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. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 23rd February 2012, 21:56

    Yes! And these results undeniably prove… absolutely nothing.

  2. In the end, someone will be first and someone will be last…HRT will be last for sure, Marussia next…then it will start to get interesting…Caterham or maybe Williams next? Fixing Williams’ problems in one year and making them fight near the front of the midfield isn’t going to happen…the midfield will be the ones to watch this year as they will all be very close and points will be worth more than 1 million pounds…maybe 100 million pounds! The big question is, will Mercedes jump up to third this year as planned…if they do, they will be knocking Ferrari down to fourth…very sad for me.

  3. socksolid (@socksolid) said on 24th February 2012, 2:15

    I’m getting a bit worried about caterham. I know the times do not mean much but if the team is last or 2nd last in every testing session then surely it does not look very promising…

  4. Leftie (@leftie) said on 24th February 2012, 2:55

    I think we actually might have Mercedes moving forward at the expense of Ferrari.

    On one side we have the team that is continuing it’s evolution and which is came up with an very well thought pre-season programme, emphasizing the importance of tyre knowledge and working late to fine-tune the developing of the car which they started designing earlier than most front-runners (given the nature of championship). And it’s looking good for them in terms of reliability etc. Seems that some pace is there as well, a solid foundation all things considered.

    On the other side we have the team that is revolutionising and which came up with lots of brand new solutions for their car, more complex etc. It is not going extremely well for them, by the look of things. They are getting their heads around car at the moment and learning tyre behaviour\building tyre model at the same time. They are more or less reliable (usually they are more reliable, you have to admit), but nothing eye-catching in terms of pace. And both of the drivers already stated that the package needs improvement.

    I think Red Bull and McLaren are about to hold their ground as the two fastest teams, but Mercedes may well find themselves just filling that small gap between those two and Ferrari.

    The best case scenario would be having 4 top cars within 0.5s of each other in no particular order. That’s what i’m hoping for.

    And, of course, there’s no solid facts to prove me right or wrong. Just a conclusion from extensively reading the observations of other people :)

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 24th February 2012, 6:35

    Speaking about the Williams, here are some nice details of it –

    Oh and also an answer to why they chose Renault over Cosworth (this was discussed in the roundup comments earlier this week):

    The installation of the engine into the car has also opened up some design scope according to Gillan. ”The Renault engine differs in a number of ways to the Cosworth, it has opened up a lot more flexibility in terms of mapping and it allows us to run a lot hotter with the water and oil which an aerodynamic point of view it is much better. Now we can close up the bodywork a bit. The RS27 also has less degradation with mileage in terms of the engine life.

  6. Arl_f1 said on 24th February 2012, 7:41

    Maldonado’s time was a glory run. Yesterday Bruno Senna told brazilian journalists that FW34 is an awful car in low speed corners.

    I think people should look more carefully to Mercedes. W03 is a very tricky car and Michael showed a very good pace today, quite similar to Jenson and Webber.

    Also, W03 has some interesting details specially in the rear. Giorgio Piola reported that Mercedes found a way to use again a double decker diffuser. Schumacher looked quite confident today.

  7. Freddaman said on 24th February 2012, 10:10

    i think williams time is really good……there is some hope for them.
    personally i think this is mainly down to the cheif engineer mike coughlan.

  8. Mike (@skiathosmike) said on 25th February 2012, 23:26

    No point in pre guessing the coming season. No matter how much F1 Know how you have, each season start is a clean sheet.

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