosberg to gain from new radio rules 11:03

    Watson: Rosberg to gain from new radio rules

    Ex-Formula 1 driver John Watson says he is expecting championship leader Nico Rosberg to gain an advantage over Mercedes...

    F1
  10. Sainz 'very upset' with Verstappen signing 10:07

    Sainz 'very upset' with Verstappen signing

    Carlos Sainz, the father of Carlos Sainz Jr., has admitted that the pair were "very upset" after hearing that Dutch...

    F1
  11. Singapore memories: Räikkönen crashes out 05:09

    Singapore memories: Räikkönen crashes out

    Kimi Räikkönen suffered this dramatic retirement from the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix after misjudging his entry to the n...

    F1
  12. Wednesday 17 September 2014

  13. Video: Force India drivers on Singapore GP 18:05

    Video: Force India drivers on Singapore GP

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez preview the Singapore Grand Prix.

    F1
  14. Fry: Ferrari needs to regroup and refocus 17:44

    Fry: Ferrari needs to regroup and refocus

    Ferrari engineering guru Pat Fry says the team needs to "regroup" and "refocus" ahead of this weekend's Singapore Grand...

    F1
  15. Miller signs MotoGP deal with LCR Honda 16:24

    Miller signs MotoGP deal with LCR Honda

    Jack Miller will graduate to MotoGP in 2015 after signing a deal with Honda. The Australian, who currently leads the way...

    MotoGP
  16. Grosjean signs up for Race of Champions 16:04

    Grosjean signs up for Race of Champions

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean will compete in this year's Race of Champions event in Barbados. Grosjean, who won the ROC...

    F1
  17. Massa: Williams out to close gap to Red Bull 15:21

    Massa: Williams out to close gap to Red Bull

    Felipe Massa reckons Williams might be able to overhaul Red Bull during the remainder of the season and finish 'best of the...

    F1
  18. GP2 to introduce DRS from 2015 13:36

    GP2 to introduce DRS from 2015

    GP2 has confirmed that the Drag Reduction System (DRS) will feature on its GP2/11 machines from the start of the 2015...

    GP2
  19. Video: Ferrari looks ahead to Singapore 13:30

    Video: Ferrari looks ahead to Singapore

    Ferrari Engineering Director Pat Fry looks ahead to this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

    F1
  20. KTM to make 'big jump' to MotoGP in 2017 13:22

    KTM to make 'big jump' to MotoGP in 2017

    KTM plans to compete in MotoGP from 2017, Head of Motorsport Pit Beirer has revealed. "We had plans to go first to Moto2...

    MotoGP
  21. 13:10

    Latest F1 photos: Preparations in Singapore

    F1
  22. Kobayashi to race for Caterham in Singapore 12:06

    Kobayashi to race for Caterham in Singapore

    Kamui Kobayashi will race for Caterham in this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, once again linking up with Marcus Ericsson,...

    F1
  23. Rosberg: Racing will be purer now 11:10

    Rosberg: Racing will be purer now

    Nico Rosberg says the racing will now be "purer" following the FIA's clampdown on radio messages. Race Director Charlie...

    F1
  24. Vergne: I have potential to be like Ricciardo 10:30

    Vergne: I have potential to be like Ricciardo

    Jean-Éric Vergne believes he has the "potential" to do as well as Daniel Ricciardo in Formula 1, providing he is given the...

    F1
  25. Wolff: Rosberg and Hamilton almost 'enemies' 09:37

    Wolff: Rosberg and Hamilton almost 'enemies'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are almost like "enemies" as the battle for the Formula 1...

    F1
  26. Singapore memories: Alonso gives Webber a lift 05:07

    Singapore memories: Alonso gives Webber a lift

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso gives then Red Bull driver Mark Webber a lift back to the pits at the end of the 2013 Singapore...

    F1
  27. Tuesday 16 September 2014

  28. Aleshin released from hospital after crash 20:12

    Aleshin released from hospital after crash

    Mikhail Aleshin has been released from hospital, 18 days after he sustained injuries in a violent crash during practice for...

    Indy
  29. Marussia using Monaco result as inspiration 15:21

    Marussia using Monaco result as inspiration

    Marussia is looking to draw on its maiden points finish at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix. Although five seconds...

    F1
  30. Williams looks to consolidate third position 12:56

    Williams looks to consolidate third position

    Williams says its focus during the season run-in is to solidify third in the Constructors' standings. The Grove-based...

    F1
  31. Renault expects to be closer in Singapore 12:29

    Renault expects to be closer in Singapore

    Renault is expecting its power unit to fare much better at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix. The French manufacturer's...

    F1
  32. Video: Rosberg looks ahead to Singapore 10:25

    Video: Rosberg looks ahead to Singapore

    Mercedes driver and championship leader Nico Rosberg previews the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix.

    F1
  33. Kobayashi saddened by Caterham situation 10:17

    Kobayashi saddened by Caterham situation

    Kamui Kobayashi says he is saddened by the current state of affairs at the Caterham Formula 1 team. Having made his...

    F1
  34. Bautista confirmed at Gresini Aprilia 09:22

    Bautista confirmed at Gresini Aprilia

    Álvaro Bautista will remain with Gresini in 2015 after being confirmed as part of the team's Aprilia tie-up. Last week,...

    MotoGP
  35. Singapore memories: Massa's pit-stop drama 05:02

    Singapore memories: Massa's pit-stop drama

    Relive the drama as Felipe Massa drives away from his pit box with the fuel hose still attached during the 2008 Singapore...

    F1
  36. Monday 15 September 2014

  37. Radio clampdown also applies to pit boards 17:31

    Radio clampdown also applies to pit boards

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has sent a fresh technical directive to teams confirming that the radio message...

    F1
  38. Video: Van der Garde wins at Goodwood 15:48

    Video: Van der Garde wins at Goodwood

    Relive highlights as Sauber reserve driver Giedo van der Garde claims victory in the RAC TT Celebration race at the Goodwood...

    F1
  39. 14:02

    Photos: Goodwood Revival 2014

    F1
  40. Wehrlein named Mercedes reserve driver 13:06

    Wehrlein named Mercedes reserve driver

    DTM racer Pascal Wehrlein, just a day after claiming his maiden victory in the touring car championship at the Lausitzring,...

    F1
  41. Singapore keeps pair of DRS zones 12:42

    Singapore keeps pair of DRS zones

    The FIA has chosen to retain two DRS zones for this year's Singapore Grand Prix. The night race featured just one zone in...

    F1
  42. Redding to ride Marc VDS Honda in 2015 10:32

    Redding to ride Marc VDS Honda in 2015

    Marc VDS will run Scott Redding on a Factory Honda in MotoGP in 2015, when it steps up from Moto2. Redding had been...

    MotoGP
  43. Prodromou starts work at McLaren 10:04

    Prodromou starts work at McLaren

    Peter Prodromou has officially started work at McLaren in his new position of Chief Engineer. Prodromou signed a deal...

    F1
  44. Video: Ericsson in Swedish F1 demo 09:40

    Video: Ericsson in Swedish F1 demo

    Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson returned to his native Sweden for the Örebro Race Day last weekend. Watch as he wows the...

    F1
more news