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. Saturday 22 November 2014

  2. Bottas: Beating Ferrari remains the goal 15:22

    Bottas: Beating Ferrari remains the goal

    Valtteri Bottas says beating Ferrari to fourth in the Constructors' standings remains the goal for Williams during the Abu...

    F1
  3. Pérez signs 'multi-year' Force India deal 15:06

    Pérez signs 'multi-year' Force India deal

    Sergio Pérez has put an end to any speculation over his future at Force India by signing a new "multi-year" deal with the...

    F1
  4. 14:52

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Abu Dhabi

    F1
  5. Hamilton: I'm still there for the fight 14:51

    Hamilton: I'm still there for the fight

    Lewis Hamilton says he is pleased to be "there for the fight" after qualifying second for the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand...

    F1
  6. Rosberg: Pole just a small step towards title 14:38

    Rosberg: Pole just a small step towards title

    Nico Rosberg says pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is just a "small step" towards his ultimate goal of claiming...

    F1
  7. 14:08

    In full: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying results

    F1
  8. Rosberg on pole for Abu Dhabi title decider 14:07

    Rosberg on pole for Abu Dhabi title decider

    Nico Rosberg stormed to pole position during Saturday evening's qualifying session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, comfortably...

    F1
  9. Van der Garde leaves Abu Dhabi early 13:31

    Van der Garde leaves Abu Dhabi early

    Sauber reserve driver Giedo van der Garde has left the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix prematurely due to the team contravening the...

    F1
  10. 12:45

    Follow qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

    F1
  11. Horner eyes new F1 engines for 2016 12:11

    Horner eyes new F1 engines for 2016

    Mercedes' rivals are eyeing significant changes to the power unit regulations if the German manufacturer refuses to agree on...

    F1
  12. 11:08

    Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Free Practice 3 results

    F1
  13. Rosberg moves ahead in final practice 11:05

    Rosberg moves ahead in final practice

    Nico Rosberg topped the timesheets during Saturday afternoon's final practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, moving...

    F1
  14. 09:46

    Follow FP3 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

    F1
  15. Stoneman takes fifth GP3 win of 2014 08:41

    Stoneman takes fifth GP3 win of 2014

    Koiranen driver Dean Stoneman claimed his fifth victory of the season in the first race of the final GP3 round at the Yas...

    GP3
  16. Lynn remains hopeful over Toro Rosso seat 07:22

    Lynn remains hopeful over Toro Rosso seat

    Newly-crowned GP3 champion Alex Lynn is remaining hopeful that he will be picked by Red Bull bosses to join Max Verstappen...

    F1
  17. Bird cruises to victory in Malaysia ePrix 07:18

    Bird cruises to victory in Malaysia ePrix

    Sam Bird claimed victory in the second round of the Formula E Championship around the streets of Putrajaya in...

    Formula E
  18. Video of the Day: Vettel disguised as mechanic 05:17

    Video of the Day: Vettel disguised as mechanic

    Sebastian Vettel disguises himself as a wild mechanic with Tirendo to surprise customers.

    F1
  19. Friday 21 November 2014

  20. 18:10

    Latest F1 photos: Friday in Abu Dhabi

    F1
  21. Stevens relishes 'steep learning curve' 18:09

    Stevens relishes 'steep learning curve'

    Will Stevens says he is revelling in the "steep learning curve" of his Formula 1 debut at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The...

    F1
  22. Magnussen buoyed by McLaren updates 17:46

    Magnussen buoyed by McLaren updates

    McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen was encouraged by the upgrades he tested during Friday practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand...

    F1
  23. Ricciardo wants farewell battle with Vettel 17:32

    Ricciardo wants farewell battle with Vettel

    Daniel Ricciardo hopes to be involved in a scrap with Sebastian Vettel during their final race together as Red Bull...

    F1
  24. Alonso halted by electrical problem 17:25

    Alonso halted by electrical problem

    Ferrari has confirmed that an electrical problem was to blame for Fernando Alonso sitting out most of Friday's second...

    F1
  25. Williams not concerned by bodywork issues 17:06

    Williams not concerned by bodywork issues

    Rob Smedley has played down the bodywork problems that struck both Williams cars during first practice for the Abu Dhabi...

    F1
  26. Ocon pleased with Formula 1 practice debut 16:25

    Ocon pleased with Formula 1 practice debut

    Esteban Ocon was pleased with the progress he made during his Formula 1 practice debut at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Ocon,...

    F1
  27. Hamilton 'making good steps' in Abu Dhabi 16:02

    Hamilton 'making good steps' in Abu Dhabi

    Lewis Hamilton was satisfied with the work he completed en route to topping both of Friday's practice sessions for the Abu...

    F1
  28. 15:47

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday in Abu Dhabi

    GP2
  29. Vandoorne surges to fourth straight GP2 pole 15:46

    Vandoorne surges to fourth straight GP2 pole

    Stoffel Vandoorne claimed his fourth consecutive pole position after topping Friday's qualifying session for the final round...

    GP2
  30. 14:33

    Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Free Practice 2 results

    F1
  31. Hamilton stays on top in second practice 14:32

    Hamilton stays on top in second practice

    Lewis Hamilton remained fastest during Friday evening's second practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, although...

    F1
  32. Grosjean given 20-place grid penalty 12:49

    Grosjean given 20-place grid penalty

    Romain Grosjean has been given a 20-place grid penalty for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after the Lotus driver took on sixth...

    F1
  33. 12:49

    Follow FP2 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

    F1
  34. Administrator: Three weeks to save Caterham 11:53

    Administrator: Three weeks to save Caterham

    Caterham's administrator reckons there are just three weeks to find a buyer if the team is to compete in Formula 1 next...

    F1
  35. 11:48

    Latest GP3 photos: Friday in Abu Dhabi

    GP3
  36. Lynn crowned GP3 champion in Abu Dhabi 11:47

    Lynn crowned GP3 champion in Abu Dhabi

    Alex Lynn clinched this year's GP3 Series title during qualifying for the final round of the year as rival Dean Stoneman...

    GP3
  37. Qualifying format altered after Caterham return 10:57

    Qualifying format altered after Caterham return

    Formula 1's qualifying format has been changed for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after Caterham's return boosted the grid to 10...

    F1
  38. 10:40

    Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Free Practice 1 results

    F1
  39. Hamilton edges Rosberg in first practice 10:34

    Hamilton edges Rosberg in first practice

    Lewis Hamilton narrowly outpaced Mercedes team-mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg during Friday afternoon's opening...

    F1
  40. Pérez hopes Force India will continue to grow 09:38

    Pérez hopes Force India will continue to grow

    Sergio Pérez hopes Force India can climb further up the Formula 1 pecking order in 2015, after the team's most successful...

    F1
  41. 08:46

    Follow FP1 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

    F1
  42. Alonso honours Ferrari staff on helmet 06:47

    Alonso honours Ferrari staff on helmet

    Fernando Alonso has commissioned a special helmet design for his final appearance with Ferrari at the Abu Dhabi Grand...

    F1
more news