Barcelona Test Two – Fastest laptimes, tyres, laps completed, here is a full rundown of what was what from the Barcelona test, and where the teams appear to stand before heading out to Oz for the first race of the season.
Mercedes clearly have a fast car, but the speed of Fernando Alonso suggests they might not have it all their own way. The Mercedes has proven to be one of the most reliable cars out there after a dismal start in Jerez, but many believe Red Bull, Ferrari and Mclaren to be hiding something up their sleeve given the unpredictable nature of testing.
Jenson Button’s time can give some cheer to otherwise downbeat Mclaren fans, although the 1:21:444 set by the 2009 World Champion is some way off the pace shown by the top teams. Nico Hulkenberg proves the Sauber isn’t all bad by setting 6th fastest time, while Adrian Sutil outshone team mate Paul Di Resta on his return by beating the Scot’s laptime by just 0.04 of a second.
Williams appear to be solidly in the midfield tussle, while Lotus’ test was blighted by bad health and unreliability for Kimi Raikkone after Grosjean had set fastest time on Friday. Charles Pic and Jules Bianchi upstaged their team mates at Caterham and Marussia respectively, but the biggest question mark remains Red Bull; just what are the World Champions doing?
Sebastian Vettel sits down in 12th on the list, while team mate Mark Webber is two places down in 14th. Considering Red Bull are fielding a derivative of their all-conquering 2012 RB8, it would be difficult to argue they are not concealing some form in order to confuse their rivals ahead of Melbourne.
Taking the results at face value, Mercedes are staging a ‘comeback’ far greater than that even of Brawn in 2009; but this is testing, and as one source slyly suggested, there is no real suggestion that Mclaren, Red Bull and Ferrari are just half a second faster than Caterham and Marussia.
|4||Felipe MASSA||BRA||Ferrari||1:21:266||Saturday||Super Soft||206|
|7||Adrian SUTIL||DEU||Force India||1:21:627||Saturday||Soft||171|
|9||Paul DI RESTA||GBR||Force India||1:21:664||Sunday||Soft||169|
|12||Sebastian VETTEL||DEU||Red Bull||1:22:514||Sunday||Unmarked||165|
|14||Mark WEBBER||AUS||Red Bull||1:22:658||Saturday||Soft||149|
|19||Jean Eric VERGNE||FRA||Toro Rosso||1:23:223||Saturday||Super Soft||173|
|21||Daniel RICCIARDO||AUS||Toro Rosso||1:23:628||Sunday||Medium||152|
|23||Giedo VAN DER GARDE||NED||Caterham||1:24:234||Saturday||Super Soft||174|