February 23, 2012
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Maldonado put the Williams FW34 on top
Pastor Maldonado headed the third day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The Venezuelan driver set his fastest time early in the morning, and was almost a second faster than second-placed Michael Schumacher. Kamui Kobayashi ran out of fuel on track during the day, but still finished in 3rd.
Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Felipe Massa all replaced their teammates for today’s and tomorrow’s testing. They finished 4th, 5th and 7th repectively.
The Red Bull team suffered a difficult day to say the least. After their new wheel guns proved to be unreliable in the morning, Webber’s RB8 stopped out on track with an hour to go, and was immediately hidden away by the Red Bull mechanics. It is unclear what caused the stoppage, but reports from Barcelona indicate that the team have left the test session early, and will not return for tomorrow’s final test.
Paul di Resta lost his engine cover during the day, while Vitaly Petrov’s Caterham was halted by suspension issues. Timo Glock replaced Charles Pic at Marussia, setting the 9th fastest time, ahead of Petrov.
Times from Barcelona day 3:
1. Pastor Maldonado Williams FW34 1:22.391 106 Laps
2. Michael Schumacher Mercedes W03 1:23.384 127 Laps +0.993
3. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber C31 1:23.582 99 Laps +1.191
4. Jenson Button McLaren MP4-27 1:23.918 114 Laps +1.527
5. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso STR7 1:24.433 78 Laps +2.042
6. Mark Webber Red Bull RB8 1:24.771 97 Laps +2.380
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari F2012 1:24.771 84 Laps +2.380
8. Paul di Resta Force India VJM05 1:25.646 83 Laps +3.255
9. Timo Glock Virgin MVR-02 1:26.173 108 Laps +3.782
10. Vitaly Petrov Caterham CT-01 1:26.448 70 Laps +4.057