Barcelona Day 9: Heavy rain leaves Rosberg on top

Rosberg led a soaked final test session

Rosberg led a soaked final test session

The final day of 2011 testing closed rather unspectacularly, with very heavy rain limiting running all day. A slight improvement in conditions in the afternoon left Nico Rosberg on top.

The morning saw the track completely washed out. Extreme wet tyre testing would have been useless, so all 6 remaining teams (Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Williams, Mercedes, and Hispania stuck in the garage with no suspension parts) were waiting in the garage until just before the lunch break.

Fernando Alonso didn’t set a fast time, making 5 exploration laps in the afternoon, and the team packed up and left before the end of the session.

Michael Schumacher similarly only set 5 laps, but team-mate Rosberg set 35, getting lucky with the slightly improved conditions late in the session. His time of 1.43.814 was half a second faster than Pastor Maldonado. Lewis Hamilton was 2 tenths off in 3rd.

Despite getting little valuable data today, Rosberg was still happy with Mercedes’ progress:

"Definitely the team has made a lot of progress, so it has been great to see how much 
progress has come on," said Rosberg at the conclusion of testing on Saturday.

Of course we are not there yet, as we want to win the world championship and we are 
not the fastest car yet, but things are going in the right direction so that is really 
nice to see.

The theory says that it is going to be 0.4 seconds quicker, you put it on, generally 
there are very few issues with them and they are 0.4 seconds quicker. So that is nice 
to see."

Times from Barcelona Day 9:

Pos  Driver              Team               Time       Gap     Laps
 1.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes           1.43.814           35
 2.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Cosworth  1.44.333   0.519   23
 3.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes   1.44.560   0.746   33
 4.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes                              5
 5.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari                               5
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