Less than a second covers 2012-spec cars in Catalunya test

2012 F1 testing

Jenson Button, McLaren, Barcelona, 2012

The teams have looked close in pre-season testing

The ten teams running new cars were covered by less than a second in pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Over the eight days of testing at the track 0.902s covered the fastest laps set by the ten 2012-specification cars.

Although not all the teams will have revealed the full potential of their cars yet – notably Red Bull – it bodes well for the competitiveness of the season ahead.

In testing at the same circuit last year the top ten were covered by 2.3 seconds, with one second covering the fastest six.

Toro Rosso chief engineer Laurent Mekies said: “It is going to be very tight in the midfield and being at the front or the back of that group will be down to very small differences between the car packages.”

Fastest laps Circuit de Catalunya in 2012 testing

Here are the fastest times for each car in the eight days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya:

Team Driver Time Gap
1 Lotus Kimi Raikkonen 1’22.030
2 Sauber Sergio Perez 1’22.094 0.064
3 McLaren Jenson Button 1’22.103 0.073
4 Toro Rosso Daniel Ricciardo 1’22.155 0.125
5 Ferrari Fernando Alonso 1’22.250 0.220
6 Williams Bruno Senna 1’22.296 0.266
7 Force India Nico Hulkenberg 1’22.312 0.282
8 Caterham Heikki Kovalainen 1’22.630 0.600
9 Red Bull Mark Webber 1’22.662 0.632
10 Mercedes Nico Rosberg 1’22.932 0.902
11 Marussia Timo Glock 1’26.173 4.143

2012 car testing mileages

This table shows which cars have covered the most distance in pre-season testing:

Team Model Total laps Total distance (km)
Williams FW34 1163 5,329.55
Ferrari F2012 1087 4,994.04
Sauber C31 1072 4,922.74
McLaren MP4-27 1065 4,881.87
Force India VJM05 1045 4,794.33
Toro Rosso STR7 1000 4,583.27
Caterham CT01 990 4,527.18
Red Bull RB8 939 4,308.74
Mercedes W03 835 3,886.93
Lotus E20 772 3,501.95
Marussia MVR-02 338 1,568.74
Mercedes W02 348 1,540.94
HRT F111 108 0,478.22

McLaren have covered a third more distance with their new car this year than they managed last year. The troubled MP4-26 logged 3,601km in last year’s tests.

Caterham also ran longer than they did in 2011, managing 800km more. This was despite the teams having fewer days available for pre-season testing last year.

No-one got close to the near-7,000km Ferrari covered in 2011.

The busiest driver was Nico Rosberg, who did almost 3,000km. However some of that was in Mercedes’ 2011 car.

Lewis Hamilton did the most distance exclusively in a 2012 car, with 2,662km, 9km more than Felipe Massa managed in his Ferrari.

The teams will have a further three-day test at Mugello in May.

2012 engine testing mileages

Renault, who are supplying four teams this year, logged the most engine mileage.

However Cosworth, who are supplying just two teams, neither of which have run their new cars yet, covered less than 500 laps in testing.

Engine Total laps Total distance (km)
Renault 3864 17667.419
Mercedes 3293 15104.07
Ferrari 3159 14500.049
Cosworth 446 2046.959

2012 F1 season

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60 comments on Less than a second covers 2012-spec cars in Catalunya test

  1. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 4th March 2012, 17:10

    Why does the fastest times table start with Lotus as number 2?

  2. Bradley Downton (@bradley13) said on 4th March 2012, 17:20

    The busiest driver was Nico Rosberg, who did almost 3,000km. However some of that was in Mercedes’ 2001 car.

    Is that meant to be 2011?

  3. Slr (@slr) said on 4th March 2012, 17:21

    Even though testing means little, this is very encouraging to see.

    Mercedes’ 2001 car

    Sorry Keith, but I think you either mean BAR’s 2001 car, or Mercedes’ 2011 car. :)

  4. schooner (@schooner) said on 4th March 2012, 17:24

    We go on about not making any forecasts based on testing results, but having 10 teams within .9 seconds of one another after 8 days of running in Barcelona has to be a good sign.

  5. TED BELL said on 4th March 2012, 17:27

    So we haven’t learned much except how unusual the nose on the cars look. What will the history books say about this? I sure hope this trend doesn’t find its way into other series. The cars look ridiculous.

  6. Cx9 said on 4th March 2012, 17:42

    Alex Wurz prediction: My F1 Pecking
    order: 1.RedBull, 2.McLaren,
    3.Mercedes, 4.Ferrari, 5-9.
    Sauber/TorroRosso, 10+ rest

  7. Randy (@randy) said on 4th March 2012, 17:58

    Oh my, so if it both were true, meaning Ferrari’s problems AND very tight grid, it can be a disaster.. Q3 could become a very tough task. Would you believe it? Alonso being backmarker in a Ferrari… This doesn’t sound right.

    My very light headed 2012 pecking order would be:

    1. Mclaren/Lotus
    2. Red Bull
    3. Mercedes/Force India
    4. Toro Rosso/Sauber/Williams/Caterham
    5. Marussia/HRT

    • Randy (@randy) said on 4th March 2012, 17:59

      Oh snap, add Ferrari between 3rd and 4th. Make that 3.5.

      • infy (@infy) said on 4th March 2012, 18:13

        Well over the course of the year it will change drastically. We saw how strong Reno where at the start of 2011, and how after only a few races they were nowhere. The top 3 tend to gain most of their edge during in-season development.

        • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 4th March 2012, 21:16

          I’d say top two. Red Bull has a habit of getting caught somewhere into the season, although not soon enough. So in terms of in-season development they are yet to achieve the potential of Ferrari and the undisputed number one in this category the McLaren.

  8. S.J.M (@sjm) said on 4th March 2012, 18:13

    The times mean nothing really, apparently neither Mclaren or Redbull have done low fuel runs, Whitmarsh has said they havent run a qualy test, so Im eager for Melbourne to see whose got the best car.

    Speaking of which,


    Makes for some very interesting speculation, whether people agree or not is up to them, but aside from a few things, I agree with its author.

  9. sato113 (@sato113) said on 4th March 2012, 18:33

    why is there only 3 pre season tests this year? last year there were 4.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th March 2012, 18:41

      @sato113 Because they’ve moved three days of pre-season testing to the three-day Mugello test in May.

    • Ral said on 4th March 2012, 18:53

      They’re doing another test in Maranello after the season has started.

      • Ral said on 4th March 2012, 19:03

        Urgh. Mugello of course, not quite in Ferrari’s backyard in Maranello.

        Well, not literally anyway.

      • Aditya (@) said on 5th March 2012, 14:49

        There isn’t any track at Maranello… if it was and testing would be held either there or Ferrari’s standard testing track at Fiorano, trust people to shout out without much ado: FIA stands for Ferrari International Assistance.

  10. Highstoned (@highstoned) said on 4th March 2012, 18:56

    I think it’s strange that RB did so few laps, they must be struggeling with something…?

  11. Clyves (@starlight) said on 4th March 2012, 19:19

    Fry pessimistic about F2012

    • Jay said on 5th March 2012, 9:38

      It will utter crap if Ferrari arent ready to fight at the front come Melbourne. I hope there is a degree of Sand Bagging going on. If it does turn out that Ferrari really have a dog of a car, at least they’ll be one step ahead compared to last year where they only realized that they had a truck on their hands at Melbourne. This year, they’ve known throughout testing their car is bad

  12. Fixy (@fixy) said on 4th March 2012, 19:52

    I personally think, for the start of the season, this will be the order:
    1 Red Bull
    2 McLaren
    3 Mercedes
    4 Lotus
    5 Ferrari
    6 Force India
    7 Toro Rosso
    8 Sauber
    9 Williams
    10 Caterham
    11 HRT
    12 Marussia

    • Lemon (@lemon) said on 5th March 2012, 10:32

      I’d say that is a good estimation…

      • Aditya (@) said on 5th March 2012, 14:53

        I know testing times do not speak much… but how do a team which has consistently finished on the wrong side of the top 5 with their 2012 challenger, hope to beat a team which has topped four out of eight sessions of testing?

    • sid_prasher (@) said on 5th March 2012, 18:10

      Fixy I have a feeling it will be somewhat like that (at least at the start of the year) with perhaps merc not so high but still ahead of ferrari. Patrick fry has already given up on a podium in Melbourne.
      But I believe lotus and merc won’t be able to keep up with the pace of development by mclaren and ferrari.

    • Solo (@solo) said on 6th March 2012, 15:15

      HRT better than Marussia? What the..How did you come-up with that crazy scenario?

  13. JCost (@jcost) said on 4th March 2012, 20:15

    Pat Fry was bearish after what I’d call Ferrari’s best day… I hope he’s just being pessimistic and Ferrari is fast enough to fight for the podium in Australia .

  14. TheJudge (@thejudge) said on 4th March 2012, 20:25

    altough we can’t tell anything from these “public laptimes”,we can expect big surprises and an exciting season. (Hopefully a more interesting than it was lasty year)

  15. Boomerang said on 4th March 2012, 20:45

    One thing for sure: It will be interesting!
    Hard to tell the order of fastest cars… It is obvious that McLaren’s redesign makes more sense and produces better results then RBR’s, and they were close prior to that. Although, Lotus is my favorite team, my opinion is that Macca is the quickest car for now. We won’t know the answer ’till the first race.

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