Rain limits running on first day of Mugello test

Rodolfo Gonzalez, Caterham, Mugello, 2012Wet conditions at the Mugello circuit prevented teams from doing much meaningful running in the first day of this week’s test.

No-one completed more than 50 laps as the session began on a damp track which dried, only for the rain to return around lunch time.

Fernando Alonso took advantage of the limited dry running to set the quickest lap of the day with a 1’22.444 in his Ferrari.

Alonso came to a halt earlier in the session, bringing out the red flags as Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg also stopped on track.

Several teams chose today to run their test drivers. Jerome D’Ambrosio was fourth-quickest for Lotus behind Mark Webber and Jean-Eric Vergne.

Kamui Kobayashi ended the day sixth-fastest in an extensively revised Sauber including revised rear bodywork, a new front wing, updated diffuser and other changes.

McLaren ran Oliver Turvey and Gary Paffett – the latter completing just a handful of laps when the track was particularly wet. Michael Schumacher left the pits late in the day but did not set a time.

Marussia made their first appearance at an official F1 test this year, Charles Pic completing 45 laps in the MR01.

The red flag came out late in the day as the conditions worsened at the track. The session resumed with around half an hour remaining.

Two days of testing remain at the circuit with the weather forecast to improve tomorrow.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari F2012 1’22.444 46
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault RB8 1’23.648 24 1.204
3 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR7 1’23.891 32 1.447
4 Jerome D’Ambrosio Lotus-Renault E20 1’24.048 40 1.604
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W03 1’24.100 49 1.656
6 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari C31 1’24.736 48 2.292
7 Oliver Turvey McLaren-Mercedes MP4-27 1’25.303 30 2.859
8 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes VJM05 1’25.475 19 3.031
9 Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham-Renault CT01 1’27.197 35 4.753
10 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth MR01 1’27.359 45 4.915
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault FW34 1’29.179 28 6.735
12 Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes MP4-27 1’50.898 4 28.454
13 Michael Schumacher Mercedes W03 No time 5

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12 comments on Rain limits running on first day of Mugello test

  1. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 1st May 2012, 17:19

    Ferrari went from being a second slower from the front runners, to being 1.2 seconds quicker! Wow, that must be an amazing update, and look, a McLaren have lost so much ground!

    ….*Cough* I mean, what a very interesting session that we can learn nothing from :). Definitely looking forward to some dry running to see if any teams can make some real progress.

  2. Mads (@mads) said on 1st May 2012, 17:20

    Ferrari seemed to go for quali simulation today. I assume the others didn’t as their times are well below Alonso’s quickest of the day, but good to see them getting some milage.
    Surpricing to see Red Bull only do 24 laps, considering their troublesome rear sidepods and exhaust design.
    Maybe the weather spoiled their program.

  3. And now it seems Kimi won’t be testing at all. Booooo. Thanks, weather.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/99286

    • Nick.UK (@) said on 1st May 2012, 20:30

      He doesn’t want any rain to get on his ice creams.

    • James (@jamesf1) said on 1st May 2012, 22:02

      More euros coming out of France than there are Finland perhaps?

      Then again, perhaps not. Kimi seems to be happy with how things are, and has a lot more F1 experience than Roman. Also a good shout looking for consistency by using one driver. However, couldnt they run a morning and afternoon program for both drivers? Assuming they did 30-45 laps morning and afternoon, that’s a lot of information to work with.

      I dont want to call favouritism, just worth raising an eyebrow to…

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd May 2012, 9:37

        More euros coming out of France than there are Finland perhaps?

        It was clearly Raikkonen’s choice not to run. He did the same thing during FP1 in Melbourne. It’s not like Lotus changed their driver line-ups without reason or warning.

        Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Eric Boullier chose Romain Grosjean to be Raikkonen’s team-mate because Raikkonen’s presence meant the team would get more coverage and Grosjean could ride his coat-tails a little bit.

  4. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 2nd May 2012, 2:50

    Dont think we should read too much into Ferrari’s pace today. Yes they were fast, but they have been good in wet conditions as we have seen this year. So coupled with their updates, and program, probably the car was made to look faster than it really is.

    Didnt see an interview with Fernando post test, would be good to hear about the difference he felt in the car’s handling characteristics.

    Ferrari have to improve, there is no two ways about it. Based on Keith’s analysis over the gap to leaders since 2010, Ferrari has consistently deteriorated while the other teams have caught up, If it wasnt for Fernando’s stellar driving, they may as well ended with with no podiums in 2011.

    Cant wait to see some times set on a dry track.

  5. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 2nd May 2012, 8:18

    I’m interested to see how Marussia do. They have been quite good so far considering they didn’t attend any pre-season testing. Unfortunately I still expect 11th or 12th in the WDC will be dictated more by luck than design.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd May 2012, 9:34

      @andrewtanner – Eleventh seems the most likely at the moment. HRT have made progress, yes, but they’re going to need a 13th place (or two 14ths) to pass Marussia, and they probably won’t get that without a race of attrition because the Marussias are clearly quicker. Tenth may even be manageable for Marussia, because the Caterhams have been plagued by poor reliability. But it’s still early days.

      Hopefully a 10th or 11th place will attract more investment in the team, and they can start moving up the grid, too.

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