Grosjean quickest on disjointed second day
2 March 2012 – Romain Grosjean again finished on top after a dramatic day of winter testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Lotus driver headed the Friday timesheets from Jean-Éric Vergne and World Champion Sebastian Vettel, as the delayed session was interrupted by no less than eight separate red flag periods.
It was a bizarre day for stoppages, with Pastor Maldonado bringing out what was the second red flag as he stopped at Turn 6 just minutes after the session began. Six more separate pauses were to follow, excluding the customary lunch break, as Vergne, Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Nico Hülkenberg all stopped on-track. There was also a second interruption for Schumacher as the seven-time time winner went off into the gravel at Turn 5, plus a delay as marshals cleared debris from the second corner. As a result of the postponements, overall lap numbers were lower than usual.
Tyre ages and fuel loads remain as confidential as ever, but lap times closed up dramatically in the afternoon, with less than a second covering the top nine as the final hour commenced; the group in question was completed by Lewis Hamilton who, like several drivers on-track today, was enjoying his first track time of the week.
Inside the top five was the Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen, who was back on-track after being taken ill with food poisoning and missing out on any running on Thursday. Marussia has not visited Barcelona after failing its final FIA crash test, whereas HRT is present at the track and pushing to debut its 2012 car at some point this weekend.
Formula 1 winter testing continues at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday, with the green light coming on at 9am local time (GMT +1); questions can be submitted to our reporters in the GPUpdate.net Live Test Report