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. 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.

  2. 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)

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Stephen Higgins said on 7th February 2012, 19:14

    Looking at all these step-noses makes me almost pine with nostalgia for the 2004 Williams …..

  7. socksolid (@socksolid) said on 7th February 2012, 20:02

    What compound tires were used for the fastest laps?

  8. necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 7th February 2012, 20:23

    So first that revolting nose and now an upside-down cross on top. That F2012 really is Satan spawn, isn’t it? Can’t imagine Italians being too happy about that.

    • It really looks heavy in comparison to Lotus or FI. There is so many features on its body that reminds me of my xmas tree :)

    • PJ (@pjtierney) said on 7th February 2012, 22:46

      The “cross” is there for testing only to gather data on what the air above the car is doing (or to be more precise, what the car is doing to the air around it).

      The ski ramp is here to stay though.

  9. Dave Blanc said on 7th February 2012, 20:37

    Did any of the teams or drivers comment on the new tyres? I couldn’t see any which hopefully is a good sign!

  10. Is there somewhere the 10 fastest laps for each driver are published? That would be a little more helpful than just their single fastest lap.

  11. f1geordie (@f1geordie) said on 7th February 2012, 21:05

    I hope Lotus has plenty of ice creams in the freezer for Kimi!

    • Patrickl said on 7th February 2012, 23:18

      Or they could make a car that doesn’t break down every race, so Raikkonen wouldn’t need to be in the garage …

  12. JohnBt said on 7th February 2012, 23:46

    Testing is testing, I won’t bother about the time sheets.

    Come Australia, that’s when the real thing begins.

    But it’s really great to see Iceman topping the sheets though.

  13. schooner (@schooner) said on 7th February 2012, 23:51

    Too soon to tell of course, but it sure would be fun to see the lovely Lotus mixing it up at the head of the field this year!

  14. t3x (@t3x) said on 8th February 2012, 6:08

    So looking at the times, Kimi did a 1:20 something on his first lap?

    I know times don’t mean anything in practice but that is very impressive, does he know the track better than the others?

  15. McLaren23 said on 8th February 2012, 8:49

    I Think Jenson was 8th because They mistakenly choosed the wrong setup so Jenson is 8th fastest,Maybe and 2nd day testing he will be faster

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