Rosberg fastest in rain-hit third day of test

2011 F1 testing

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2011
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2011

Nico Rosberg was the fastest driver on the third day of testing at Barcelona.

But mixed weather conditions made reading into the times even more difficult than usual.

Vitaly Petrov was second-fastest for Renault ahead of the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton.

As rain fell in the morning many teams chose to start their day using the full wet tyres. The track dried throughout the session and the drivers were eventually able to switch to full slicks.

In the slippery conditions driver error were the main causes of interruptions. Rookies Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez caused a red flag apiece and Felipe Massa triggered two in his Ferrari.

Among the drivers delayed by technical problems was Jarno Trulli as another water leak had to be repaired on the Lotus. He later improved to sixth-fastest at the end of the day.

As the session came to an end a final red flag was caused by Mark Webber in the Red Bull.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Nico RosbergMercedes W021’23.16892
2Vitaly PetrovRenault R311’23.463930.295
3Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-261’23.858930.690
4Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth FW331’24.815601.647
5Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault RB71’24.9951391.827
6Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault T1281’25.454482.286
7Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari C301’25.5571152.389
8Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes VJM041’25.7201022.552
9Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari STR61’26.155312.987
10Felipe MassaFerrari F150th Italia1’26.5081233.340
11Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth MVR-021’26.598973.430
12Giorgio MondiniHRT-Cosworth F1101’28.178395.010
13Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari STR61’28.329425.161
14Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth F1101’30.722327.554

Image ?? Mercedes

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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114 comments on “Rosberg fastest in rain-hit third day of test”

  1. In the slippery conditions driver error were the main causes of interruptions. Rookies Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez caused a red flag apiece and Felipe Massa triggered two in his Ferrari.

    Felipe needed the WHITE VISOR.


      Redflags till i get my white visor.

        1. MASSA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO PASSIONATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GIVE HIM THE TITLE!!!!!!!! LOOK HOW PASSIONATE HE IS!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE DESERVES IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. The R31 is the dark horse of the season, one to watch, can only imagine what Kubica would do in it for now.

    1. At least literally, although the Williams is a bit of a dark horse as well, being dark navy blue and all ;-)

      1. They both look more like dark cars to me.

    2. Does anyone where I can find a HD version of this pic? its suppose to be from Vettel in this last day by sutton-images.

      1. strictly commercial
        20th February 2011, 19:38

        Are you sure it’s Vettel, not Webber, in that picture?

  3. What happend to Massa?

    1. Nothing, just doing long stints, looks like a race simulation

      1. All the cars are still 3 seconds off last seasons low fuel run test pace. Nothing to see here, other than the Red Bull’s impressive race distance run pace. This is the car to beat.

    2. Oh, I see you mean the two red flags…. not his time.

      1. Hmm…I don’t know what exactly happend but it reminds me 2008 Silverstone.

    3. Race simulation?

    4. What happened to Massa? He just showed that the Ferrari is much quicker than we had originally thought and the RBR is maybe not far ahead.

      As I said at the beginning of preseason, Ferrari are looking really strong this year and they may just have switched places with RedBull in terms of pace.

      1. Have they? I still think Red Bull have the upper hand, although I wouldn’t readily bet on that.

    5. Water fell on the track, that’s what happened to him.

  4. Two Swiss F1 drivers on the track on the same day??



    1. Has that happened before, anyone?

      1. Last time in 2006 with Mondini and Jani I think. Mondini being 3rd driver for Midland and Jani for Toro Rosso.

        1. Many thanks, Bleu!

    2. Back in 1971, Clay Regazzoni and Jo Siffert both won Grands Prix. Sadly neither is with us any more.

      1. Switzerland really punches above its weight for a country were motor racing is banned.

  5. Nearly 140 laps completed by Webber, maybe Red Bull have got their reliability Gremlins under control.

    Will be interesting to see the order in Bahrain/Melbourne (depending when the first race is!)

  6. It’s good to see the McLaren getting nearly a 100 laps done, rumour has it they still have not used a set of super softs yet…..

    1. well I certainly hope a 1:23.8 isn’t their absolute max pace. Because they would be at least 6 tenths slower than mercedes and then likely over a second slower than the Bulls and Ferraris. That would be bad news!!

      1. No one is going for fast times. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe.

        1. Today Hamilton and Rosberg did qualification simulations. yesterday Vettel and Rosberg did.

          It’s part of a “full race simulation”.

          Not sure if McLaren are using their DSR and KERS yet, but Red Bull showed theirs working.

          1. But the track was pretty green and only just dried out. That is sure to have slowed them down a bit.

  7. bleeps_and_tweaks
    20th February 2011, 16:33

    Good to sea Mclaren getting some more laps on the board, despite a problem in the morning session. I’d like to see some analysis of Hamilton’s longer stints, it looked like 1:29’s on the live text deteriorating to 1:31/2 when the tyres went off, which seems similar to Vettel yesterday.

    1. Without knowing fuel levels it’s hard to know.

  8. Word from the paddock is that the Mercedes is really poor! Red Bull and Ferrari are ahead, followed closely by Renault. McLaren are in a group that include STR, Sauber and William’s!

    1. the paddock know no more than we do about tyre compounds and amounts of fuel, so thats probably just as good a guess as you’d get from anyone of us!

      1. It depends on who you know in the paddock, doesn’t it. :)

        Mercedes are in deep doo-doo, despite Rosberg’s fastest time today.

        1. As in back of the grid deep? That would be pretty entertaining seeing Schumi sparring with the HRTs.

        2. I suspect you might be right.Schumacher’s attitude has change from title contender to maybe “a” race win. What’s your source? :) Anything specific which they will be able to fix?

        3. How do you know that?

        4. Who do you know in the paddock?

          1. Probably knows the mare ;)

        5. VXR >Eddie Jordan in disguise.LOL

    2. What’s with the gutter talk on a public forum?

    3. Younger Hamilton
      20th February 2011, 17:31

      if McLaren are in that Group(Which is Extremely Unlikely) and Red Bull and Ferrari are once again boringly the frontrunners then im not gonna watch F1 this season

      1. I will, but if it does bore out that way…then Id be massively dissapointed for Lewis and wont be surprised if he switches teams at the end of the next season. McLaren are wasting away a great talent with their constant over-thinking, big-talk(which ultimately amounts to nothing) and strategy guffaws.

        1. It’d be fun if that will happen and then McLaren starts its majesty again…

          (Puff! Thinking-Cloud gone.)

      2. Ha! You make me laugh.

    4. this comment was in response to another that has been duly deleted.

      does’t make sense on its own. ;)

  9. poor bridney, needs a set of supersofts to do a fast one.
    Impressed with toro rosso. Alguersuary said the target is to beat sauber and force india, in front of them seems to be williams. Will see, but the young spaniard has improved dramaticaly in the last year.
    So the pressure is on buemi to raise his game, because ricciardo is the real deal “for sure”.

    1. I agree on Toro Rosso looking better than expected. Alguersuari always did well here mind you, but the car seems to react well to the tyres.

      Good they went their own way with development of the car. It looks interesting and nice with the rounded side pods.

  10. Someone in the Autosport forums compared the race simulations of Massa and Webber this afternoon, and Massa was on average 5 tenths faster per lap

    I don’t think this is going to be anywhere near the level of Red Bull domination some are predicting

    1. I had just finished copying the laptimes into a spreadsheet of myself and was also thinking that – Massa seemed to definitely be a bit faster, and with less fall-off in his later stints than Webber.

      Of course, Ferrari were sure to not exactly mimic a race; not starting, seemingly, with a real first stint as Webber did, and maybe the last two stints Massa were with re-fuelled car, bc. they really look pretty similar. So it is hard to know for sure that Ferrari are better at racing, maybe they are just better at being coy.

      McLaren is still a bit hard to judge, although they didn’t seem to fuss around sorting those exhausts.

      It could be that Hamilton did part of a race simulation (one short stint, and one with weird spikes in laptime – maybe to throw off others? No idea); If so, that first stint seemed quite okay, the second was weird – those spikes – and I hope that at they end his times were just random and not the tyres, being more than 110 seconds in the dry.

      1. Yes, and what was interesting was that Webber seemed to start on the soft tyre, and Massa on the hard. Obviously Webber got an early ‘lead’, but Massa pulled it back. The Pirellis are definitely great in opening lots of different strategy options.

        At the end of the day, Hamilton had traffic which ruined his stint. Hopefully we’ll see a full race simulation from them tomorrow to see how close to RBR/Ferrari they are.

        Also, Perez did a very good stint in the Sauber late in the day, which seems to be good on its tyres.

      2. Mclaren did some aero tests during their second run which accounts for the very slow laps.

      3. Good to hear those spikes were traffic and partly due to aero-testing, so it seems they are trying to do some race simulation then.

        I hadn’t yet looked into the tyres; that does explain the difference between Webber and Massa’s first stint, thanks.

        I also agree that those later stints by Perez look very consistent.

    2. It depends a bit on which part of their simulation you compare. Webber did a lot more laps so you either cut away a few laps from the beginning or from the end

      Here is my take on it (I smoothed out Massa’s laptime spikes):

  11. Here’s a bit from Autosports blog, which says more or less what I was told:

    “Nico Rosberg was having to work the car hard to get it to turn into the faster stuff – at Turns 1, 3 and 9 this is particularly obvious. He just can’t get it to turn in as he would like and carry the speed into the corner. There’s a big upgrade planned and it had better be huge, because this car doesn’t even look like a Q3 contender on its performance so far.

    The McLaren, as Gary pointed out, isn’t much better, while some of the less-fancied cars also caught the attention.”

    1. Hmm interesting i’d quite like to see some driver interviews to see their point of view.

      1. I really hope the Mercedes is not a Lemon :)

      2. My source also said that the McLaren was chewing its tyres almost as badly as the Mercedes was.

        Mercedes do have a big upgrade coming, but now is the time that the engineers need to get the car working.

        1. but what tyres were they chewing..? we don’t know

          1. The information I got also referred to the way particular cars entered and exited corners. The Mercedes and the McLaren in particular looked like real handsfulls on Friday, yesterday and today.

          2. I had also heard this about friday and yesterday. But I heard today that the mclaren started to look better because of improved set-up. This seems to corellate with Jenson’s comments yesterday

          3. The information

            I’m gonna do a wikipedia on you.

            CITATION NEEDED!

          4. What is this… a peer reviewed blog or something!?

        2. Yes they definitely do, but i wouldn’t say there is enough hard evidence to completey right off McLaren or Mercedes just yet!

          1. I’m sure that both Mercedes and McLaren know exactly what is needed to make their cars better. :)

        3. Any idea what this uprade consists of?

          1. Bidding for Adrian Newey? :P

    2. Interesting, but with regards to mclaren, we know they haven’t really done a lot of set-up work yet which could make a difference.

  12. I have put together a comparison of the two opening stints of the long runs carried out today by Ham and Web and yesterday by But and Vet. Bare in mind that it rained all this morning and over night, so the track was likely slower today, shown by Ham and Web both being consistently slower than their two team mates yesterday. The interesting thing is that Ham and But generally look faster than Web and Vet respectively. It is likely from all the information I’ve gained that they were all on similar tyres and fuel loads during these runs. What I would say is that Webber’s 2nd stint shown on the graph, was actually his 3rd stint in his race simulation today. The reason I used this was because Webber appeared to do his 2nd stint on soft tyres, unlike all the other 3, and then his 3rd stint was much more consistent and likely to be on harder tyres. Baring this in mind, Webber most likely had less fuel on board during his 2nd stint than Hamilton (direct comparison from today) and the other 2 from yesterday.

    1. All very interesting but…

      “It is likely from all the information I’ve gained that they were all on similar tyres and fuel loads during these runs”

      Could I ask where exactly it is you’ve gained this info from??

      1. I’m just about to go out, so I’ll try explain quickly.

        The different compounds of tyres have clear degradation patterns that make it fairly obvious as to whether a driver is on softer or harder tyres. The soft go quicker for 2 or 3 laps then drop off significantly, whereas, the hard have a much more consistent drop off and usually get better after the first lap before they start to drop off.

        Regarding fuel loads, both the RB drivers were doing race simulations on full tanks – they have admitted as much to the press. The McLaren drivers, both did one lap stints, and then went back to the garage and came out 5 odd seconds slower doing long runs, so the likely hood is that they were simulating the start of a race too.

        It is of course not conclusive, but it is a much better indication of potential than an overall fastest lap.


        1. Regarding fuel loads, both the RB drivers were doing race simulations on full tanks – they have admitted as much to the press. The McLaren drivers, both did one lap stints, and then went back to the garage and came out 5 odd seconds slower doing long runs, so the likely hood is that they were simulating the start of a race too.

          I fear this is where the theory falls apart.
          RBR were on full tank, I 95% sure Mclaren weren’t, that is just wishful thinking if you are a Macca fan.

          The words coming out from Mclaren are a whole lot more meaningful than any times. For them to be competitive.. well they are doing an extremely good job of hiding it.

    2. You have to remember that Vettel and Webber were doing race distance simulations. Button and Hamilton did not.

      1. … but they could have been running with race fuel.

        1. Possibly, but unlikely. Vettel and Webber were driving their cars as if in race conditions. This is vastly different to doing just 10 or 15 lap runs. Red Bull and probably Ferrari are currently the teams to beat. They are the most consistent on their tyres and are able to run reliably.

          1. My source says that McLaren have actually complained about the tyres. But it’s the same for everyone!

          2. I think your right, with possibly Ferrari slightly ahead if anything. I think we could see tommorow whether Mclaren are capable of joining those two, or if they will be slightly behind with Renault.

          3. I agree with Webber that I don’t fancy seeing cars lap at 5 seconds speed difference. That’s just ludicrous.

            Webber adds that when cars pass each other it won’t be really overtaking so much as a simple drive by.

            Also, I agree with Kobayashi and Hamilton that these tyres will produce boring driving rather than racing.

            Looks like these tyres will provide a lot of randomness and unpredictability, but I’d rather see racing.

            Imagine a field full of Heidfelds with randomly set laptimes.

      2. Button started a race simulation. He couldn’t finish it because of a technical problem.

        His lap times were fine compared to Vettel and Rosberg’s. So was the dropoff.

  13. HTR is just a joke.

    1. Who are “HTR”? And why are they a joke? They, unlike some, actually had a productive days testing!

      1. With last year’s car if i’m not mistaken.

      2. I agree they’re not a joke, but how can you really name a day as “productive” if they’re not running with this year car?

        1. Tyre testing. The car will be ballasted and balanced similar to what this years car is.

          1. That’d be about not wasting the test. Which maybe could qualify as “productive”, ma it’s nowhere near as productive as even the McLaren’s 30-laps-a-day were.

          2. And making sure they have several drivers get familiar with F1, their car and engineers, rather important too; that’s where HRT last year seems to have been able to find time to keep up the distance to the top relatively constant.

  14. Good to see McLaren putting in a decent amount of laps and getting a fairly good time at last.

  15. Lewis Hamilton on tyres: BBC

    He added that he was still coming to terms with the new Pirelli tyres, which have been designed to degrade quicker than last year’s Bridgestones in the hope of spicing up the racing.
    “It’s difficult to know how much is car and how much of it is tyres but tyres are very difficult to use this year,” Hamilton said.
    “When you come here it’s even more hardcore than it was in the last test than we had.
    “Even last year when we had heavy fuel you had to drive it a bit easier on heavy fuel in the race to preserve the tyres.
    “Today I probably drove a bit easier on the first long run but the tyres just go away so fast and there’s nothing you can do about it.
    “The second run I tried to look after it even more and it was like driving an out lap it was just very slow and not particularly exciting. It lasted a little bit longer but it didn’t feel like I was racing the car.”

    1. It’s a bit odd to me that almost any driver, particularly Lewis, is so tied to last year mindset about tires. Like they’re trying to replicate the old way of using the tires with tires that are structurally different, in terms of wearing and performance.
      I just have the feeling everyone is pretty blown away by how much they’re going slower than 4 months ago!

      1. It’s becoming blatantly obvious that if you can’t get the car and the driver to manage the Pirelli tyres correctly, then you’re going to be in for a very long season.

        1. Ok, right. But It’s like as everyone’s thinking that if the tires are not wearing like they used to, then they’re necessarily failing.
          I think this kind of statements by the drivers show how much even the teams themselves have not much clue about where everyone really is, and therefore they’re all very worried. And you can tell.

    2. That is definitely not a positive sign for Mclaren’s title hopes. I really doubt he would sandbag to such an extent.

      1. McLaren don’t have time to “sandbag”.

        Visually, the car doesn’t look to be handling well.

        1. Reminds me of the MP-18, 19 and 20 days. They made a huge aero change and they couldn’t get it to work.

  16. As far as Merc. Without them running their new aero we can’t even begin to decipher their times. They are still using last years front wing and sidepods that are not real refined.

    1. They must be really sure about their new aero update to be leaving it so late in the day to ‘engineer’ on to the car.

      Many times last season teams brought updates to races that the wind tunnel said were going to give good performance gains, only for the opposite to happen.

    2. are those the only items that will be upgraded?

      1. Doubt it. New wings front and back, new sidepods. Anything that is not homogeneous.

        1. Hopefully that will make a big difference, and in the right direction. What concerned me was MS’s attitude on Friday. Usually he tries to come across positve, which was not the case. I think Mercedes are in trouble

          1. Yea, but you don’t want to show all of the cards too soon, do you. To me the fact that they are still talking race wins means something. This time last year they were not real positive at all.

          2. Assuming RBR and Ferrari also have a few Aces up their sleeves, whe r back at square one :)

    3. They started their developement work before anyone else. I wonder what they were doing. I am afraid Brawn’s 2009 form is just one off.

  17. Anybody know what sort of fuel loads Mondini was running today?

    Narain had better hope he was running heavy fuel loads, or that might be slightly embarassing for him…

    1. Maybe they were both running heavy fuel loads and neither was trying to drive particularly quickly?

      1. I actually read this morning that narain had just done a bit of running in, on damp track so they werent comparable.

        I’m quite interested to see what the new HRT is like. I predict they new teams order will be Lotus, HRT, Virgin.

        Can’t understand why they kept the Xtrac transmission. Virgin had loads of problems with it.

  18. Personally, I think McLaren have gone hideously wrong somewhere in development, and as such are now suffering.

    Can someone please tell me if this is possible?….

    I think they have put too much emphasise on getting ‘2010 levels’ of downforce, without taking the new tyres into consideration, and they now have a car with a lot of downforce, but as a consequence the added forces seem to chew up the tyres quicker than everyone else.

    Could be at the beginning of an era where you need to find the balance between aero and mechanical grip, instead of just trying to run as high an aero setup as possible?

    1. bleeps_and_tweaks
      20th February 2011, 19:47

      Too much downforce is probably a problem Mclaren would love to have! The thing I think most people are forgetting is that the MP4-25 was flawed in key areas with the current trends in F1, the biggest ones were things like the suspension set up, rake of the car and mid-range aero.

      I don’t know of course, I’m just guessing, but I think maybe they thought it would be better to go radicle and have a completely new car, rather than evolve the 25, which is what Ferrari and RBR have done. This also explains the reliability issues we’ve seen from Mclaren in comparison to the other two teams; “if it aint broke don’t try to fix it” seems to have been the idea with the RB7 and F150th.

      I would be very very surprised with this much lead up time if the MP4-26 ends up scrapping in the midfield, but it is possible as 2009 proved. I’m expecting a new flexi wing of sorts for Bahrain / Australia, and they still don’t seem to have decided which exhaust system they’re running yet, front or back; so there is clearly room for movement there.

      Mercedes GP I think will refine/change every element of aero on the car, or at least you would hope so. The front wing has remained pretty much the same since the Brawn car! So that along with maybe sidepods and rear wing alterations – but again this is total guess work.

    2. With any tyre, the more downforce you have pushing it onto the tarmac, the longer it will last. If you can keep the tyre from sliding around, then the tyre will last longer. There really is no such thing as too much downforce.

      But yes, it is also now much more important to get the chassis to also use the tyres properly.

      1. I think McLaren are in trouble. I can’t understand such a dramatic change in aero direction. They really weren’t off that bad last year and most teams have just gone with evolutions of last years car say except Merc and their nose.

        1. Yes, but last year’s car, the MP4-25 was a bit of a two trick pony, relying on the massive DDD at the back for downforce, combined with a low drag body and the f-duct to get good speed. It worked great when the track was nice and smooth, but both these things were not available in 2011, so they had to do something different.

          Red Bull had more or less everything apart from early reliability – if they had gone completely different they would have been silly. Ferrari still had some things to improve, but clearly, they felt it could be done starting from the F10.

          1. Good point, RBR and Ferrari had a base, Mclaren did not.

    3. I think they’ll need more running to get it right, but remember they are one test behind everyone else in terms of running and getting base setups.

      To be honest, I think they’ll start the season just off the back of Redbull and Ferrari, but then again thats where they finished.

      They need to do something different, as they are not going to out detail Adrian Newey if they put together a car thats very similar to RB.

      It looks like they’ll get another test anyway, as I can’t see Bahrain happening now.

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