Grosjean fastest for Lotus as testing resumes in Barcelona

2012 F1 testing

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Barcelona, 2012

Lotus declared themselves happy with the modifications made to their front suspension after setting the pace as testing resumed at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Romain Grosjean set the quickest time using soft tyres in the final half-hour of the session.

Second-fastest was Jenson Button, who did his best time in the McLaren in the morning running.

Mark Webber spent much of the day doing longer runs before setting a personal best of 1’23.380 on mediums later on in the day.

The session was stopped twice, once when Sergio Perez ran out of fuel in his Sauber, and again when Vitaly Petrov came to a stop in the Caterham. Petrov had taken over from team mate Heikki Kovalainen who is suffering from food poisoning, but is expected to be able to drive later on in the test.

Nico Rosberg was the busiest runner of the day, completing 128 laps.

There was little to choose between the drivers, with the top eight covered by little more than a second.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault E20 1’23.252 73
2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes MP4-27 1’23.510 64 0.258
3 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari C31 1’23.820 118 0.568
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault RB8 1’23.830 102 0.578
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W03 1’23.992 128 0.740
6 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR7 1’24.216 113 0.964
7 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes VJM05 1’24.305 98 1.053
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari F2012 1’24.318 105 1.066
9 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault CT01 1’24.876 123 1.624
10 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault FW34 1’25.587 58 2.335

2012 F1 season

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Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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Keith Collantine
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37 comments on “Grosjean fastest for Lotus as testing resumes in Barcelona”

  1. Buttons lap was done on the Hard tyre wasnt it? Would love to know his fuel load at the time!!

    1. Yes, he was on the hard tyre. Fuel load is anyone’s guess since he only made a few laps before going back in.

    2. grossjean – soft
      button – hard
      perez – medium*
      webber -medium

      *it was a unbranded prototype medium rubber wich i can bet is sighly faster than normal mediums

      1. Does anyone know if mclaren and red bull have used any of the soft tyres to set a time ?

        1. just look at photos from the f1 website, you can see yellow markings on the tyres.

      2. No it’s not faster, those unmarked tyres are completely the same @rvirui asked Pirelli about those tyrese and they are part of Pirelli’s contingency plan in case for whatever reasons the Turkey plant will have a problem with producing the F1 tyres in time. So these were exactly the same compounds and structures, only produced in a different, unidentified plant.
        I guess the test was meant to show that there really is no difference, meaning that Pirelli have excellent quality control and processess in their factories to be able to produce the tyres elsewhere without a difference for F1.

    3. Wonder why JB didn’t get many laps under the belt today as others, heard McLaren were testing upgrades but they would need as much mileage possible.

      1. @ Younger Hamii Ive read that days 1 & 2 are for Race sims, the last 2 will be upgrade analysis days

      2. According to the test report, today was about quality not quantity and they were trying some set up work which takes a long time to change, experimenting for Melbourne!

    4. Unfortunately for JB fans, the BBC’s Andrew Benson is reporting that Pirelli have clarified that Button’s fastest time yesterday was actually set on soft tyres. Not therefore as impressive as if it had indeed been set with hard tyres.

  2. Just take note of the Caterham, Petrov has done a 1.24.8, now their qualifying time from the Spanish Grand Prix 2011 was 1.25.4 from Heikki, now he’d probably be a bit quicker than Petrov at this time because he’s more familiar with the team/car, and they are probably keeping a second or two at hand, that car is a massive step forward for them, quite easily I believe to be racing Toro Rosso and Williams!!!

    1. but so is every team, midfield clocked 23 and 24s in qualifying and now they are easily breaching 22s, this year cars indeed are faster.

    2. oli, making 1 or 2 seconds is great. The only problem is if the surrounding teams make 3-4 seconds lol, which we’ll only find out in Australia Q1

    3. @oli – Can I just point out, although the time from qualifying last year for Kovalainen was a 1:25, in pre-season testing last year he managed a low 1:23

      1. how did that happen?!

        1. Beczuse during tesing they have four or five different componds while during the races, they have two which may not necessarily be the optimum. One may also add that the waether is usually colder during the tests.

          1. You’re right here, they could have gone 1.23 on supersofts in testing while 2011 tyre allocation for Spain was soft. But ~2 seconds difference? Interesting.

            And I always thought the warmer weather, the faster. Was I wrong?

          2. And the rubber on the track is built up more in testing.

        2. Yes, I’m curious too. Perhaps they may test underweighted, or can’t they?

          1. Im sure there is a minimum weight limit.
            Irrespective of that, theres no point testing the car at a weight to which it wont race at. The purpose of the tests is to see what the car is like, so running it at anything other then what its meant to be will give you stacks of data that cant be used to set the car up.

          2. I don’t think, disregarding safety issues, they have to abide by all the rules in testing.

  3. Grosjean set his time on the soft Jenson on the hard

    1. And I thought I could shout from the rooftop that Lotus is the team to beat…

      1. Sarcasm is spilling out of my screen.

  4. Ferrari has done 100 laps finally!

    1. 100 slow laps it seems…

  5. i told everyone watch out for Lotus. we r here to stay and Kimi is baq! im still a Ferrari fan tho, but more so a Kimi fan! show them ur better than Alonso!

  6. McLaren look much closer to Red Bull according to Martin Brundle

  7. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    1st March 2012, 17:56

    on other news… Heiki is trying to recover after being food-poisoned during a private meal with Vitaly Petrov, who got the benefit of running today

    1. Ha ha! I think it was a private meal with Jarno Trulli… :)

      On a serious note, I hope Heikki gets well soon and is able to drive on his allotted days.

  8. Upgrades Friday night and at Melbourne for McLaren, Brundle already saying we looking good, hope it all plays out the way we want!

  9. Spain? Food poisoning? Ahhh I remember the 80’s :)

  10. Yes.slow laps but more than the Maclaren. Ferrari hasn’t look for time. Read the comments from today. At the middle of the day, a few boxes of new components arrive. So they are putting more Abd more new parts to the car than anybody else and in order to know if they work., the laps must be done under the same conditions, in order to know which ones work and which one doesn’t. So you clearly hate ferrari

  11. It says in the text Webber did 1’23.380 but in the table it says 1’23.830. Which is correct? It makes quite a difference

  12. Not at all a surprise that Lotus came out on top. I expect to see them all over the time sheet this week.

    I love how much people still speculate :D That’s the entertaining part for me.

    1. They obviously wanted to test the maximum performance of the car to see if it resited to the aeroidynamic forces or if it had the same problem as before, whilst the other teams had no need to push.

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