Robert Kubica headed the final test in Valencia
Robert Kubica headed up the final day of testing in Valencia today. His fastest lap got him on top of the timesheets, despite spending only the second half of the session on track.
Adrian Sutil was 5 hundreths behind in the Force India, having completed 117 laps, albeit in the 2010 car. Button, in 3rd and also in his 2010 car, struggled in the cold temperatures, and was half a second off Kubica.
Massa's Ferrari F150 catches fire
After a master cylinder failure yesterday, 4th place and impressive constant pace was good for Mark Webber. Felipe Massa was 5th, but had a spectacular incident after the hour mark.
His Ferrari ran wide, and when it rejoined, a small fire started at the back of the car. He continued on for a few more corners, before he spun on his own oil, and stopped in the middle of the track. The red flag was thrown while the car and oil were cleared.
Ferrari later explained the incident:
"As he was coming to the end of his first run of laps, the Brazilian had to
park at the side of the track, with an oil leak caused by a broken clamp.
Unfortunately the lubricant ended up on the exhausts which led to a small
fire breaking out and that caused some damage to the car.
The mechanics immediately set to work on repairing the damage, but it is
unlikely that the car will be back on track much before three in the
Massa soon spun the car on its own oil
Virgin did mostly 12-lap runs with Timo Glock in the VR-01 for 114 laps, and were rewarded with 6th place. Pastor Maldonado focused on longer stints, testing the team’s KERS system, and was 7th. Sergio Perez stopped after 9 laps to get a gearbox change, but still got 104 laps on the board.
Michael Schumacher failed to keep up with the frontrunners, and ended the day 9th. Sebastien Buemi and Narain Karthikeyan did mostly 5-lap runs, and were 10th and 11th, Narain being 1.7 seconds off the Toro Rosso.
Jarno Trulli had a torrid day, waiting the entire day for a steering part to be sent back to the team from England. It never arrived, and he spent 38 laps doing installation laps and aero checks, never getting a lap time in.
Jenson Button was happy with the new Pirelli tyres:
"I like the feeling of the tyre.
It has a stable rear when you enter high-speed corners, you have a stable
rear when you brake for low-speed corners, and that is something that I
really do need with the car. I am happy with that step.
There are areas where it is weaker than previous tyres, but that is the
way it is built. You just change the balance of the car to suit that.
There will be degradation on the soft tyre and you do have to look after
it, but there always has to be a balance. You want to be quick over one
lap and you want to be quick over a long run, so there is always a bit of
a compromise. It is whether you can get the compromise right or not."
Times from Day 3 in Valencia:
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Robert Kubica Renault 1.13.144 95
2. Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 1.13.201 0.057 117
3. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 1.13.553 0.409 105
4. Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 1.13.936 0.792 105
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.14.017 0.873 80
6. Timo Glock Virgin Cosworth 1.14.207 1.063 114
7. Pastor Maldonado Williams Cosworth 1.14.299 1.155 101
8. Sergio Perez Sauber Ferrari 1.14.469 1.325 104
9. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1.14.537 1.393 110
10. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 1.14.801 1.657 73
11. Narain Karthikeyan HRT Cosworth 1.16.535 3.391 63
12. Jarno Trulli Lotus Renault N/A 38