Lotus quickest of 2012 cars at Jerez

2012 F1 testing

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Jerez, 2012

Romain Grosjean set the fastest time for a 2012-specification F1 car in the Lotus E20 at the four-day test at Jerez.

The quickest time of all at the test was set by Nico Rosberg driving last year’s Mercedes.

Grosjean also completed the second-highest distance of any driver at the test.

Bruno Senna logged the most laps in total, covering more than three Grand Prix distances in his two days at the wheel of the Williams FW34.

Marussia were the only team not present at the test, and HRT’s Narain Karthikeyan did not drive at Jerez.

Fastest times – Jerez test

1Nico RosbergMercedes*1’17.6130.000
2Romain GrosjeanLotus1’18.4190.806
3Michael SchumacherMercedes*1’18.5610.948
4Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’18.8771.264
5Mark WebberRed Bull1’19.1841.571
6Sebastian VettelRed Bull1’19.2971.684
7Lewis HamiltonMcLaren1’19.4641.851
8Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso1’19.5871.974
9Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso1’19.5971.984
10Kimi RaikkonenLotus1’19.6702.057
11Sergio PerezSauber1’19.7702.157
12Paul di RestaForce India1’19.7722.159
13Kamui KobayashiSauber1’19.8342.221
14Nico HulkenbergForce India1’19.9772.364
15Bruno SennaWilliams1’20.1322.519
16Jules BianchiForce India1’20.2212.608
17Felipe MassaFerrari1’20.4542.841
18Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’20.6883.075
19Pastor MaldonadoWilliams1’21.1973.584
20Heikki KovalainenCaterham1’21.5183.905
21Pedro de la RosaHRT*1’22.1284.515
22Jarno TrulliCaterham1’22.1984.585
23Giedo van der GardeCaterham1’23.3245.711

*2011 car

The fastest driver at the Jerez test last year was Rubens Barrichello, who set a quickest time of 1’19.832 in the Williams FW33.

Total laps – Jerez test

DriverTotal lapsTotal distance (km)
Bruno Senna2491,102.572
Romain Grosjean212938.736
Kimi Raikkonen192850.176
Kamui Kobayashi181801.468
Nico Rosberg174770.472
Michael Schumacher174770.472
Paul di Resta170752.760
Heikki Kovalainen167739.476
Lewis Hamilton166735.048
Felipe Massa164726.192
Jean-Eric Vergne159704.052
Daniel Ricciardo157695.196
Mark Webber150664.200
Jenson Button147650.916
Sebastian Vettel145642.060
Pastor Maldonado122540.216
Jarno Trulli117518.076
Sergio Perez116513.648
Pedro de la Rosa108478.224
Fernando Alonso106469.368
Nico Hulkenberg90398.520
Giedo van der Garde74327.672
Jules Bianchi46203.688
TeamModelTotal lapsTotal distance (km)
Toro RossoSTR73161,399.25
Force IndiaVJM053061,354.97
Red BullRB82951,306.26

Image © Lotus F1 Team

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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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57 comments on “Lotus quickest of 2012 cars at Jerez”

  1. Cool data, but doesn’t say anything: last year Barrichello went fastest in a Williams, but the team didn’t finish in the top 10 for the first few races of the season.

    1. @andae23 I imagine that pretty much all on F1F will know that it’s pointless making assumptions from single lap pace, and you rightly point out the Williams was ‘quick’ at Jerez last year.

      However there is some merit in looking through the times. For example the ease and consistency with which RBR were able to lap in the low 01:21’s with what will probably have been high fuel, is significant. Mclaren and Ferrari both did similar runs and seemed to be a few tenths away. It’s interesting to look at, but still clutching at straws at the moment.

      1. What we can see is that some teams (i.e. McLaren) have a pretty big performance left in the bag related to their best posted times.

        Now i don’t have any info on how much 1 lap of fuel is worth in a lap time (i heard someone said it is about 0.3s per lap, though i’m not sure), but rough estimations would suggest that Mclaren could drop their laptimes considerably to about high 1:16s.

        I’m basing my calculations on the longest stint that i have seen with a low initial time all week, and it’s from McLaren. RBR and Lotus had long stints but with high initial times and sadly i can’t find any comparable stint from Ferrari.

        1. I agree that Mclaren probably have more development potential. They are also the team able to react and develop from track data the quickest. But the real question is will they? I’m sure they will try a less radical philospohy this year and not chase down dead ends (octopus exhausts). I’m quietly confident for them this year.

          1. I have a feeling they have a lot in the bag. No doubt RBR are going to be fast, but McLaren has this development reputation. Its been so for the past few years, so the team that’s in Woking seem to been working very well. Both on cars and simulator.

            I have a feeling its going to be even more exciting this season. Edge of the seat at some races like the old days. We have 6 champions on the gird, one word for that is simply “cracker”.

            Mclaren havn’t won the Constructors’
            Championship since 1998 and drivers since 2008 so am hoping (secretly praying) there potential hasn’t been shown yet.

            Another note, Lewis has been a, how shall we put it, inconsistent for a little to long. When hes on it, hes on it like a crack addict, but when he’s in cloud 9, he’s just not there.

            Button on the other hand has been the definition of consistency. Am a little bias but so what, its still true :)

            New Non-Dennis era at McLaren now don’t forget, Martin Whitmarsh is building a great team and the futures looking good. Am looking forward to a great season leading up to another in 2013

            Hope I made sense case I went off on one there. Think this is my biggest reply ever!

          2. Don’t forget “octopus” was only a “dead end” because Ferrari and Red Bull protested the heat shielding materials Mclaren were using in testing and the FIA chose to ban them. It would have worked fine but so determined were they to reap the advantage of their “eureka moment” that they tried to make it work with lesser heat shielding materials which ultimately cost them the entire winter. Lucky they’d designed the car around an EBD so when they fitted a more basic itteration it worked immediately.

      2. Do you have any data to back this up? … I’ve been looking for the timing data similar to the stuff the FIA post after a race weekend, please help! @bleeps_and_tweaks

        1. @snowman.john Try this link:


          It should be a list of the timing screen for today. I’ve had these open for each of the last 4 days. You can see Vettel was doing 9-10 lap runs with very consistent times in the 01:21’s.

          Did anyone else see Andrew Benson’s analysis on the BBC over the last few days? He’s averaging the times people did over the whole day to talk about relative performance. Now I’m no mathematician but that sounds like a seriously poor way to look at data, the chances for error or variation are huge. I expected better to be honest.

          1. @bleeps_and_tweaks take a look here:

            for my views on Andrew Benson’s reporting

      3. Yeah, I agree. The Williams was at its best early in the season last year too. It went backwards after testing, but the testing position wasn’t entirely unrepresentative.

  2. I don’t know if it was meant to be this way, but the team’s number of laps doesn’t seem to have any order, unless I am being completely stupid.

    1. @JamieFranklinF1 Should look right now.

  3. Caterham towards the bottom of the times but according to Mike Gascoyne:

    Always ran high fuel as well, pleased with pace on high fuel

    1. Fair enough but I think High and Low fuel levels are relative. High fuel for the top teams is probably full tanks whereas high fuel for an aspiring young team is probably 12 laps worth. don’t get me wrong, I really want Caterham to come good, just don’t want to over egg the pudding. They will improve this year but I doubt they will penetrate the field further than Sauber/STR. If they’re battling with them, they’ve done well.

      1. don’t want to over egg the pudding

        That’s a fantastic bit of language :D.

        Also I agree. Catching the tail of the mid field is one thing. Getting in the thick of it is harder yet.

    2. They must have been running some major fuel as they didn’t even finish definitively faster than HRT and Caterham now have KERS.

  4. I feel Lotus is quite good. I expect they will be real dark horse this year though failed last year. but I don’t know it would be a championship winning car. We will know it after two Barcelona tests…

    1. In Kimi’s hands things can get really interesting.

      1. I dare to say Kimi would win at least one race this year or some podiums. Better result than Nico did 2010 even though it’s just my guess.

      2. I agree. An angry Kimi can drag any car into a position it has no right to be in; like Kubica.

        If he doesn’t suffer the same creeks and groans that MS has he could end Grosjean’s career.

        1. Kubica didn’t end Petrov in a single season. I think Grosjean will do okay.

          1. Renault needED Russian money then, Lotus do not need French money. Kubica crushed Petrov in ’10, got almost six times more points than the Russian

    2. @Eggry Yeah I think the Lotus looks good, stable and quick. But my only concern is the lack of development. Last year they had the FEExhaust, but with recent money problems we might see them on the podium at the beginning of the yr and then slipping further back again. I hope I’m wrong though, it would be great to see Kimi mixing it up at the front again.

  5. Hm, quite a solid amount of laps done during these past few days. We are starting to see some interesting developments now, but a lot of questions remain over how the exact solutions for exhausts will develop until Melbourne. And we still do not know what the slots on the Sauber and RBR8 noses do.

  6. I knew Ferrari did quite few laps but I’m surprised knowing Red Bull didn’t run a lot either. Mclaren didn’t go so far either.

    1. Which tells me Ferrari shouldn’t be singled out for having ‘problems’…they (the top teams) go out there with a certain bit of data from a certain setup they are trying to gain, then they bring it in and try something else, no doubt in a systematic way, to help them understand best exactly what their benchmark setups are from which to refine. I’ll assume, since none of them seemed to have too many reliablility issues causing any great delays, that if they needed more laps they would have run them.

  7. Good first test for all cars, No crashes. Where is the new Mercedes? Good luck to all teams this season.

    1. @RMBX The new Mercedes GP03 is launched at the next test in Barcelona, I think it’s the 21st.

  8. Nico Rosberg 174 770.472
    Michael Schumacher 174 770.472

    So interesting to see how both of the Mercedes drivers did the same laps and the same distance. Shows how efficient the Germans are at getting things done.

    1. Haha definitely German style programes. or fairness? :D

    2. The distance seems to me just “number_of_laps * track_length”. They indeed did the same number of laps, but the distance is not measured, just calculated afterwards.

  9. petebaldwin (@)
    10th February 2012, 16:46

    The fastest driver at the Jerez test last year was Rubens Barrichello, who set a quickest time of 1’19.832 in the Williams FW33.

    Says all you need to know – we have no idea who is fast and who isn’t. The fastest team in the test last year were the worst performing ones in the season (other than the “new” teams).

    All I can see from the times: Red Bull seem consistant, McLaren seem to have fixed whatever was causing them problems in the first few days as have Farrari… Caterham seem to be a bit adrift at the bottom and Toro Rosso seem relativly fast. Lotus are a bit unknown for me – I doubt that Grosjean has managed to fly around that much faster than everyone else without it being a quali run….

    Hopefully someone’ll do a bit more in depth analysis of long runs etc….
    We’ll see though

    1. So Ferrari will exchange HRT this year :)

    2. So, given the loss of EBD I guess the new tyres are much quicker having adopted a bridgestone style profile/construction.

  10. A-Safieldin (@)
    10th February 2012, 17:09

    So Fernando was not the fastest in todays test?? Im really confused

    1. A-Safieldin (@)
      10th February 2012, 17:11

      Also did rosberg and schumi both run??

    2. Alonso was the fastest in todays test, but this article is looking at all the days combined.

      This is the page you are looking for. :D

      1. A-Safieldin (@)
        10th February 2012, 19:35

        right i see

  11. The Torro Rosso drivers seem very closely matched (100th of a second). I’m already looking forward to that in-team battle and hope they get a car that can push them up the grid a bit.

  12. Bruno Senna 249 1,102.572
    Romain Grosjean 212 938.736

    how does this equal

    Lotus E20 404 1,788.91

    seems a bit off

    1. my bad, forgot b senna is at Williams!

      1. Ice Man does not approve.

  13. the real worrying data is the few kms F2012 has done in these 4 days. Only HRT managed to do fewer laps…

    1. Well, if Ferrari really are still working on their Aero, then what they will probably doing is making small changes and then making sure the results what they expected from the simulators.

      So really they won’t need as many….

      However, Yeah, it wasn’t many was it? Especially for Ferrari.

    2. Quantity does not automatically equal quantity. If Ferrari were losing hours of testing with mechanical gremlins that would be a worry. 5 lap runs are more than enough for most drivers to give meaningful feedback on setup changes and new parts.

      1. Quality? Ferrari will do well this season. If the car is .5sec behind the quickest car FA stands a good chance.

        I want Ferrari, Mclaren, RB and Merc to be in the hunt plus others if they can.

  14. Awesome to see McLaren getting a solid amount of laps on the car right away.

    I just hope that the relationship between the MP4-27’s beauty and its speed turns out to be directly proportional.

    1. Infected Crayons
      10th February 2012, 21:28

      Dont Jinx It!

  15. With the same ‘basic’ setup, van der Garde came to 2 tenths from Kovalainen’s time with said setup. So he claims on dutch site F1today.

    I reaaaally have hopes. It’s time we have à national Hero again!

    1. Long overdue!!

  16. My mind got stuck in 2011… When I saw “Lotus quickest”, I thought Green Lotus, I mean Caterham, ex-Lotus.

  17. The first three days were quite exciting but today was a bit flat.
    One of the best things to come out of the entire test though was the very small number of mechanical breakdowns. With 9 new cars on the track I expected loads more mebarassing puffs of smoke.

  18. I’d like to think that with the combined data of a few days testing, you would be able to pinpoint fastest laps as being relative to the other teams around them, as in, what we will see come Melbourne.

    However, given that Gascoyne said that they were pretty much running high fuel throughout the whole test it just throws the whole thing into disarray!

    Brilliant! That’s EXACTLY what I want. Ambiguity is fantastic in F1. Love it.

  19. @keithcollantine I think you forgot to include Jules Bianchi’s 2 or 3 laps from Thursday, before he crashed.

    1. I thought they were all out laps then straight back in (i.e. he didn’t actually complete a lap finish line to finish line). Not sure they count.

      1. I believe they do. It’s a lap nonetheless, so it should count, even if it’s not a timed one.

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