Maldonado quickest on third day of Barcelona test

2012 F1 testing

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Barcelona, 2012

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Barcelona, 2012

Pastor Maldonado was quickest for Williams on the third day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The Williams driver set his best time on super-soft tyres early in the session. His lap was three-tenths quicker than the fastest time seen at the test previously, set by Nico Hulkeberg.

Michael Schumacher was second-fastest for Mercedes, almost a full second slower than the Williams. Following the problems with the new W03 yesterday Schumacher completed a busy programme of well over 100 laps.

Third fastest was Kamui Kobayashi, who caused a red flag a few minutes before the lunch break when his car stopped during a fuel run-out test.

McLaren continued to pile on the laps with Jenson Button completing over 100 tours in the MP4-27. He was fourth-quickest ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso.

Mark Webber ended the day sixth but brought out the red flags with half an hour to go when his car stopped halfway around the lap.

The Ferrari of Felipe Massa spent a while in the pits in the morning due to a technical problem. He later emerged to set the seventh-fastest time, but caused the final red flag of the day, moments before the chequered flag was about to be shown, when he stopped while leaving the pits

Paul di Resta, Timo Glock and Vitaly Petrov completed the runners, with HRT absent and Lotus having returned to their factory earlier in the week.

The Force India driver lost part of his engine cover during the test. Glock, who had his first running of the year in last year’s car, carried out tyre comparison work and had a minor off which caused another red flag. Petrov was delayed by suspension problems in the Caterham.

The second test concludes at the circuit tomorrow, though the teams will return for a final four-day pre-season test next week.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault FW34 1’22.391 106
2 Michael Schumacher Mercedes W03 1’23.384 127 0.993
3 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari C31 1’23.582 99 1.191
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes MP4-27 1’23.918 114 1.527
5 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR7 1’24.433 78 2.042
6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault RB8 1’24.771 97 2.380
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari F2012 1’24.771 84 2.380
8 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes VJM05 1’25.646 83 3.255
9 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth MVR-02 1’26.173 108 3.782
10 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault CT01 1’26.448 70 4.057

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85 comments on Maldonado quickest on third day of Barcelona test

  1. Chalky (@chalky) said on 23rd February 2012, 16:09

    Am I too cynical to think that this is a “show” for sponsorship rather than true pace?

    • No, Williams are clearly going to be fighting for podiums with the top 3 this year!

      • LexBlair (@lexblair) said on 23rd February 2012, 16:34

        for god sakes , please put at least a smiley at the end of your sentence:D

      • William Brierty said on 23rd February 2012, 21:34

        THERE IS HOPE FOR WILLIAMS!!!!! That lap from Maldonaldo must have a full-bore qualifying lap beause it was 1/2 second faster than his fastest lap in qaulifying last year, a 1.22.8 which got him into Q2 and to 9th on the grid. Now taking into consideration that a) the cars have much less downforce and b) that was one of Maldonaldo’s better qualifying spots, we can draw two conclusions. Either Williams have built a very fast car or the pace in F1 this year is exceptional, bearing in mind the downforce loss. Have faith, it looks like Williams have made a step up in qualifying trim.

        • William Brierty said on 23rd February 2012, 21:47

          In fact Maldonaldo, Kobayashi and Glock went faster than their best times during qualifying at Barcelona in 2011.

        • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 23rd February 2012, 23:34

          You should probably factor in that Maldonado’s qualifying time was set on soft tyres last year, so not as much grip as the super-softs he set the fastest lap with today. That will explain the .5s gap.

        • dkpioe said on 24th February 2012, 7:45

          this is testing, they may have run the car underweight. many teams ran times in preseason practise faster last year then in qualifying at Barcelona. and remember how quick mercedes were at the last test and many thought they would be good for pole in melbourne?

    • Yes, you are.
      Williams was the only team (bar Caterham) that hadn’t run a flying lap.
      They worked on the basics first as they have changed engines from last year (and I suspect that’s maybe Gillan’s style as McLaren used to act like that – take time to do it’s first fast lap).

    • Mooph (@mooph) said on 23rd February 2012, 16:52

      No more than Hulkenberg & Perez from yesterday who were in the 22’s, Hulk and Ricciardo in the top 4 from Tuesday, and in the previous test Raikkonen stands out for me as surprisingly quick at the time and look whats happened there,
      the difference here is that its the first time in the whole pre season Williams have shown any pace at all and proves what we all know that testing times dont really mean much…

    • Fernando Cruz said on 23rd February 2012, 17:17

      This is Barcelona, not Jerez, where Barrichello set his time last year, looking for sponsorship. The time set today by Maldonado is respectable whatever the conditions and it is a sign that the work done by Bruno Senna and Valtteri (this one yesterday) start to bear fruit. I don’ t think Williams has a winning car, but surely has a car with some potential, clearly better than it seemed until now.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd February 2012, 17:50

        looking for sponsorship

        A bit presumptuous – why shouldn’t that circumstances that applied today for Maldonado have applied last year for Barrichello. I.e., they both happened to be using softer tyres than the rest?

        • Mike (@mike) said on 24th February 2012, 3:16

          Exactly, and if Williams are sponsor hunting does that mean all the other teams that topped the times were as well?

          -.-

        • Fernando Cruz said on 24th February 2012, 16:24

          The real difference is the track. Last year in Barcelona Williams couldn’t do good lap times even with empty tanks and supersoft tyres. They did it only in Jerez, a track that doesn’ t represent the real worth of a F1 car. An example of this is the fact Lotus did well this year in Jerez and found the car was not good because of a problem in Barcelona. A problem that Jerez track had masked…

    • Skett (@skett) said on 23rd February 2012, 17:29

      Glory run or not, the fastest Maldonado managed in quali at barcelona last year was a 1:22.854 (assuming old f1 fanatic pages are correct ;).

      Thats a noticable improvement

      • Nick.UK (@) said on 23rd February 2012, 19:08

        That depends on what tyres were available at the race last year. In testing they have access to all tyre compounds. I dont think the super soft was available last year at the race weekend.

      • I’d like to point out, comparing Maldonado’s times from Quali in 2011, to testing this year are pointless because in the 2011 test at Barcelona, Kovalainen did a 1:23, whereas in Quali he only managed a 1:26

        • That’s a good point @bradley13. I’m quite baffled by how this could be. Even super softs vs softs won’t account for losing 3 seconds from testing to the race.

          Any fanatics with some ideas on this?

          • dkpioe said on 24th February 2012, 7:49

            they can ran the car underweight in testing thats how, they just take off balast. can do this for several reasons, to test certain parts of the car at certain speeds, or to try and get sponsors in.

    • verstappen said on 23rd February 2012, 22:55

      I think it’s true pace. Qualifying on supersofts, while others are focussing on race distances. Nothing special. The track gets faster everyday during a raceweekend, let alone a testweek.

      And I think sponsors who are considering F1 for real won’t get fooled. It’s too much money to start doing that totally uninformed.

      Nah. Days of sponsor-seeking-gloryruns are over.

    • JustinF1 (@justinf1) said on 24th February 2012, 4:19

      Absolutely,. These times are meaningless if we don’t know what there doing with the car,. fuel, tyres etc.

  2. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 23rd February 2012, 16:12

    Both Webber and Massa causing a red-flag at the end of the session. Wouldn’t be supriced if both teams where testing when their cars would run out of fuell.

  3. matt90 (@matt90) said on 23rd February 2012, 16:24

    Any chance of a cummalative lap count or distance for each team?

  4. Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 23rd February 2012, 16:27

    Maldonado WDC 2012, Williams back in action. You heard it here first. /forceindiashenanigans

  5. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910) said on 23rd February 2012, 16:31

    Good to see McLaren getting lots of laps under their belt..every test so far they seem to do more than 100 laps..looks like a solid reliable car at the moment

    • Alex R said on 23rd February 2012, 17:23

      But they are running a curious testing schedule, did you see their lap times today? Majority of the laps were 1:30 and above.. Strange.

      • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 23rd February 2012, 20:38

        Even though it’s Barcelona, in terms of identifying which teams are where on raw pace, It’s still very anonymous with different teams on different programmes or similar programmes but at different times. Fuel loads & tyre compounds are proven to make this typical scenario very complex.

      • LexBlair (@lexblair) said on 23rd February 2012, 20:45

        on hards and mediums… actually he pretty much matched Webber in runs of similar length and on the same compound…Button was even faster at times… but they really did spend much more time on the harder compounds, pretty much neglecting the softer ones…..we will probably know more after testing has ended….

      • Mike (@mike) said on 24th February 2012, 4:43

        To me the word testing doesn’t imply that they might attempt quick times.

  6. 72defender (@72defender) said on 23rd February 2012, 16:55

    Where is it can we see what tyre compound the drivers were using when they set their laps.

  7. Does anyone know a link for the photo of the back of the Mercedes ?

  8. Jake (@jleigh) said on 23rd February 2012, 17:47

    Just analysed a couple of runs of Mclaren and Red Bull. The most similar one I could find were ones that appeared to be simulations of the second stint (after 11 laps before pitting) both on the hard tyre.

    Webber’s average time: 1:29.353 (15 laps)
    Jenson’s average time: 1:29.277 (15 laps)
    (Both runs were actually 16 laps but Webber had a very slow last lap so i didn’t include them)

    Interestingly, Webber started the stint quicker, but fell off towards the end.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd February 2012, 17:51

    Looks like Red Bull are on their way:

    “Red Bull have packed up their prat perch from the pitwall… they do know there’s a fourth day of testing tomorrow, don’t they?”

    • katederby (@katederby) said on 23rd February 2012, 18:31

      Latest from Will Buxton;

      “So, the rub down at Red Bull seems to be that they’ve packed up the prat perch because they’re finished with race sims.”

      And that they will be around tomorrow but have changed the days they’ll run in the final Barcelona tests next month.

      • It seems they do have problems. Might be smoke and mirrors but its good acting if it is. Mclaren seems incredibly confident but then they normally do. I genuinely think RBR are really concerned (although I’m not that sure they need to be). Really weird day of testing

        Also change of plan, RBR are running a day later with Ferrari at the next test now… logistics…. really?????

        • I really want to know why they are changing the plans. Are they worried? Is it a bluff.. or a double bluff? Ooohhhh I really want Melbourne to come soon as poss and see where everyone is. These test dates are too much of a tease.

          I think its wrong in a way, that if you can attend the scheduled test then you either attend or dont. But no rescheduling unless its pivital (e.g. safety reasons) and not just to hide things from others if that is the case or because something isnt working as intended.

  10. Intriguing quote from Button:
    “But there will definitely be something new for Melbourne. We have an update on the car for the first race. It is not a completely straightforward update as it is not about bolting downforce on the car – it is slightly more than that.”

  11. William Brierty said on 23rd February 2012, 19:48

    That lap from Maldonaldo must have a full-bore qualifying lap beause it was 1/2 second faster than his fastest lap in qaulifying last year, a 1.22.8 which got him into Q2 and to 9th on the grid. Now taking into consideration that a) the cars have much less downforce and b) that was one of Maldonaldo’s better qualifying spots, we can draw two conclusions. Either Williams have built a very fast car or the pace in F1 this year is exceptional, bearing in mind the downforce loss.

    • Leftie (@leftie) said on 24th February 2012, 2:36

      Also consider super-soft tyres and weather conditions. It makes the picture a bit not so exceptional. But still – looking not that bad at all for Williams, if they are succeeding at solving reported slow corner behavior issues.

    • dkpioe said on 24th February 2012, 7:55

      apart from the fact that it is very slow on 99.9% of their other laps in testing

  12. If ever there was a headline that proves testing times should be taken with a pinch of salt it is this one.

  13. You can read all you want into Williams being fastest on testing days, they had two of them last year and “where did they end up in the racing season?”.

  14. bigdaddydog (@bigdaddydog) said on 23rd February 2012, 20:55

    Will this year be races for 1st, 5th and 9th in the constructors championships or are there movements in the teams abilities.

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