Winter Testing: Barcelona (2) Day 3

Driver

Team

Time

Laps

Hamilton

Mercedes

1:20.588

117

Massa

Ferrari

1:21.266

94

Sutil

Force India

1:21.627

109

Maldonado

Williams

1:22.305

34

Bottas

Williams

1:22.468

31

Gutierrez

Sauber

1:22.553

99

Webber

Red Bull

1:22.658

59

Perez

McLaren

1:22.694

101

Vergne

Toro Rosso

1:23.223

114

Grosjean

Lotus

1:23.380

46

Valsecchi

Lotus

1:23.448

16

Bianchi

Marussia

1:24.028

74

Van der Garde

Caterham

1:24.235

126

With the sun finally prevailing over the rain the track was full of teams taking advantage of the good weather. Hamilton got the most of the day with the fastest time and tallied the second highest number of laps to demonstrate the Mercedes’ improved reliability on his last day in the car before Melbourne. Half a second behind him was Massa on his last day in the Ferrari, whose front left wheel dramatically detached itself on the approach to turn 10 which the team attribute to a front left upright issue.

Sutil made it clear that he wasn’t going to be hampered by a year out of the paddock with a time around 3 tenths behind the Ferrari. Due to the weather for this test the Williams’s duo shared duties in the car today with the updated bodywork they intend to take to Australia, with close times in similar conditions it looks like this battle should be interesting to watch as the season unfolds.

Gutierrez made an attempt to complete a race simulation but his effort was curtailed by a water leak, but he was pleased with the team’s ability to manage tyre degradation, which is no surprise if last year’s success in this area is remembered. Webber’s final appearance on track was delayed by overnight alterations to the car, then issues throughout the day hampered the number of laps. Perez’s final chance to understand the McLaren was spent getting to grips with set up before longs runs and some pit stop practice.

Vergne finished a race simulation without issue which should fill him with confidence. Although Raikkonen was slated to run in the car today a bought of suspected food poisoning Davide Valsecchi found himself literally stepping to the Finn’s shoes (his kit is en route to Australia) and got a chance to try out the car which he concluded to be very good. Grosjean stepped in for the afternoon running. New Maurussia recruit Bianchi sat in the car for the first time after a frenetic day of being in contention for a spot at Force India, losing it and signing to Marussia. Van der Garde rounded out the timesheet with a huge 126 laps under his belt.

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