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 29 June 2015

  2. 16:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Marciello gets Sauber practice outing 14:16

    Marciello gets Sauber practice outing

    Sauber reserve driver Raffaele Marciello will participate in the opening practice session for the British Grand Prix, his third…

    F1
  4. Video: Nico Rosberg's Goodwood diary 13:21

    Video: Nico Rosberg's Goodwood diary

    Nico Rosberg demonstrates what it's like to be a Formula 1 driver at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

    F1
  5. Force India excited by new car potential 12:26

    Force India excited by new car potential

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya says the entire squad is "full of anticipation" as it prepares to launch its new car on home…

    F1
  6. Horner extends contract with Red Bull 11:16

    Horner extends contract with Red Bull

    Christian Horner has extended his contract with Red Bull, the team has confirmed to GPUpdate.net. Amid a challenging start to…

    F1
  7. Video: Button drives Senna's McLaren MP4/6 10:28

    Video: Button drives Senna's McLaren MP4/6

    Watch as Jenson Button drives Ayrton Senna's McLaren MP4/6 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

    F1
  8. Renault's F1 future depends on governance 10:22

    Renault's F1 future depends on governance

    Renault's Chief Executive, Carlos Ghosn, says the French manufacturer is still yet to decide on its future involvement in…

    F1
  9. Leclerc, Günther, Giovinazzi win at the Norisring 10:03

    Leclerc, Günther, Giovinazzi win at the Norisring

    Charles Leclerc, Maximilian Günther and Antonio Giovinazzi shared the wins during last weekend's FIA European Formula 3 round…

    F3
  10. Silverstone memories: Schumacher vs Häkkinen 05:02

    Silverstone memories: Schumacher vs Häkkinen

    Relive the battle between Michael Schumacher and Mika Häkkinen during a rain-hit 1998 British Grand Prix. After pouncing on a…

    F1
  11. Sunday 28 June 2015

  12. Piquet Jr. overwhelmed by Formula E crown 17:45

    Piquet Jr. overwhelmed by Formula E crown

    Nelson Piquet Jr. expressed his amazement at claiming the maiden Formula E championship as he recovered from 16th on the grid to…

    FE
  13. Bird wins, Piquet Jr. takes title in action-packed finale 16:59

    Bird wins, Piquet Jr. takes title in action-packed finale

    Nelson Piquet Jr. beat Sébastien Buemi to the inaugural Formula E championship by a single point as Sam Bird claimed victory in…

    FE
  14. Verstappen bemoans too much 'technical stuff' 11:46

    Verstappen bemoans too much 'technical stuff'

    Toro Rosso youngster Max Verstappen says that Formula 1 needs to get rid of the abundance of "technical stuff" and place control…

    F1
  15. Video: Briscoe escapes huge IndyCar crash 10:55

    Video: Briscoe escapes huge IndyCar crash

    Ryan Briscoe escaped unharmed following a terrifying flip during Saturday's IndyCar race at Fontana.

    Indy
  16. Márquez calls Assen podium 'moral victory' 08:06

    Márquez calls Assen podium 'moral victory'

    Marc Márquez was left encouraged by his return to form at the Dutch TT as he called his second place finish at Assen a 'moral…

    MotoGP
  17. Video of the Day: F1 2015 TV advert 05:11

    Video of the Day: F1 2015 TV advert

    Watch the official TV advert for Codemasters' upcoming F1 2015 title, to be launched on July 10.

    F1
  18. Rahal leads the pack in thrilling fashion at Fontana 01:24

    Rahal leads the pack in thrilling fashion at Fontana

    Graham Rahal broke a 125-race winless streak that stretched back seven years to win a thrilling and record-setting MAVTV 500 at…

    Indy
  19. Saturday 27 June 2015

  20. Buemi win sets up three-way title fight 16:57

    Buemi win sets up three-way title fight

    Sébastien Buemi cruised to victory around Battersea Park to set-up a three-way fight for the inaugural Formula E championship…

    FE
  21. 16:47

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Assen

    MotoGP
  22. Rossi happy to extend championship lead 15:54

    Rossi happy to extend championship lead

    Valentino Rossi says he was happy to extend his MotoGP title advantage as he halted Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo's string of…

    MotoGP
  23. Branson expects FE to overtake F1 by 2020 15:30

    Branson expects FE to overtake F1 by 2020

    Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson says he expects the nascent electric Formula E championship to pass Formula 1 in terms…

    FE
  24. Rossi beats Márquez in Dutch thriller 13:52

    Rossi beats Márquez in Dutch thriller

    Valentino Rossi extended his MotoGP championship lead to 10 points after prevailing in a thrilling battle with Honda rival Marc…

    MotoGP
  25. London ePrix gets Safety Car start 11:19

    London ePrix gets Safety Car start

    Saturday's first Formula E race in London will start behind the Safety Car, with overtaking prohibited into Turn 1, due to a…

    FE
  26. Video of the Day: Fastest two-wheel mile 05:18

    Video of the Day: Fastest two-wheel mile

    Friday's Goodwood action saw a new world record for the fastest mile on two wheels. Stunt driver Terry Grant piloted a Nissan…

    Misc
  27. Pagenaud tops the field in Fontana qualifying 02:03

    Pagenaud tops the field in Fontana qualifying

    Simon Pagenaud was just the third qualifier in the 22-car field for tomorrow's MAVTV 500, but he wasted no time in going…

    Indy
  28. Friday 26 June 2015

  29. 18:02

    Latest Formula E photos: Friday at Battersea

    FE
  30. London Mayor drives Formula E car 17:38

    London Mayor drives Formula E car

    Mayor of London Boris Johnson drove a Formula E car around the Battersea Park Street Circuit ahead of this weekend's season…

    FE
  31. Video: Alain Prost on e.dams' season 15:34

    Video: Alain Prost on e.dams' season

    Alain Prost discusses a successful first season for e.dams, which stands on the verge of the teams' title.

    FE
  32. 14:02

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Assen

    MotoGP
  33. Rossi storms to pole for Dutch TT 13:56

    Rossi storms to pole for Dutch TT

    Championship leader Valentino Rossi brushed aside his recent qualifying issues by storming to pole position for the Dutch Grand…

    MotoGP
  34. Leimer hopes for Manor Marussia seat 13:13

    Leimer hopes for Manor Marussia seat

    Former GP2 champion Fabio Leimer says there is a strong possibility that he will compete in some Formula 1 races with the…

    F1
  35. Palmer ruled out of 2016 Lotus seat 12:06

    Palmer ruled out of 2016 Lotus seat

    Lotus Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi says that Jolyon Palmer must wait until 2017 before a race seat opens up at the…

    F1
  36. Rossi moves ahead in third practice 09:53

    Rossi moves ahead in third practice

    MotoGP Championship leader Valentino Rossi moved to the front of the pack during the third practice session for Saturday's Dutch…

    MotoGP
  37. Feature: Austrian GP's key questions 07:37

    Feature: Austrian GP's key questions

    In the run up to the Austrian Grand Prix, GPUpdate.net posed five key questions and pondered the outcomes. With the weekend's…

    F1
  38. Video of the Day: Piquet Jr.'s season so far 05:22

    Video of the Day: Piquet Jr.'s season so far

    NEXTEV TCR driver Nelson Piquet Jr. approaches this weekend's Formula E finale in London with a 17-point championship lead over…

    FE
  39. Thursday 25 June 2015

  40. Dutch TT to be held on Sunday from 2016 17:20

    Dutch TT to be held on Sunday from 2016

    Dutch TT organisers have confirmed that the race will be held on a Sunday from the 2016 season, to bring it in line with the…

    MotoGP
  41. Video: A virtual lap of Battersea Park 15:32

    Video: A virtual lap of Battersea Park

    Join Sam Bird for a lap of Battersea Park, the venue for this weekend's Formula E season finale in London.

    FE
  42. 14:21

    Latest MotoGP photos: Thursday at Assen

    MotoGP
  43. Pedrosa sets record pace in second practice 14:09

    Pedrosa sets record pace in second practice

    Honda's Dani Pedrosa posted the fastest ever lap by a motorcycle around the TT Circuit Assen during Thursday's second…

    MotoGP
  44. FIA plans to introduce engine cost cap 13:54

    FIA plans to introduce engine cost cap

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has vowed to address the cost of power units for supplied teams, admitting that it…

    F1
  45. Horner: Red Bull intends to stay in F1 13:48

    Horner: Red Bull intends to stay in F1

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner says the squad intends to remain in Formula 1 and help combat the current problems it…

    F1
more news