Raikkonen leads Di Resta on first day of Jerez test

2012 F1 season

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Jerez, 2012

Kimi Raikkonen was quickest on his return to F1

Kimi Raikkonen got his F1 comeback off to a positive start as he set the quickest time in testing at Jerez.

Raikkonen ran a series of rapid laps in the morning culminating in a 1’19.670 which put the Lotus E20 at the top of the times.

Paul di Resta came closed to deposing him with a best effort just a tenth of a second slower in the new Force India.

As always, the headlines times should not be taken as a simple reflection of who’s quickest and who’s slowest. For example, HRT (running last year’s car) were only 5% slower than the fastest time, well below the 7-8% range typically seen in last year’s races.

With nine new cars in action on the first day of the test some teams had comparatively quiet days.

Mark Webber got the year off to a slow start for defending champions Red Bull. He was unable to run during the first few hours of the session as fog at the track delayed the arrival of parts for the new RB8.

Heikki Kovalainen logged 28 laps in the new Caterham CT01 but his day’s running came to an end when the car’s starter developed a fault.

Another driver whose test ended early was Daniel Ricciardo. A drop in oil pressure on his Toro Rosso STR7 caused him to pull over with just over half hour remaining, causing the first red flag of the day.

“We had a very productive morning, doing over 40 laps and we made good progress with our programme,” said Ricciardo.

“Then in the afternoon, we did a couple of longer runs, but had to cut it short, although we only lost an hour. I was using the medium tyre on that last run, having used hard tyres for the rest of the day.”

Meanwhile Kamui Kobayashi, who had shaken down the Sauber C31 yesterday, did over 100 laps in the new car today. But he hit trouble with less than half an hour left in the session, bringing the red flags out a second time.

A brief restart gave Pedro de la Rosa time to post the final improvement of the day in last year’s HRT, before the chequered flag brought the first official test day of 2012 to an end.

Jerez test times

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault E20 1’19.670 75
2 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes VJM05 1’19.772 101 0.102
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W02 1’20.219 56 0.549
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault RB8 1’20.496 53 0.826
5 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR7 1’20.694 57 1.024
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes W02 1’20.794 42 1.124
7 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari C31 1’21.353 105 1.683
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes MP4-27 1’21.530 62 1.860
9 Felipe Massa Ferrari F2012 1’22.815 69 3.145
10 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault CT01 1’23.178 28 3.508
11 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault FW34 1’23.371 25 3.701
12 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth F111 1’23.676 44 4.006

2012 F1 season

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119 comments on Raikkonen leads Di Resta on first day of Jerez test

  1. MylesW (@mpw1985) said on 7th February 2012, 16:10

    This is definitive proof! Kimi will win the WDC this year!

  2. SPIDERman (@spiderman) said on 7th February 2012, 16:14

    i have put 100 pounds bet on kimi to win WDC the moment i saw the result launching video.i hope not to be disapointed

  3. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 7th February 2012, 16:16

    It will be interesting to hear as testing goes on who’s feeling confident and who is not. Will any team have a woeful pre season like McLaren did last year?

    • John H (@john-h) said on 7th February 2012, 17:08

      McLaren perhaps!

      • LexBlair (@lexblair) said on 7th February 2012, 17:29

        actually they had pretty consistent runs!….even though they hadn´t done too many laps, hence i could imagine, that tomorrow is gonna be all about mileage….

        • BBT (@bbt) said on 7th February 2012, 17:59

          They never do high mileage, normally Ferrari the most and Mclaren the least.
          RBR don’t seem to run lots of laps either if I remember correctly.
          I’m sure there was an article on here about it, irrespective of Mclarens problems in testing last year they tend not to run 100s of laps, the ran very few in 2010 as well.

  4. HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 7th February 2012, 16:18

    Couldn’t be more happier. :)

  5. Right, I know it’s the first day of pre-season testing and everything. but HRT have improved, saying that they used the F111 which may have used the blowing diffuser. Lotus and FI are looking very strong ahead of next season. Williams, second bottom :/

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 7th February 2012, 16:28

      I doubt either Mercedes or HRT ran with the exhaust blowing the diffuser off throttle. Would be a bit of a waste of time when they could be analysing the effects of running closer to 2012 spec.

    • McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 7th February 2012, 16:59

      @cstonehouse HRT are using the exact car they finished the season with, it hasn’t magically improved.

      Remember that it is only testing and each team is running different programs to evaluate setups, tyres, new parts etc. The times, from a fans point of view at least, really mean very little. For example, do you think that the Force India is really faster than last season’s Mercedes? Given that we’ve lost the blown diffuser and, therefore, an awful lot of downforce.

    • Seeing as the F111 already has a very low nose could it meet the 2012 regulations as it is?

      If so I cannot see HRT coming up with a major re-design for the F112…

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 7th February 2012, 18:02

      “Lotus and FI are looking very strong ahead of next season”

      Not really, Williams topped the Jerez test last year and look at their 2011 season.

    • Steve said on 7th February 2012, 20:27

      I do believe that’s Coventry transport Museum in your avatar there!

  6. Slr (@slr) said on 7th February 2012, 16:22

    Hopefully Raikkonen didn’t go fastest because of a glory run, but time will tell.

    • TheBrav3 said on 8th February 2012, 6:22

      my name isn’t time but i can tell you they did. It’s not kimis fault. The team is looking for a new owner and once the season starts proper unless they are at least on the podium favourable news headlines will dry up along with multi hundred million dollar contracts. make hay as the something something as the saying goes :P

  7. topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 7th February 2012, 16:24

    Interesting that the starter motor caused the Caterham to stop. That’s a new part this year isn’t it – previously they haven’t had a starter on the cars and have used external starter motors.

  8. F1_Dave said on 7th February 2012, 16:25

    Anyone else notice how the nose on the Lotus is completely different to the one they launched the car with?

    Its lower & narrower with thinner support struts. Doesn’t look as good as the launch nose.

    Also the gold has become beige again :(

    • The launch car was the R31 chassis with updated nose. It was a bogus car.

      This is the actual E20 chassis

    • jonchuckle (@jonchuckle) said on 7th February 2012, 23:12

      It’s not beige, it’s JPS Lotus gold! Looks far better and more like the Lotuses of the 70s/80s than that shade of dull, brown-y gold they had on the car at launch. That looked more like a Wolf.

  9. There are some videos, like this one

  10. Calum (@calum) said on 7th February 2012, 16:32

    I’m not surprised Kimi was first, in fact I was almost expecting it – too good an oppurtunity for publicity! Their car livery is stunning, almost makes up for their step nose.

  11. fact is HRT will benefit most for banning blown diffuser!! hence they will be a lot closer to teams ahead than in previous seasons.

  12. Catalina (@catalina) said on 7th February 2012, 16:40

    F2012 difusser: http://bit.ly/AaFtWh

  13. Fixy (@fixy) said on 7th February 2012, 16:45

    It’s a good sign that Ferrari are so down the list! They were fastest in 2010 and sometimes in 2011, and they were the third fastest during the season!

  14. bearforce1 said on 7th February 2012, 17:16

    I am a little confused. I appreciate the testing today doesn’t really help us with how quick the cars are relative to each other.

    Isn’t KR performance today pretty cool considering he has been away for so long? Just asking?

    • Not really any sign at all. Most of the teams try to run at specific speeds for particular fuel loads in order to verify simulator results and to get constant good measurements. The lower teams or teams that need sponsorship tend to throw in fast laps which are not particularly useful at this stage of testing.

      • Solo (@solo) said on 8th February 2012, 0:37

        That’s not even the reason Kimi is so high. The reason is simple. The guy was missing from F1 for a while so he wanted to push a little to get a feeling so he did a slightly faster lap than most. Other drivers don’t really push their cars in testing because no one wants to show anything to the other about the real pace of the car.
        Especially the first day they don’t even push for a few corners so Kimi pushing even a little just to get a feeling got on top easily.

  15. sumedh said on 7th February 2012, 17:20

    The 5% difference (instead of 7-8%) might be because cars will be slower this year than last and HRT is still using the old chassis.

  16. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 7th February 2012, 17:22

    Expected Sauber to be right up the time sheets,They’re renowned for running their car on low-fuel (2010 & 2011)

  17. Are the teams only allowed to run one car in testing or why don’t the run two ?

  18. sid_prasher (@) said on 7th February 2012, 18:04

    Wow the new season has started already!! Really happy to see Kimi’s time…even though it is just practice.

    Not a great start by Ferrari…in their ugliest car that I have seen since the early 90s.

  19. PJ (@pjtierney) said on 7th February 2012, 18:19

    Times only really matter when we get to Australian qualifying, but at least Kimi himself is driving with confidence.

    • Actually – no matter how it was achieved – it builds the confidence of the entire team. That’s not to be underestimated and it certainly has real value.

      Besides – just look at all the headlines: “Raikkonen fastesr”! :-)

      • one eye man said on 7th February 2012, 21:56

        are you sure it wasn’t

        massa, ‘kimi is faster’ than you?

      • PJ (@pjtierney) said on 7th February 2012, 22:45

        I’m sure those within the team who know exactly what way the car was set up (race pace, qualifying trim etc.) will look at the time and get what they want out of it, but as always it’s hard for us on the outside to know if that was a full-on belter of a lap or something that’ll be a mere footnote should everybody else be doing the same pace tomorrow.

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