Pre-Season Test 3 – Day 1 at Jerez

The first day of the third test back at Jerez was largely a damp and unexciting day. The main highlight was seeing Lotus F, the second of the “new” F1 teams, in action. The good news is that Lotus had a good day, completed an impressive trouble-free 76 laps with test driver Fairuz Fauzy and were quicker than Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock who only completed 10 laps. Lotus, it seems, are on route to meet their target of being best of the new teams.

The track was damp most of the day and it rained off and on throughout the day which made it very difficult for the teams. Michael Schumacher said, “The weather was really changing all the time today which made it difficult to follow our planned programme and to have a clear picture of everyone’s performance.”

Here are the fastest times from today, but really do not read a lot into them:

Pos Driver Team Time Diff. Laps
1 Vettel Red Bull (Renault) 1min 22.593secs 99
2 Hamilton McLaren (Mercedes) 1min 23.017secs -0.424 72
3 Massa Ferrari 1min 23.204secs -0.611 72
4 Buemi Toro Rosso (Ferrari) 1min 23.322secs -0.729 79
5 de la Rosa BMW Sauber (Ferrari) 1min 23.367secs -0.774 76
6 Schumacher Mercedes 1min 23.803secs -1.210 111
7 Sutil Force India (Mercedes) 1min 24.272secs -1.679 28
8 di Resta Force India (Mercedes) 1min 25.088secs -2.495 74
9 Petrov Renault 1min 26.237secs -3.644 55
10 Barrichello Williams (Cosworth) 1min 27.320secs -4.727 109
11 Fauzy Lotus (Cosworth) 1min 31.848secs -9.255 76
12 Glock Virgin (Cosworth) 1min 32.417secs -9.824 10

This is what you need to know from today’s action:

  • Barrichello completed 109 laps on mainly heavy fuel runs but caused 2 Red Flags with stoppages on the track
  • Vettel in the Red Bull showed some genuine pace today for the first time, particularly as the track was drying out around lunch time. Like last year the Red Bull seems to have good grip in wet and drying conditions. He was quickest overall today, but 1min 22.593secs is 3 seconds slower than the quickest time of last week at Jerez
  • Mr Shoemaker was quiet today, but did complete an impressive 111 laps without any incident
  • Ferrari are not completely bullet proof with Massa stopping out on track and did not return for a couple of hours whilst they made some changes. At the end of the day they tweeted ‘Honestly, it was not a very productive day for the team. Anyway, we did what we could. Let’s hope tomorrow will be a better one.’
  • Lotus finished the day quite jubilant at 4pm (rather than 5pm) and were pleased with their day’s work. Technical Director Mike Gascoyne tweeted ‘Done for the day! Job list for the car issued and back on track tomorrow with Heikki!’ For Mike, that is almost emotional! Because they had an issue with a supplier, poor old Fairuz Fauzy had to drive without any power steering. If you’ve ever done karting and had sore forearms after doing a few laps, imagine what it is like in an F1 car with so much more grip!
  • British test driver Paul di Resta was in the Force India today, but switched with Adrian Sutil mid afternoon. They tweeted ‘Apart from the minor spin, it’s been a fair outing for Paul. He’s moved the times down consistently. Not our best day though’.  However, by the end of the day they were a bit more positive, ‘Day ends. Adrian up to 1m24.272s not as fast as other days. Working with slightly heavier fuel loads than the other days. Good data’.
  • Hamilton in the McLaren caused a red flag early in the day which they say was due to a minor systems error. He was producing competitive lap times most of the day
  • Buemi in the Toro Rosso had a reasonable day and was definitely on the pace
  • Pedro de la Rosa in the Sauber did not make much of an impression today, but was not off the pace
  • Renault did not have a special day with Petrov completing only 55 laps and seemingly well off the pace
  • Virgin Racing fared even worse, with Timo Glock only able to do 10 laps

The weather forecast is currently predicting for Jerez:

Thur – Heavy Rain

Fri – Sunny (fingers crossed!)

Sat – Light Rain

Jake McMillan

A few more photos from today:

111 laps for Schumacher today

Vettel was fastest today and showed good pace in the Red Bull

Glock only managed 10 laps in the VR-01

Massa and Ferrari did not have a productive day

Pedro de la Rosa enjoying the Wet, but a quiet day for him

Lotus leaving pits for the first time

Separated at birth? Vettel & Shaggy from Scooby Doo

Frustrating day for Barrichello

Massa chasing down Schumacher

Hamilton had a quiet day, but was on the pace

Lotus on Track

Ferrari experiment with new aerodynamic device - a black bag!

Great to see Lotus on track and being reliable

The Ferrari caused a Red Flag today


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