Mark Webber gave his Barcelona test a flying start by ending the first day top of the timesheets. The Red Bull driver finished ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Nico Rosberg.
This 4-day test in the Circuit de Catalunya will be the final test before the teams all travel to Bahrain, for the start of the season. So, the teams are now all concentrating on race set-ups and practicing pit stops.
Unlike most of the time in Jerez, conditions were almost perfect. Temperatures were good, and the very small threat of rain in the afternoon quickly faded.
Webber was on the pace all day long, and his fastest lap was an entire second quicker than the others. His time of 1.21.487 was the best of the day, followed by Hulkenberg (1.22.407) and Rosberg (1.22.514).
Pedro de la Rosa was 4th (1.23.144), ahead of Jenson Button in 5th. The McLaren team said that they were working an mechanical and aerodynamic set-up instead of race fuel loads, so his time of 1.23.452 isn’t to be taken as an indicator of performance. The Force India of Vitantonio Liuzzi was 6th with a 1.24.064.
Fernando Alonso was 7th with a 1.24.170, and even Ferrari themselves called the day “difficult”. Vitaly Petrov was behind him, setting a 1.24.173. Jaime Alguersuari set the most laps (111) and his best lap was 1.24.869. Lucas di Grassi and Fairuz Fauzy filled out the back with 1.27.057 and 1.28.002 respectively.
Red flags were out all day long, with 6 in total. Most of these were because of stoppages out on track for Alonso, Fauzy, Webber, Rosberg and Button. However, Lucas di Grassi crashed backwards into the barrier at Campsa corner, the same corner where Heikki Kovalainen crashed in Spain 2008. The crash ruined his entire day, but the Virgin team say the car will be ready for tomorrow.
Times from today:
|# of laps
||P. de la Rosa
L. di Grassi
Pictures from the test: