Driver line-up confirmed for final pre-season test

2012 F1 testing

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F1 teams have confirmed their driver line-ups for the final test ahead of the new season.

The four-day test starts tomorrow at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Ten teams have confirmed they will be present with their 2012 F1 cars, including Lotus, who abandoned their running in last week’s test after discovering a problem with their E20 chassis.

Here is the full list of who will be driving:

Team Car Thursday 1st Friday 2nd Saturday 3rd Sunday 4th
Red Bull RB8 Mark Webber Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber Sebastian Vettel
McLaren MP4-27 Jenson Button Lewis Hamilton Jenson Button Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari F2012 Felipe Massa Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa Fernando Alonso
Mercedes W03 Nico Rosberg Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg Michael Schumacher
Lotus E20 Romain Grosjean Romain Grosjean Kimi Raikkonen Kimi Raikkonen
Force India VJM05 Paul di Resta Nico Hulkenberg Paul di Resta Nico Hulkenberg
Sauber C31 Sergio Perez Kamui Kobayashi Sergio Perez Kamui Kobayashi
Toro Rosso STR7 Jean-Eric Vergne Jean-Eric Vergne Daniel Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo
Williams FW34 Pastor Maldonado Bruno Senna/Pastor Maldonado Pastor Maldonado/Bruno Senna Bruno Senna
Caterham CT01 Heikki Kovalainen Heikki Kovalainen Vitaly Petrov Vitaly Petrov

Marussia will not be at the test having failed to pass one of the FIA’s crash tests with their new MR01 chassis.

It remains to be seen whether HRT will be present at the test. The team said yesterday: “We’re working as hard as we can to try and make it to testing in Barcelona this week.”

Red Bull and Ferrari had previously tried to move their test dates to March 2nd-5th. However this was forbidden by the FIA following a rules clarification.

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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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39 comments on “Driver line-up confirmed for final pre-season test”

  1. Hoping to see some quali simulation laps here

    1. Even if we do, not knowing all the teams testing plans make it largely just speculation as per the previous two tests.

  2. Looking forward to this one as we would finally get an idea as to where each team stands. Regarding HRT, even if they are a day or two late, can they still join the test halfway? I will be overjoyed for them if they make it. What a step up it would be from the last two years where for the first race they dint make it and on the second occaison they fell under 107%.

    1. @mahavirshah They were at the first race in 2010:

      2010 Bahrain Grand Prix result

      To answer your question, I don’t think there’s any reason why they wouldn’t be allowed to join in the test halfway through.

  3. Looks like the first 4 teams have gone for the 2nd driver, 1st driver, 2nd driver, 1st driver format.. Or is that a coincidence?

    1. I also noticed that straight away but hmmm that does mean Lewis is back to number one.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        1st March 2012, 16:09

        Button is the #1 driver because he’s driving car #3.

    2. @mw I asked one of the teams why there’s more driver rotation going on at this test and the indication was that it makes it easier to do back-to-back comparisons, presumably between set-up changes and different components. Or, indeed, to get the views of both drivers of the car in similar states.

      As for which drivers run on which dates, I wouldn’t assume it is automatically the case that the ‘number ones’ appear on one day and the ‘number twos’ appear on another. Different teams will have different testing programmes and the teams may allow the drivers a say in when they run.

      Furthermore, half of your four ‘number ones’ were beaten by their team mates last year, so are they really the pre-eminent drivers in those teams?

      1. @Keith Collantine The driver rotation makes sense.. I think the premium slot though has to be 2nd on the rota..
        Also, I don’t proclaim to be an expert, but Schumacher and Hamilton have to be No.1 drivers in reality don’t they?
        Mercedes stratgey is built around the Schumacher/Brawn Bucket list plan. And Hamiltons blip last year still leaves him favorite statistically, looking at his record, even if the new tyre/ auto-pass button scenario favours Button. I think any team will recognise that Hamilton has the edge, it must be jumping off the telemetry screens..

        1. @MW I really fail to see, personally, how having a teams number one driver on any particular day versus his teammate on another day tells us anything.

          It offers no advantage.

          1. @AndrewTanner Here’s 3 reasons why

            1. Running 2nd means you trial a more developed car and benefit from developments in your teammates car aswell as your own.
            2. Running in thelast day of the last test before Oz means that you get to trial the car which willactually run on the day.
            3. Vettel and Alonso are clearly No.1s and Schumi and Hamilton are likely to be so it looks like the teams tthink theres an advantage.

            That makes sense to me anyway :)

          2. @mw Hmm, I’m not convinced…

            1. The car will be developed the more miles that are put on the clock, regardless of who’s driving, but it could largely depend on the set-up for a particular driver or what they’re trying to achieve at that particular time.

            2. Set-up changes and general feel for downforce will vary considerably I imagine, not to mention the raft of updates that will be applied before Melbourne. Certainly the chassis will see little change, but that’s not where the development is targeted.

            3. Considering Rosberg has beaten Schumacher over the course of a season, twice, AND that Rosberg has time on his side, I can’t see Schumacher being number one. I can’t see Rosberg being number one either. I doubt they employ that mentality, even with Brawn at the helm.

            Only my opinion of course :D

      2. I think only in McLaren there is no clear number one. It´s clear in Ferrari and RB even if they deny it!!! In case of Merc, it is also clear that no matter how good Nico drives, MS will be their number one (which I think is ridiculous)…

        1. Nico hasn’t accomplished much of anything and I think Schumacher can rest on his laurels…not really ridiculus if you think about…

          1. I couldn’t agree more. Schumacher has done nothing but rest on his laurels at Mercedes while Rosberg outclasses him at every turn.

      3. Thanks for that @keithcollantine I also noticed that straight away.

    3. I don’t really see that because I would never put Jenson Button in the ‘2nd driver’ position as I would with Webber or Massa, especially after last season.

  4. The so called “big guns” have through out testing been on track on the same days: Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel.

    Expect to see a clearer picture of where the “unknown” Ferrar team lye, and which team between Mclaren and Redbull have the edge!

    1. I have thought that as well. Is that a coincidence? It has always been Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso (what the audience call “the big 3”)

      1. You also have to take into account in wich days the team put upgrades to the car. i think the teams try to get both drivers do mileage in the car in the same spec. so based on this for example Lotus are runing the same spec in the 4 days. while Ferrari, Mclaren and redbull might put a further upgrade on the 3rd day and have feedback from both drivers.

  5. With HRT having their new base of operations in Spain, you’d think that making it to Barcelona would be a lot less trouble than in previous years, and yet they still have failed to test their 2012 challenger.

  6. I’ve been following F1 since 2000. This is the 12th year and always been a Mclaren fan. Only 1 drivers title since then. This year has to be Mclarens year, but hell I say that every year.

    1. Well, they could have won more if Kimi’s car was more reliable :'(

      Hamilton could have also won in 2010 i felt had he had a bit more luck with reliability. Although I note the same is the case for Vettel, and he still won.

      Not to mention they would have won the constructors in 2007 had it not been for the scandle.

  7. Keith, is there any word on when the Marussia MR-01 will be launched, given that they won’t be at the test? Are they allowed to launch a car that has failed a crash test?

    1. @prisoner-monkeys @keithcollantine I’m keen to see it also, if only for the livery. Interested to see what Virgin pulling out has done.

      1. @andrewtanner – I’m pretty sure it will be similar to their GP2 (with Carlin) and GP3 (with Manor) designs: like the Sauber C31, but with red and black instead of grey and white.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys Ah yeah. I think I saw you mention that elsewhere a few days ago. Thanks.

  8. If I was designing a rota I would do this:-
    Day 1 – thoughtful, sensitive driver, particularly one with a feel for the new tyres. Why? To get engineering feedback and a bit of pace.
    Day 2 – brave, fast driver, one who can take the new info & use it on a track with a bit of rubber down. Why? Feedback on pace and how the tyres work “in extremis”.
    Day 3: hedge against bad weather, put day 1 driver back in. Try to make sense of the (probably contradictory) data gained from day 2.
    Day 4: hedge against bad weather, put day 2 driver back in. Try to push the performance further on a fully rubbered-in track.

    Makes sense to me, but three or four of the teams clearly have other priorities (Caterham, Lotus, Toro Rosso).

    1. makes perfect sense to me, I would have to agree.

      1. One reason for Lotus; Get the base set up from Roman, they allow Kimi to fine tune it over the last 2 days so it is in the best position possible for Race day.

  9. Are the teams only allowed to run one car per day?

  10. Sunday looks a good day. 5 of the 6 world champions on track. Teams might be tempted to actually show what their cars can do.

    1. @mclarenfanjamm All the teams will be out to show what they can do. But it depends on their competitors testing protocol for that day as to whether or not the data will be of any significance and of course, we don’t know how the teams are testing.

  11. It’s really good to see Lotus back for the final test. It would have been terrible if they had missed out on another week. I hope they catch up on their missed work and have some smooth running.

  12. I am in Barcelona till saturday and i am wondering where to buy tickets for thursday or friday. Can i buy the ticket on the circuit or do i need to order them online?

    1. You can buy the tickets at the circuit or at any “ATM” machine of La Caixa – ServiCaixa (Spanish bank). The price is 15€

      1. Thanks for the info antizyklon. I appreciate it.

  13. I expect that we will see Lotus all over the time-sheets the next few days, trying to cram in lost time from last week.

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