Schumacher fastest for Mercedes in Barcelona

2011 F1 testing

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Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2011

Michael Schumacher was fastest in the revised Mercedes in the fourth day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

With rain threatening to hit tomorrow’s test the team sent Nico Rosberg out in the afternoon and he went third fastest, half a second slower than Schumacher.

Williams and Force India also split the day’s running between their two race drivers.

Fernando Alonso was second fastest for Ferrari. He completed over two race distances’ worth of running during the course of the day, logging 141 laps.

Heikki Kovalainen did the same despite Lotus’s previous reliability problems.

However Jenson Button spent much of the day in the pits as McLaren changed an engine in his car.

There were few interruptions during the day’s running, although Kamui Kobayashi caused one stoppage in the afternoon when his Sauber came to a halt at turn three.

Sebastian Vettel brought the red flags out a few minutes before the session was due to end when his Red Bull stopped at the end of the pit lane.

Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and HRT will remain at the circuit for one further day of testing before the first race of the season.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Michael SchumacherMercedes W021’21.26867
2Fernando AlonsoFerrari 150??? Italia1’21.6141410.346
3Nico RosbergMercedes W021’21.788220.520
4Nick HeidfeldRenault R311’22.073670.805
5Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth FW331’22.233890.965
6Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari C301’22.315981.047
7Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari STR61’22.675721.407
8Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault RB71’22.933641.665
9Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault T1281’23.4371382.169
10Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes VJM041’23.653422.385
11Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes VJM041’23.921262.653
12Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth FW331’24.108112.840
13Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-261’25.837574.569
14Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth MVR-021’27.3752466.107

2011 F1 testing

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    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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    99 comments on “Schumacher fastest for Mercedes in Barcelona”

    1. Are there any pictures of the Mercedes before (okay sure ) and after (today) the update where you can see the body changes

      1. Would be very nice to see!

      2. Schumacher is. or was, the meister of many things, not least sandbagging. Mercedes are in the mix.

    2. Personally I don’t think Merc will be in the top 2 but could challenge Renault and maybe McLaren (only if they can sort their unreliable car out).

      1. 2Ugandan Discussions
        11th March 2011, 16:30

        Lol!!! alexf1man, if HRT can sort out their problems, they would be in the top 2 too.

    3. Return of the Mach.

    4. Mercedes ran 1 and 3, seems their updates are doing as predicted by Brawn. I got the impression Red Bull had some problems limiting their running in the morning.

      Great that HRT have made it and brought the car out of the garage today. It will probalby do less than half the milage of the Ferraris all year, but still …

      1. That’s exluding the likely number of times HRT will get lapped :-0

      2. Ferrari have already done more than a season’s race distance in testing.

    5. Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and HRT will remain at the circuit for one further day of testing before the first race of the season.

      I thought Williams will also be running tomorrow.

      1. They will

    6. Michael is back!!

      1. wow, Schumi the greatest!!!

    7. Come on Schumi, show the grid how to really race!!

      1. I’ll admit a slight pang of giddiness when I read he was on top.

    8. How did Williams manage 85 laps in the morning and only 11 for Maldonado in the afternoon?

      1. I believe that Maldonado had an engine change in the afternoon, which seems to rather take away from the point of having both drivers running today to avoid the rain tomorrow.

    9. Schumi topping the charts was music to ears. I’m a Schumi fan and was dismayed at his retirement in 2006 and always dreamt of him driving for Mclaren Mercedes one day, ’cause am Mercedes fan. Oh! my god my dream is coming true he is racing once again and that too for Mercedes and last but not least I will be seeing him live (not on tv) at the Indian GP. October is sooooooo long.

      1. dude, Schumi was back last year !!

        1. she thought it was,

        2. Wow, what a find!!! Ha Ha, sure he was back last year, but for me watching him live in India will be a first.

    10. Bigbadderboom
      11th March 2011, 16:50

      Perhaps the extended wait will fall into the hands of Mercedes. Getting very nervous for McLaren now though, I’d have thought that if they were sand bagging (Which I doubt but others here have suggested), they would have shown some kind of competitive pace. I have a sinking feeling I’m going to be a British F1 fan with little to cheer on this year, this may be a year for the German Fans!!!

      1. Another one :P

        1. You’re forgetting that Red Bull are British!!!!!!

          1. I think Red Bull may be Austrian.

            1. Austrian owner, but that don’t mean nothing he doesn’t do any thing, it’s based in England and most of the people working for them are British.

            2. It’s just like if I bought FC Barcelona and then called them an english team, it just wouldn’t make sense.

            3. Austrian owner, but that don’t mean nothing

              Austrian owner, Austrian FIA license, Austrian constructor. So you’re right, it doesn’t “mean nothing”.

            4. Thats just my opinion, If I was a British engineer who had worked hard to make a championship winning car I would be very annoyed that Austria seem to be taking the winnings. When they hadn’t really done anything towards it, orther than some greedy, dirty rich owner!.

            5. Thats kind of like saying that an Australian soccer team should be considered african because the primary defense coach is from Ghana

            6. Obviously though F1 is a bit different from other sports. I mean, the reason the teams build their cars in Britain is because that’s where the infrastructure, personnel and expertise exists.

              Is Force India British as well?

            7. “than some greedy, dirty rich owner!.”
              Are you in energy drink business as well? ;)

          2. In that case Merc are British too.

            1. and williams, and force india, renault….

            2. Dont forget Team Lotus and Virgin are british too ;)

          3. Red bull are a austrian team.

            1. To be honest yes I’d say force india are indeed, after all they are just the Jordan team with a different name!

    11. What’s up with McLaren this year.. too many troubles in testing.

      Button did 57 laps compared to Schumacher’s 67 and still managed only 13th spot? WTH?

      1. Nice catch, probably testing on last year’s car?

        1. thats why im so confused.. it has the infinity logos on it?

          thats if it is last years car..?

          1. hmm number 1 car? confusing…

        2. As long as that Sharkfin is NOT connected to the wing it’s legal – even a one mm gap is still legal.

      2. That can’t be right, unless they’re using it to compare with last year’s aero package. There’s no way for the rear wing to move given the configuration in that picture.

        1. properly thrown me that has..?

      3. From the look of the monocoque it seems like its last years car with this years car number and sponsors. now the question is why did they bring last years car?

        1. Maybe for practicing pit stops?

            1. but in tha picture you can see the red bull branded pole thingys that feed the wheel nut guns up and over the pit box..

          1. but that still doesn’t make sense..? surely they would want to practice pit stops with the NEW car. also aren’t teams only allowed to bring one car to testing..?

            1. i’m intrigued with all this thing about the last year car. Hope someone knowledgeable give us some explanation.

            2. Perhaps there using last years car to measure tyre degradation? Last years car is a known qauntity regarding tyres, seeing how it degrades this years tyres might give them a small amount of data. Or perhaps it`s a piece of Photoshop shenanigans.

            3. tomforpresident
              11th March 2011, 20:54

              lots of teams bring old cars for corporate reasons, people can have their picture taken and do pretend pitstops etc.

              in one of yesterdays (i think) pictures there was an old honda painted up to look like this years mercedes for the same thing.

            4. but its parked right infront of their garage mid-testing..? if it was just a demo/dummy car then why have it in the way..?

            5. tomforpresident
              12th March 2011, 11:06

              it’s in front of A garage, there’s a lot of garages down in the pits.

            6. but in tha picture you can see the red bull branded pole thingys that feed the wheel nut guns up and over the pit box..?

    12. It’s good to see Mercedes on top with the new updates, and thanks God i’m seeing (finally) a decent 2011 front wing, but today they did only short runs, so we have to see tommorow if they do some long runs, i’m hoping for no rain.

    13. Any idea how many laps Schumacher did in the stint with the fastest lap? For Mercedes’ sake I hope it wasn’t a qualifying simulation.

      1. quali simuulation, 1 fast lap then pitted

        1. Nope he posted his 1.21.249 on a 7 lap run of his last stint…

          Things really looking good for Schumi….:)

          1. Yes MSC is back. Alonso is right when he was asked who he feared most of all drivers line-up this year. Then he answered Schumi in the right car! So he knew what is the legend’s capability.

          2. The 1.21.268 posted was done on a in and out lap as far as I know. But nevermind that, Schumi indeed looks good

    14. @Keith

      I haven’t seen much written about Virgin and d’Ambrosio. What’s going on there? They’ve been consistently slow. Is the Virgin really that bad? Or is d’Ambrosio not cutting the…custard? (sorry, couldn’t help myself). I hope the car is not a complete dud…Glock deserves a decent drive.

      I would love to hear your thoughts.

    15. Nice. I wish Mercedes duo would challenge Redbull and Ferrari. I still have doubt about Mclaren’s performance. maybe they need more time.

    16. With a 1’22 from Hamilton the other day and now a 1’25 from Button I find it to believe McLaren are really concerned with showing their true hand with regard to pace. They’re not sandbagging but it seems like the lack of mileage has sidetracked them from chasing pace.

      1. Or… maybe they have no pace.

        1. Yeh most likely haha

        2. Don’t be silly. If they had no pace Button would still put in a time close to Hamilton’s. Mercedes were considered to be way off the pace and now they have the fastest time. They had more speed than they’ve shown before and it’s probably the same with McLaren.

          1. Mercedes have put a big upgrade on the car, which is working as they expected, though. The noises coming from McLaren suggest that they haven’t really got any big ideas going forward.

            There is nothing to be gained from McLaren not showing their hand. And as I pointed out in a forum thread, McLaren have been accused of sandbagging several times in previous years and have been found out to just be slow.

            1. Your being selective when it comes to reading the cause and importance of test times. How can McLaren be showing their hand if their best time today is 3 seconds off their previous best? Like I said they are not sandbagging but are being held back by reliability concerns which take precedent over achieving fast test times. I also doubt Schumacher’s improved time is all down to Mercedes’ upgrade.

            2. @Judo chop,
              You’re being selective in the definition of ‘showing their hand’.
              A team that runs a long stint with times that are far off the pace of what other cars are doing on a similar stint can also be ‘showing their hand’.
              I’m sure they have ‘pace’ I was just being sarcastic, it’s just that their pace may be comparable to Force India’s and not Red Bull’s

            3. As Jenson said: “Today was never about pace, as we weren’t running lower fuel loads, but there is pace in the car – it’s just been masked by reliability issues.”
              So I guess we have to wait and see McLaren’s real pace in Melbourne.
              But it does seem that the team has HUGE reliability problems.

    17. Lotus Renault will be the dark horse!
      and Heidfeld will score a win in 2011!

      1. That would be so nice.

        1. @cacarella

          “You’re being selective in the definition of ‘showing their hand’”

          Not really. “showing their hand” would be a low fuel qualifying run which we haven’t seen yet. My issue is that posters aren’t consistent in their assessment of test times. If McLaren are considered way off the pace based on test times then Mercedes should be considered the best. No “that’s a glory run” excuses. Do you tip Mercedes for P1 in Oz ahead of Red Bull and Ferrari?

    18. And Keith Schumi’s time havnt been updated….he posted a 1.21.249 on his last run of 7 laps….

      1. SchumiVroooooom
        11th March 2011, 19:13

        I think that one was wiped because he cut a corner/chicane.

        1. No, it wasn’t!
          According to and the best time for today is 1.21.249 and this is the one Michael did on his last run of seven laps.

    19. Hey Keith, two questions.
      1) Have the top teams all run two chassis, even though only one at a time? Seems like you want both sorted out for Australia.
      2) Big advantage if it’s raining tomorrow and they get some experience with wet tires. Would/could RBR, for example, make a last minute decision to stay and test on Saturday?

      1. Concerning second question: I doubt that is possible, I think its 4 days for each team. Or no?

      2. In regards to the firs question, did mention that the first few test were done with one chassis and the barcelona tests were done on another. Even though other teams didnt advertise so, I’m assuming they would have done something similar!

      3. For the second question, each team is allotted 15 days of pre-season testing. If Red Bull haven’t used up all 15 days there’s nothing to legally prevent them from staying on for another day of testing.

        Logistics will be another issue altogether, especially with regards to tyres and other consumables.

    20. They’ve been on top a fair bit during testing. I hope they keep it up.

    21. Mercedes are the team to beat!

      1. The main question is:
        Has everyone shown their true potential?
        I would be surprised if Mercedes can really match the Red Bull and the Ferrari in Melbourne, but that is something we will find out in Australia.

    22. i’m really starting to worry about mclaren. my only glimmer of hope is that red bull also missed the first test last year and had an unreliable car – but look how their car turned out!!

      1. RB6 had a good base as it was a evolution of the GP winning RB5. McLaren starts from scratch with their revolutionary untested, unreliable design.

        1. Why would you squash his only glimmer of hope?

    23. Sammy Dulledge
      12th March 2011, 0:06

      I like this a lot, This shows that Mercedes are improving, looking at the times over the test, they seem to be up there, meaning that even if Red Bull are sandbagging, Mercedes aren’t far off. By the end of the year Mercedes could have their first win, Schumacher only needs 9 more and that will be 100 wins, an incredible achievement for even a driver with his record. I really hope all the best for Michael, Nico and Ross.

    24. I was never his biggest fan, but it sure appears that Schumi still has what it takes to hustle an F1 machine around the track. It would be great to see him and Rosberg mix it up at the pointy end this year. More to the point, I’m just hoping that RB doesn’t run away with the championship.

    25. People should be taking a closer look at Alonso’s times, over double the laps and 3 tenths off of what schumi did.

      Mercedes is quicker but still behind Ferrari and Red Bull, since the other two teams looked like they didn’t have to proove anything by trying to beat it.

    26. Not sure of the fuel load but last year best lap time in the race was a sub 1 min 20 sec, Mercedes are 1.2 sec off the pace if they are running low fuel. If it rains tomorrow it will advantage the teams who will test as we haven’t seen too much wet weather running.

      1. SchumiVroooooom
        12th March 2011, 6:31

        Cars are supposed to be slower this year. Yes, they get KERS back but that missing double diffuser takes away alot. When they talked about Brawn and the double diffuser in 2009 and the advantage they gain from it, it was said to be about 2 seconds per lap. Also you got those not so great Pirelli´s now. F-duct gone too. So in all cars should be around 1 second slower this year in qualyfying mode. Probably even more during the race.

        1. Not to mention that the cars are 20 kg heavier this year.

          It’s not possible to gauge how quick a car is this season just by comparing its laptimes with times set by last season’s cars.

    27. i think we will have a real picture of cars performance in australia only……even the sauber,williams have topped the time sheets

    28. wong chin kong
      12th March 2011, 11:18

      With so much testing before the first race, Schumacher should be much more familiar with the car and the car is now finely tuned, tailored for his driving style. I don’t expect to hear any excuses from him if he fails to outshine his team mate this year. If the car performs and he revert to his past championship driving standards, he should win a few races this year.

    29. Well if this one test day ‘proves’ that the Merc is improved, I look forward to seeing NR once again handle MS…last year he claimed that any changes to the car that might help MS would help him too, so to see MS get this time means to me that NR can do it too…difference being for MS, as opposed to his WDC years, he now has a genuine competitor on the team for a teammate, plus the Merc will still not be up there with the Red Bulls and Ferraris, so MS has an uphill climb with far fewer excuses than last year. That said, I’m sure any improvement on MS’s part vs. how it went for him last year will be considered progress as the 3-year comeback project continues.

      And given how brutely MS behaved on a few occasions (eg. his moving of RB toward the pit wall at top speed last year) with a car he couldn’t really fight with, I’m not sure I want to see what kind of damage he can do out there with a car he can fight with a little.

      I think what is more telling is Ferrari’s two race distances in one day…wicked reliability…then again, that was on that day…nothing to do with racing in anger…same with MS’s time…

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