Maldonado on top at Circuit de Catalunya

Maldonado on top at Circuit de Catalunya

23 February 2012 – Pastor Maldonado and Williams led the way as Formula 1 pre-season testing continued in Spain on Thursday. The Venezuelan, like the majority on-track today, was driving for the first time this week as Michael Schumacher and Kamui Kobayashi completed the top three for Mercedes and Sauber, respectively.

Although this week’s tradition of a cold morning was continued, the afternoon proved to be the warmest so far as the blue sky was joined by few clouds and ambient temperatures in excess of 21°C (70°F) to the delight of spectators who visited the circuit, despite the fact that Spain’s favourite Fernando Alonso had finished his programme on Wednesday.

Red Bull's pit-stop practices started early this morning
It was an early start and early end for Red Bull; the pit crew was in action shortly after eight o’clock, practicing with Mercedes-style wheel nuts which are new for the World Champion team in 2012. However the day came to a premature finish when Mark Webber ground to a halt at Turn 8 with just under half an hour to go; it is likely that the stoppage was planned as teams continue to learn more regarding the range of their new contenders.

Webber’s parking was in fact the cause of red flag number four, with the first having flown when the engine cover flew off Paul di Resta’s Force India when travelling down the start/finish straight at 11:35am. Half an hour later, the circuit went silent for another brief period after Timo Glock spun the Marussia on what was his sole day of running this week. The lunch break came three minutes early when Kobayashi parked at Turn 4, likely to be for a fuel-out test. Ironically, the overall session also ended three minutes early when Felipe Massa’s Ferrari stopped in the pit lane exit.

The morning period brought problems for both Force India and Caterham; the former not only jettisoned the aforementioned engine cover but, previously, had lost a lengthy period of time when setup changes were made. In Caterham’s case, Vitaly Petrov saw his front suspension changed but still managed to notch up a total of 70 laps.

Schumacher, who circulated the most with 127 tours to his name, was the highest-placed runner on Pirelli’s Soft compound tyre, although Mercedes was not able to confirm the condition of the tyres or fuel load to GPUpdate.net. Atop the timesheet, Maldonado’s best effort of 1:22.391 came on the red-marked Super Softs, with third-placed Kobayashi putting in his time with a fresh set of Softs. Jenson Button had been in the top three, but was pushed down to fourth for McLaren ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne’s Toro Rosso.

After Fernando Alonso admitted on Wednesday that Ferrari are not in the position they had planned, team-mate Felipe Massa took over and set the seventh-fastest lap time, 2.3 seconds off Maldonado’s effort which is the fastest of the week so far.

With the results very much mixed due to various driver, tyre and temperature combinations, the general paddock feeling remains that Red Bull is the quickest for pure pace; however, in a dramatic development, word began to spread that the Milton Keynes team might not be testing tomorrow.


Post-session development:
Red Bull and Ferrari alter testing days


This week's final action begins at 9am local time (GMT +1) on Friday; once again, the session can be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Test Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 27 April 2015

  2. 17:42

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Details of Márquez's training crash emerge 17:30

    Details of Márquez's training crash emerge

    Further details regarding the finger injury suffered by Marc Márquez have emerged. Repsol Honda rider Márquez underwent…

    MotoGP
  4. Video: Max Verstappen's rise to Formula 1 14:45

    Video: Max Verstappen's rise to Formula 1

    Follow Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen's journey to Formula 1 in this Red Bull documentary. Originally published in six parts…

    F1
  5. Formula E set for brake, suspension upgrades 14:27

    Formula E set for brake, suspension upgrades

    Formula E chassis manufacturer Spark Racing Technology is planning to introduce brake and suspension upgrades for the second…

    FE
  6. Williams reports substantial loss for 2014 09:58

    Williams reports substantial loss for 2014

    Williams Grand Prix Holdings has reported a sizeable loss of £34.3m for 2014, although the company is adamant that its…

    F1
  7. Video of the Day: Sauber's ReSTART - Part 3 05:07

    Video of the Day: Sauber's ReSTART - Part 3

    Marcus Ericsson goes on a tour of the Sauber factory in Hinwil, in the third part of the team's documentary.

    F1
  8. Sunday 26 April 2015

  9. Newgarden gets maiden win at thrilling Alabama GP 22:55

    Newgarden gets maiden win at thrilling Alabama GP

    Josef Newgarden has won the first race of his Verizon IndyCar Series career in thrilling fashion at Barber Motorsports Park.…

    Indy
  10. Todt and delegates safe after Nepal earthquake 15:31

    Todt and delegates safe after Nepal earthquake

    The FIA has confirmed that its delegates – including President Jean Todt – are safe and accounted for after an earthquake…

    F1
  11. Schumacher Jr. wins on debut F4 weekend 15:00

    Schumacher Jr. wins on debut F4 weekend

    Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael, has taken the first single-seater victory of his career in…

    Misc
  12. Button sets personal best at London Marathon 14:42

    Button sets personal best at London Marathon

    McLaren driver Jenson Button set his new personal best time at the London Marathon on Sunday. Button, running for Cancer…

    F1
  13. 13:48

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Sunday at Aragón

    FR 3.5
  14. Vaxivière beats de Vries at wet Aragón 13:45

    Vaxivière beats de Vries at wet Aragón

    Lotus driver Matthieu Vaxivière claimed a last-gasp victory over Nyck de Vries during a wet second race of the weekend at…

    FR 3.5
  15. Feature: What's gone wrong for Red Bull? 09:27

    Feature: What's gone wrong for Red Bull?

    Red Bull has endured its worst start to a season since emerging as a credible force in 2009. There is one pressing area where…

    F1
  16. Video of the Day: Button in tricycle race 05:22

    Video of the Day: Button in tricycle race

    McLaren-Honda driver Jenson Button takes on BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James in a tricycle race.

    F1
  17. Saturday 25 April 2015

  18. Castroneves outruns the rain to win Alabama pole 23:08

    Castroneves outruns the rain to win Alabama pole

    Hélio Castroneves put in a quick lap early in the third qualifying session to beat the oncoming rain (and his team-mates) to…

    Indy
  19. Márquez has surgery for finger injury 20:36

    Márquez has surgery for finger injury

    MotoGP World Champion Marc Márquez has undergone successful surgery to treat a fracture of his little finger on his left…

    MotoGP
  20. Daly gets Schmidt seat for Indianapolis 14:29

    Daly gets Schmidt seat for Indianapolis

    Conor Daly will make a return to the Indianapolis 500 this year after signing a deal to race for Schmidt Peterson…

    Indy
  21. 14:20

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Saturday at Aragón

    FR 3.5
  22. Rowland wins FR3.5 opener at Aragón 14:18

    Rowland wins FR3.5 opener at Aragón

    Oliver Rowland claimed victory in the opening Formula Renault 3.5 race of the year at MotorLand Aragón despite not leading a…

    FR 3.5
  23. Hamilton named wealthiest UK sportsman 09:05

    Hamilton named wealthiest UK sportsman

    World Champion Lewis Hamilton has been named as the wealthiest sportsman in Britain in the Sunday Times Sport Rich List. The…

    F1
  24. Video of the Day: Alonso on F1 journey 05:16

    Video of the Day: Alonso on F1 journey

    McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso discusses his Formula 1 journey with the BBC.

    F1
  25. Friday 24 April 2015

  26. Force India: Let teams choose tyre compounds 16:37

    Force India: Let teams choose tyre compounds

    Force India's Chief Operating Officer, Otmar Szafnauer, has suggested that teams should be allowed to select their two preferred…

    F1
  27. Video: Tour of Monaco with Sam Bird 15:37

    Video: Tour of Monaco with Sam Bird

    Sam Bird takes you through a lap of Monaco ahead of the upcoming ePrix in the principality on May 9.

    FE
  28. Van der Garde's manager downplays Manor talk 14:05

    Van der Garde's manager downplays Manor talk

    Giedo van der Garde's management team has played down talk of a return to Formula 1 with Manor Marussia, insisting that although…

    F1
  29. Marko: Ricciardo of same calibre as Vettel 11:35

    Marko: Ricciardo of same calibre as Vettel

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has backed Daniel Ricciardo to lead the team's recovery, claiming that he is of the same calibre…

    F1
  30. Regalia, Comtec split after three days 10:22

    Regalia, Comtec split after three days

    Comtec Racing has been left without any drivers for the opening round of the Formula Renault 3.5 season, after its recent deal…

    FR 3.5
  31. Video of the Day: Sauber's ReSTART - Part 2 05:12

    Video of the Day: Sauber's ReSTART - Part 2

    Marcus Ericsson gets to know Sauber in the second part of the team's special inside documentary.

    F1
  32. Thursday 23 April 2015

  33. Verstappen eager for swift points return 18:03

    Verstappen eager for swift points return

    Max Verstappen is keen to return to the points when Formula 1 arrives in Europe next month. The Toro Rosso rookie scored his…

    F1
  34. Lotus invites fans to Brands filming day 17:30

    Lotus invites fans to Brands filming day

    Lotus has invited fans to watch from the trackside at its Brands Hatch filming event on Monday. Race drivers Romain Grosjean…

    F1
  35. Horner: No short-term fixes for Red Bull 14:11

    Horner: No short-term fixes for Red Bull

    Christian Horner has conceded that there will be no short-term fixes for Red Bull this season, as the squad continues to…

    F1
  36. Vettel becomes ADAC Formula 4 patron 12:18

    Vettel becomes ADAC Formula 4 patron

    Four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel has been announced as a patron of the ADAC automobile club's new Formula 4…

    F1
  37. 10:41

    Photos: Red Bull's show run in Vienna

    F1
  38. Video: Ricciardo demos F1 car in Austria 10:36

    Video: Ricciardo demos F1 car in Austria

    Watch as Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo showcases the team's RB8 on the streets of Vienna, Austria.

    F1
  39. González set for IndyCar debut with Coyne 09:50

    González set for IndyCar debut with Coyne

    Ex-Formula 1 test driver Rodolfo González will make his IndyCar debut with Dale Coyne Racing at this weekend's Barber…

    Indy
  40. Video of the Day: Sauber's 'Ask the Driver' 05:06

    Video of the Day: Sauber's 'Ask the Driver'

    Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr answer questions posed by fans of the team.

    F1
  41. Wednesday 22 April 2015

  42. De Vries eyes McLaren seat for 2017 20:59

    De Vries eyes McLaren seat for 2017

    McLaren young driver Nyck de Vries has set his sights on securing a race seat with the Honda-powered Formula 1 outfit for the…

    F1
  43. Video: Formula E – the season so far 14:32

    Video: Formula E – the season so far

    Relive the first half of the inaugural Formula E season, which produced six different winners in six races.

    FE
  44. Pirelli confirms tyres for next four races 12:39

    Pirelli confirms tyres for next four races

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has named its compound nominations for the upcoming Spanish, Monaco, Canadian and Austrian…

    F1
  45. Pedrosa 'responding well' after surgery 11:33

    Pedrosa 'responding well' after surgery

    Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says he is "responding well" after undergoing surgery for his persistent arm pump issues earlier…

    MotoGP
  46. 10:04

    Gallery: Best photos from the Bahrain GP

    F1
more news