Winter Testing: Barcelona (1) Day 3

Driver

Team

Time

Laps

Alonso

Ferrari

1:21.875

97

Hulkenberg

Sauber

1:22.160

91

Grosjean

Lotus

1:22.188

119

Rosberg

Mercedes

1:22.611

108

Maldonado

Williams

1:22.675

79

Bottas

Williams

1:22.826

68

Button

McLaren

1:22.840

71

Sutil

Force India

1:22.877

78

Webber

Red Bull

1:23.024

108

Vergne

Toro Rosso

1:23.366

106

Chilton

Marussia

1:25.690

58

Van der Garde

Caterham

1:26.177

83

On an ever cooling track Alonso followed Perez’s example from yesterday and set a sub 1:22 time inbetween comparing tyre compounds and an assortment of aero set ups. Like other drivers Alonso picked up on the high level of degradation of the new Pirellis, calling the management of them ‘crucial’ and described them as ‘less consistent’ but ‘softer and quicker’.

Hulkenberg enjoyed his new Sauber and for the first time they fitted him with the soft tyre which he reported ‘worked well for the first timed lap’ which raises some questions over the choice to use the super soft tyre in Australia, a street circuit. Grosjean wasn’t far behind in his Lotus who completed the most laps overall, his run included a 66 lap race simulation that also included a four stop pit strategy.

Mercedes seems to have gotten over their early testing issues and completed a healthy number of laps after being the first driver to hit the track. Maldonado and Bottas shared duties with the Venezuelan driver taking the reins in the morning, Bottas was two tenths off with his afternoon work. Regarding their exhaust vane, it has been moved, for today at least.

Button was behind both Williams drivers and has given cause for a few worries when he admitted the team are struggling to understand the car in terms of inconsistent pace. Returning to Formula One for the first time since leaving in 2011 Sutil posted a respectable time in his effort to snatch the last seat available, saying he’s done all he could to secure the chance he now hands it over to Bianchi for the final day.

Webber was another driver to be involved in a race distance, but was interrupted by a red flag and a double pit stop, however despite his low position the times he was posting during the simulation were positive. Vergne and Chilton were next with van der Garde completing the list having finished his day 45 minutes early when he stopped at the entry to turn 3.

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