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

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60 comments on Hamilton sets quickest time of Barcelona test

  1. GT_Racer said on 2nd March 2013, 17:38

    Something to consider regarding Hamilton’s fastest lap is that they were doing a series of short runs on the soft tyre, Changing to a new set of soft’s at each stop.
    Everyone else was focused on longer runs collecting tyre data so while some did run the soft’s, They did more laps on each set while running more fuel.

    • Hamilton did a 20.8 on mediums.

      But yeah, no point getting excited about these times until Melbourne, and even then, they’ll have to maintain development over the course of the season

  2. tharris19 (@tharris19) said on 2nd March 2013, 17:41

    Tomorrow’s times will be influenced by how much rubber is laid down today. Provided it does not rain overnight the track should be in excellent condition for the final day of testing. I suspect Vettel and Button will brake the 120.4 barrier or faster but if they can’t top Hamilton’s time by at least .3 that could be a telling sign that McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes could be extremely close come Australia. If Lotus and Kimi is in the mix all the better.

  3. Sri Harsha (@harsha) said on 2nd March 2013, 17:46

    I think today Proved that even for shorter runs the Top 4 teams Carrying more fuel than they needed to be even for a Single flyer.
    If Lewis can do a 1:20.5 on Softs then Ferrari and Lotus who was equal to merc can match that. And the Champions cannot be counted off. they may go even quicker. I don’t know where to keep Mclaren they are in between RBR and Ferrari in my view.
    So Even though it was eye catching i still think the Other teams was Sandbagging as we call. But it was solid Lewis lap.

  4. clappy (@danielc) said on 2nd March 2013, 18:14

    lol at that dude saying merc will be 1 – 2 secs off the pace come Melbourne , dream on pal .Merc were 0.9 tenths off in Brazil in qually and im pretty sure Merc are not slower than that .And I no its testing but even the other day Hamilton done a mega lap on medim’s at the start of a 12 lap run so im very confident. Also Merc hve looked very good so far you can not deny it a lot of people feel they will be close. I feel they could be really close for the fly aways , im just not confident in merc keeping up with devolopement through the season , but who know’s they certainly cant don worse than last year can they?. 5 podiums from Ham ill be ecstatic the guys born to , my hope is that the top 3 Alo , Vet , Ham going at it , we can only dream.

  5. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 2nd March 2013, 18:16

    If I were Caterham, I would be highly concerned about this Bianchi boy. Right on it from the word go it seems! Valsecchi did a pretty respectable job given the circumstances too until his car broke. I don’t want to read too much into it, but perhaps Mercedes have not got that bad a package, even if it’s 3/4 tenths away from McLaren, who a lot of people believe have the quickest car, I think Lewis and Nico will still be right in the mix of things. We’ve seen in the past from both of them where they have placed their cars in places it really shouldn’t have been. Mercedes could very well be the picking up more podiums this season than in 2012. Also Sutil has done a pretty decent job since returning, putting his off-track issues behind him pretty well.

  6. Tony M (@tango11) said on 2nd March 2013, 18:24

    So many comments dismissing Hamilton’s time. Almost as if some people do not want to believe Merc has good speed.

  7. BBQ2 said on 2nd March 2013, 18:38

    Hmmm, on the W04, lets just say the bits they hooked on the car and their 60% wind-tunnel upgrade did what they were expected to do.

    And to those belittling the time Mr. Hamilton put up. Who told you he was desperate to do a fast time? Why don’t you see the desperation in the Ferrari garage? Massa using the Ssoft is an indication of that and then the wheel exploded in their attempt to patch things up. The RB is 2secs slower on the same tyres. Now don’t tell me Webber was having an extra load of fuel that could explain that disparity. People should start getting serious here!

  8. Jason (@jason12) said on 2nd March 2013, 21:31

    McLaren is not known for sandbagging (nor is Ferrari). I think Button’s concerns are legitimate. There are too many pointers to Merc having found something this season. It’s gona be between RB and Merc, at least at the start of the season. I see no facts to the contrary.

  9. Stara (@camilton) said on 2nd March 2013, 22:47

    I was looking at the 2012 Barcelona Quali results…If Hamilton got a 1.21.707 on the soft tyre (with a very low fuel load) and Pirelli say they expect the new tyres this year to be 0.5 seconds faster – does that not mean that Hamilton’s time today(set on a 5 lap fuel load at least) does have some bearing….? Correct me if i’m wrong, maybe i’m over analysing or it’s just plain wishful thinking!

  10. BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd March 2013, 9:07

    Sure, testing times don’t mean much, but they do help get people confident in their cars!

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