Hamilton sets quickest time of Barcelona test

2013 F1 season

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap time of 2013 at the Circuit de Catalunya on his last day of testing.

The Mercedes driver set a rapid pace in the morning, producing a 1’20.558 to go fastest on soft tyres. A later tun on the same rubber produced a lap just a few hundredths of a second quicker.

After two days of rain the weather took a turn for the better with sunshine and track temperatures reaching 30C by midday.

Most teams completed over 30 laps before lunch, but Lotus were among the exceptions as an unwell Kimi Raikkonen was unable to drive the car.

That meant reserve driver Davide Valsecchi had to take over at short notice and the team faced a delay getting him out at the start of the test. While Romain Grosjean headed back to the track for the afternoon session a car problem halted Valsecchi after just 16 laps.

Giedo van der Garde caused the morning’s other red flag when a sensor failure on his Caterham brought him to a halt.

No one bettered Hamilton’s time during the afternoon session when most of the teams focuses on doing long runs.

Felipe Massa had a nasty surprise when a wheel came off his car on the run to turn ten. He brought the Ferrari to a stop in the run-off area and the session was red-flagged while he was recovered.

Massa had previously set the second-fastest time of the day, over seven tenths of a second slower than Hamilton managed.

Jules Bianchi had his first day in the Marussia having been announced as the team’s second race driver yesterday evening. His best time of 1’24.028 was 1.1s faster than the best time achieved by Max Chilton in the car over the previous six days.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference Tyres
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W04 1’20.558 117 Soft
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari F138 1’21.266 94 0.708 Super Soft
3 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes VJM06 1’21.627 109 1.069 Soft
4 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault FW35 1’22.305 34 1.747 Soft
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault FW35 1’22.468 31 1.910 Soft
6 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari C32 1’22.553 99 1.995 Soft
7 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault RB9 1’22.658 59 2.100 Soft
8 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes MP4-28 1’22.694 101 2.136 Soft
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR8 1’23.223 114 2.665 Soft
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault E21 1’23.380 46 2.822 Medium
11 Davide Valsecchi Lotus-Renault E21 1’23.448 16 2.890 Soft
12 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth MR02 1’24.028 74 3.470 Soft
13 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault CT03 1’24.235 126 3.677 Soft

Image ?? F1 Fanatic | f1fanatic.co.uk

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60 comments on Hamilton sets quickest time of Barcelona test

  1. Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:05

    We <3 Hamilton! :-) Getting excited for the new season now.

    • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 2nd March 2013, 17:25

      Don’t get excited. The best he will be able to is be in the top 10, or maybe an odd podium or win.

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 2nd March 2013, 19:04

        @shreyasf1fan There’s quite a difference from being able to be in the top 10 to the ‘odd win’.

        Let’s be honest, if Hamilton can get a win or to for Mercedes that’s quite a big deal – and if you are a Hamilton supporter (or even just not a Hamilton hater) then the thought of Hamilton taking a Mercedes into a fight for podiums and/or wins amongst the big teams is a reasonably exciting prospect.

      • lluismf said on 2nd March 2013, 23:04

        Do you have a ball that predicts future?

      • LuvinF1 (@luvinf1) said on 3rd March 2013, 1:19

        @SM, I read your other comment on this article. Sounds like you’re either worried or hoping big time that “it ain’t true” – or maybe both.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 3rd March 2013, 12:50

      Hamilton can’t bluff anymore. That Mercedes is capable of winning races. I’m looking forward to see it in action in two weeks time.

  2. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:07

    2 weeks to go! Can’t wait! :)

  3. D (@f190) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:09

    Seems the Mercedes has some good raw pace. I don’t think it’s the fastest car, I’d say 4th of 5th at best, but better than where they ended last year. I love how Gary Anderson has now said he thinks it’s possible for Hamilton to win the Championship ! I think that’s more than a long shot ! He slated the car on its launch and so far hasn’t had a good word to say about it, then a quick time from Hamilton and it’s a championship winner.. A 1m20.5 seems really quick but I just feel that McLaren, Red bull and Ferrari can get in the 19’s, leaving Mercedes a good half second off the pace.

    • JCF1 (@jcf1) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:25

      I also found the claim a bit far-fetched and hilarious given the harsh criticism you refer to, and I quote:
      “Unlike the McLaren, which looked a step forward in every area, I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m seeing anything too exciting about the Mercedes.”
      Admittedly this is from the launch of the W04, but it is still strange for him to switch his opinion of the car around so drastically based on a couple of runs which may or may not be quick.

  4. vuelve kowalsky said on 2nd March 2013, 16:10

    hamilton on p1 at melburne? who’ll bet against that now.

  5. andae23 (@andae23) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:10

    Felipe Massa had a nasty surprise when a wheel came off his car on the run to turn ten.

    I think they will have to focus on tyre degradation tomorrow ;)

  6. JCF1 (@jcf1) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:11

    An interesting day of testing. I was pleasantly surprised at the Mercedes’ rapid lap time – however i suspect the mclarens and red bulls should have at least low 1:20 in them.

  7. diego.liv (@sun_diego) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:16

    Not to say, Lewis did a 1’20.8 on mediums, skysport italia quoted Hembery saying “softs are 0.6 quicker”

  8. Nick.UK (@) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:17

    The Pole Postition he lost last year was a 1.21.7, just to put this into perspective for people. Bear in mind though that this years tyres are softer in compound and I don’t know if his time in 2012 qually was on medium or soft. But I think it’s evident that the car does have some base line pace to work with over the season. Fingers crossed!

    • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:22

      Well, there is a lot more rubber on the track now than there was last year during Q3, enough to account for the difference in lap time (remember Ricciardo in Young Drivers Test in Abu Dhabi 2010?)

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 2nd March 2013, 17:09

      @nick-uk it was on the softs. We also have to bear in mind though that the fastest time in qualifying last year was not the pole position time (Hamilton went about 5 tenths faster than Maldonado) so a 1:20.558 doesn’t look as impressive with the context.

      Mercedes do look fast though, but I still think Red Bull are quickest and may only show their hand in Melbourne.

      • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 2nd March 2013, 17:56

        @vettel1
        Hamilton’s pole last year was a 1:21:7 using DRS at every place around the track. So to go 1.2 seconds quicker without the aid of DRS is quite impressive to me. But i do expect the Red Bulls and Mclaren to be able to match or beat that time too.

        • Sri Harsha (@harsha) said on 2nd March 2013, 18:02

          1.The Tires for this year cancelled the DRS usage on track every where. The tires gives atleast 0.5 sec time more than 2012 tires. So last year if you do 1:21 you can do 1:20 or even 1:19 depends on conditions.
          2. The cars are Developed through out the season. So you can gain atleast second on the same car.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 2nd March 2013, 18:35

          @andrewf1 – very true, but the DRS effect was greatest on the two straights, where Red Bull at least were using it. Also, as @harsha had said the tyres are now +-5 tenths faster per lap, which would at least offset the loss of DRS effect. Not to mention the engines will be running a bit better with the colder temperatures.

          So 1.2s begins to look not as impressive once everything is taken into account. A good time nonetheless though and it does bode well for Mercedes this season, although I still think Red Bull are just hiding their performance.

      • firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@) said on 2nd March 2013, 18:03

        Yes, it will be interesting… Red bull quick, Hamilton quick…. Who will win?

      • Nick.UK (@) said on 2nd March 2013, 18:08

        Yeah, I looked at Hamiltons fastest time in the session for my original comment.

  9. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:20

    Another heartening day for Mercedes. I feel every day Hamilton has spent in the car except the first one, there has been something positive to report. Today his time was not only very quick, he also had at least a little bit of fuel left in the car (he followed his quick laps with five more), and he didn’t use the supersoft compound, either.

    I don’t want to get my hopes up too much yet, as Schumacher also set the fastest time in testing in 2011, and then the season brought Mercedes only set-up problems and disappointment, but still, a very positive day again.

  10. Aldoid said on 2nd March 2013, 16:21

    Merc looking good. Hamilton also did a 1:20.8 on the mediums, & has been looking very consistent on the long runs… definitely more consistent than anybody else this test. I wouldn’t talk up their title chances just yet, but they’re looking at least as quick as the best of the rest.

  11. AlokIn (@) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:29

    Looks like Merc is on right track. Redbull and Mclaren guys watch out.

  12. dodge5847 (@dodge5847) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:42

    So Jules Bianchi is already 1.1 secs faster than Max Chilton, I know it is only testing, but next year, with a Ferrari engine and more money, I think Marussia will be picking up points.

    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 2nd March 2013, 17:31

      @dodge5847 I wouldn’t be surprised if Bianchi get another seat if he manages this kind of difference through the year … Which would left marussia with whoever has the money to drive for them

    • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 2nd March 2013, 18:10

      I agree. Seeing that stat certainly raised an eyebrow, more so than Hamilton’s pace.

    • dodge5847 (@dodge5847) said on 2nd March 2013, 19:23

      @jeanrien its sad, but you are most likely dead right, I can see most teams being interested in him if he is clean, fast and has backing. One to watch for the future.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 2nd March 2013, 22:04

      It’s flattered: everybody got much faster. When Chilton did his fastest lap, he was faster than Bianchi in a Force India.

      But it’s important to have that aura in F1: Kimi had it. Even when Heidfeld beat him, people were more impressed with Kimi.

      I have no doubt Bianchi is fast and maybe even special, but he Has been very erratic at points, so I’ll follow him closely.

  13. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 2nd March 2013, 16:45

    Mercedes is really putting in SOME mileage. Won’t be surprised if they clock the most mileage than others considering that they had a dismal 2 days at Jerez.

    I am quite impressed watching Bianchi as well. Interesting prospect!

  14. Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 2nd March 2013, 17:30

    The Brazilian, who like Hamilton was in his car for the final time before the first race in two weeks in Melbourne, used the theoretically quicker super-soft tyres to set 1:22.266 effort, the same compound also used by third-placed Adrian Sutil and Williams’ Pastor Maldonado.

    – from Sky

    Well that’s interesting, keeping fingers crossed for Mercedes!

  15. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 2nd March 2013, 17:31

    Umm. On the results/timing grid at the top of this article, shouldn’t it be Davide Valsecchi as the driver of the Lotus in position 11?

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