Winter Testing: Jerez Day 4

Driver

Team

Time

Laps

Räikkönen

Lotus

1:18.148

83

Bianchi

Force India

1:18.175

56

Vettel

Red Bull

1:18.565

96

Gutierrez

Sauber

1:18.669

142

Vergne

Toro Rosso

1:18.760

92

Hamilton

Mercedes

1:18.905

145

Perez

McLaren

1:18.944

98

Bottas

Williams

1:19.851

92

De la Rosa

Ferrari

1:20.316

51

Pic

Caterham

1:21.105

109

Razia

Marussia

1:21.226

82

Di Resta

Force India

1:23.435

49

There was a 50 minute stoppage during running today so repairs could be made to the track surface when a hole appeared. This is not what circuit organisers would be pleased with after Pirelli man Paul Hembery commented that the track was too abrasive for testing earlier in the testing period.

Into the second year of the second half of his career Raikkonen leaves Jerez with the fastest time of the last day, but although the set the time was in the afternoon he spent much of the day refining components on the car but getting the balance right too. He cites there is more work to get the car pointing in his direction but is happy of where the team is at the moment.

One of the many clambering for the last seat on the 2013 grid is Bianchi and he took to the track today for Force India. Although team principal Bob Fernley had said he wanted Bianchi to remain a reserve for another year, Hulkenberg’s departure has played havoc with the team’s plans.

But his links with Ferrari’s Driver Academy has tongues wagging over Force India’s Mercedes engine contract coming to an end this year, and whether Bianchi can secure a seat as part of a Ferrari engine deal for 2014. He split duties with Di Resta  today and had to hand the car back for the final two hours, however the French driver feels he has done enough to warrant a seat this year with a fastest time almost a second quicker than his potential team mate.

Vettel was consistent with his second day ending in third place, but his day was spent on longer runs much like Webber’s second day, on the harder compounds. Gutierrez made the most of his time on track to continue proving the reliability of the C32 with 142 laps completed, like many he spent most of his day on longer runs. Hamilton clocked up the most laps of anyone with a sizeable 145 under his belt, but revealed that he was not only getting to know the car but how Mercedes communicates.

Perez took the car back from Button for the final day and was last the quick laps before Bottas spent his last day in the 2012 car, heavy on fuel he’ll be glad to fly to Barcelona and get to know the car he’ll be using for the rest of the year. De la Rosa made his debut as a Ferrari test driver but it wasn’t a smooth transition when after only three laps in the car suffered a smoky gearbox issue. However once the car was recovered and fixed he returned to the track to gather important information he’ll use in the simulator.

Pic made progress in the Caterham and became another driver to reach triple figures in Jerez, and although the cooler temperatures hampered the tyres a little in the morning, he managed to learn some more from KERS, a system that’s new to the French driver.

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