Daily Archives: February 13, 2011

Heidfeld leads Jerez Day 3

Nick Heidfeld led Day 3 in Jerez

Nick Heidfeld led Day 3 in Jerez

Nick Heidfeld made the best possible application for the empty Renault seat, by leading the third day of testing in Jerez.

Fernando Alonso had led the timesheets for most of the day, but with an hour to go Heidfeld 1.20.361 lap put him on top. Michael Schumacher concentrated on long runs, and was 3rd.

Lewis Hamilton only completed 36 laps, but was still quick enough to go 4th. Kamui Kobayashi was 5th, despite causing two red flags after stopping out on track twice. Sebastian Vettel was 6th.

Sebastien Buemi caused another red flag when he Curva Angel Nieto, and could only manage 7th. Heikki Kovalainen was 8th, and Rubens Barrichello lost a lot of time with a KERS problem, demoting him to 9th.

Paul di Resta spun at the same spot as Buemi, and was 10th, while Jerome D’Ambrosio was 11th and 2.5 seconds off the Force India.

Heidfeld said he “couldn’t have done any better” with his driving today, but was still unsure would he get the drive with Renault this year. Adrian Sutil, who handed over his Force India to Di Resta today, complained about the durability of the super-soft Pirelli tyre:

"It’s a good tyre for one lap.

Sometimes you probably lose a little bit in the last sector, already, so you have a 
very good first and second sector, the last one drops away, but it’s still a lap 
time improvement.

It will be interesting how it lasts during a race distance, they’re going to be 
really, really critical.

The medium (tyre) we have is different. It’s very hard, quite a lot harder, and it 
doesn’t last longer, for some reason.

So it’s just very slow in the first few laps and the degradation starts very early, 
still, even with the hard compound. I was not so confident on that tyre and not so 
happy. it’s just the difference you have between the tyres. It’s pretty big.”

Heikki Kovalainen, meanwhile, was pleased with the progress of the Lotus car:

“The whole concept is now a modern Formula 1 car. It’s much more like a Formula 1 
car should be.

The rear end is very good. The gearbox and the engine feels good, the gear-changes 
and generally the rear end is working really well.

And the chassis feels like a proper Formula 1 car. It’s much, much lighter. This 
time last year we were overweight, we could not take any weight out of the car. 
Now we have ballast in the car – a lot of ballast.

So it’s a huge difference. I don’t know how much the chassis is lighter – I think 
it’s around 20 kilos, something like that.

Of course we still need to improve and find more pace. But it’s very encouraging 
what the team has been able to do in a short period of time. Of course now it gets 
difficult – the last part to catch the guys ahead of us is going to be tricky.”

Times from Jerez Day 3:

Pos  Driver              Car                   Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Nick Heidfeld       Renault               1.20.361             86
 2.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari               1.20.493   0.132     131
 3.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1.21.054   0.693     114
 4.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      1.21.099   0.738     36
 5.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari        1.21.242   0.881     84
 6.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      1.21.574   1.213     98
 7.  Sebastien Buemi     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1.21.681   1.320     92
 8.  Heikki Kovalainen   Lotus-Renault         1.21.711   1.350     61
 9.  Rubens Barrichello  Williams-Cosworth     1.22.227   1.866     99
10.  Paul di Resta       Force India-Mercedes  1.22.945   2.584     64
11.  Jerome D'Ambrosio   Virgin-Cosworth       1.25.471   5.110     72
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