Kobayashi on top as second test ends in Barcelona

2012 F1 testing

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Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Barcelona, 2012
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Barcelona, 2012

Kamui Kobayashi set the fastest lap of the Circuit de Catalunya test on the final day of running at the track.

Despite being hampered by an exhaust problem, Kobayashi posted a fastest lap of 1’22.312, beating the quickest time of the test.

He also completed more than two Grand Prix distances. With a quarter of an hour to go, having already covered over 660km in a single day, his car came to a stop and brought out the red flags. The session was briefly re-started before being red-flagged again.

Kobayashi is the eighth different driver to have been quickest in the eight days of testing so far – joining Kimi Raikkonen, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado.

Maldonado set the second-quickest time of today in his Williams ahead of Paul di Resta. The Force India driver caused a red flag when he went off at Campsa during the session.

Jenson Button was fourth-fastest, McLaren once again completing a busy day’s running of well over 100 laps.

Ferrari’s day was once again punctuated by a lengthy delay while they made a set-up change. But Felipe Massa nonetheless logged 100 laps in the F2012 – the first time this week Ferrari have reached a century of tours.

Nico Rosberg, eighth fastest, joined Kobayashi and Maldonado in completing more than two full Grand Prix distances in a single day.

Heikki Kovalainen’s running in the Caterham was badly interrupted by an engine change. But things were worse for Marussia, who had to scrap their running entirely.

The team had planned to give Charles Pic his third day in the 2011 MVR-02. But suspension damage from yesterday’s running could not be repaired in time.

According to the team, a replacement for the broken part was available, but they did not wish to run before completing an analysis of the failure at their factory, which could not be done in time for Pic to get any meaningful running done.

The teams will return to the track for a final four-day test beginning on March 1st. However Ferrari and Red Bull will begin an end their running one day later than the rest, in order to test last-minute upgrades for their cars.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari C311’22.312144
2Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault FW341’22.5611340.249
3Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes VJM051’23.1191010.807
4Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-271’23.2001150.888
5Felipe MassaFerrari F20121’23.5631031.251
6Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault RB81’23.774851.462
7Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari STR71’23.792921.480
8Nico RosbergMercedes W031’23.8431391.531
9Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault CT011’26.968704.656

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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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33 comments on “Kobayashi on top as second test ends in Barcelona”

  1. Feels good, man.

  2. The key to Sauber and Kamui’s success is obvious.. https://twitter.com/#!/OfficialSF1Team/status/173028366646128640/photo/1 The other teams are jealous.

    1. Platypusception.

  3. why no Mercedes infos?

  4. caterham seem to be the only one of the new teams making progress this year

    1. HRT are a joke team, they don’t have any sponsors and treat their drivers so bad. And Marussia are re-building from scratch so I expect them to be way behind. We won’t see either of their cars until the final test, and it wouldn’t surprise me if one of them misses the test and HRT drops out this year.

      1. Infected Crayons
        24th February 2012, 16:30

        So, anyone worried about 107% rule yet?

      2. every season so far people have sid they expect HRT to drop out, and they keep both not dropping out AND not losing the constructors

    2. It helps that they’re the only one who’s got their new car ready!

      1. Indeed, and they are close to being just part of the pack now if they keep it up.

    3. caterhams test times dont indicate that they are making progress to me. its just the marussia and hrt are going backwards

      1. Exactly and Caterham are 3 seconds off the pace in this test so not much closer.

  5. The Sauber seems to be a bit unreliable, I hope Kobayashi and Perez’s result don’t suffer due to constant car failures.

    1. If the exhaust cracks after doing 2 gp distances and then some, I think its not about reliability but more about taking it to its limits.

  6. Chris Goldsmith
    24th February 2012, 16:46

    Starting to get a little worried for Caterham. I could understand they were on long, slower runs in the first test, and they were showing good reliability, but I was expecting them to put in at least one representative run in this second test. They’ve been consistently 3-4 seconds adrift in every day of testing. I’d be astonished if they’re sandbagging at this point. They are definitely going to have to show better pace come the first race otherwise it’s going to be a disappointing season for them I think.

    1. what were you expecting? they had a huge gap to close to get within the mid field teams, but the midfield teams have a bigger budget and higher rated personnel, so they have in all likelyhood pulled away from caterham instead of caterham getting closer. it would have been nice if they did pull closer, but it would have to be a really really big step, like when Honda made the 2009 Brawn car.

      1. @dkpioe I did expect more. But I still don’t know about Gascoyne. He was at other teams right before they got good results: Renault, Toyota, Spyker – later Force India. And it’s hard to tell whether he’s good at laying out the basics, or others always had to clean up.

        I do know that the Lotus/Caterham went from very ‘boxy’ to more rounded in a similar fashion as we’ve seen at Toyota, where he also started from scratch. So there should be hope.

        And I don’t think it Has to be so dramatic as with Honda-Brawn. Force India also came from the end of the grid (almost).

    2. Yeah I’m getting a bit worried too. Being last in every test session does not really show any indication of improvement over last year. Even if it is just a test the times are not 100% meaningless. If one team is dead last in every test session it is very likely that’s the position they will be in australia as well.

      Or maybe the gatorham are just fully focusing on improving their race pace when they have now figured out that on qualifying lap their car is still miles off the pace… They will get the 19th and 20th place on the grid anyways as hrt and marussia just try to beat the 107 rule…

      If that is the case then they can forget scoring any points…

  7. Looks like mileage goes skyrocket! What a reliability!

    1. @Eggry Reliability is the real winner in testing!

      1. @andrewtanner, yes and no, I’ve heard several drivers this week alone being quoted as saying that it’s better to have a fast car that you can work on the reliability of, than a slow and reliable car that won’t get any faster.

        1. Good point @us_peter I think having reliability implies that you can complete all your testing procedures and have a good degree of confidence in what you have made correlates to what your wind tunnel tells you. However, it’s all relative. It won’t make you any faster, like you said.

  8. Is the circuit used the same layout as the GP circuit? I thought the cars were meant to be slower this year but Kamui’s lap today is over 1.5s faster than Q2 last year.

    1. Indeed the cars are looking surprisingly quick, although at the Spanish GP the teams only had the softs available to them. Also, it is to be expected that the midfield teams have lost less performance from the blown exhausts compared to Red Bull and McLaren, so we might see a bunching up of the field.

    2. better to compare the times to last years pre season tests at barcelona, where some teams were quicker then at the barcelona race a few months later. 4 days of thousands of laps of the track help rubber the track and make it fast, tyres have changed since then too, and we dont know what fuel and balast the teams are running for their fast laps. might be better to look at the long runs of the cars.

      1. Agree about the amount of rubber, but the track conditions should be warmer by the time Bareclona comes around, so I expect the times to go up not down. Also it’s good to see Sauber working on their qualifying form because it’s been really weak compared to their race pace. I feel if they can have good quali’s and reasonable race pace they will have a chance of podiums. A couple of times last season despite Kamui’s car they got the strategy right and ended up leading in Canada for a short time and a 4th place finish should have been theres at Monaco until Webber got lucky with the restart.

        1. lol, I meant down not up (my brain is in dyslexic mode this morning)

  9. My gut feeling is that RED BULL are going to have another cake walk this season. Their is something unspoken going on with this team and I get the feeling that they already know where they stand and are quietly preparing for a run that will demoralize the competetion. Sebastian Vettel will become three times world drivers champion and poor Mark Webber will again play the role of why not me.

    1. There is absolutely no way that Red Bull could know where they stand compared to everyone else. Not to mention that last year they actually had less advantage less year in terms of car performance than they did in 2010, they just had a better year.

      So I very much doubt that Red Bull will have an easy season.

      1. if hamilton didnt crack at every second race, and if button was a faster qualifier, then mclaren would have been in it with red bull, but their driver line up failed when often they had the car to match red bull.
        but red bulls preseason seems to be going in a similar way to last year, and never needing to do a qualifying lap.

  10. I know testing times mean nothing, but it is quite worrying, as others have mentioned that Caterham are always towards the back. You’d think that with the ban on the EBD and with them having KERS this year, that they’d pull back at least a little bit of the deficit (which was around 1-2 second towards the end of 2011, roughly). I really hope they are, otherwise Q1 will continue to be a little bit processional.

    1. It probably will be processional again but there’s always the question of who’s 18th on the grid.

  11. Good to see Kobayashi topping something, even if it is meaningless.

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