Grosjean tops the times again in disrupted session

2012 F1 testing

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Romain Grosjean was fastest again in Barcelona

Romain Grosjean headed the testing times fos a second day in a row at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The start of the session was delayed due to fog. The morning running was repeatedly interrupted by a series of red flags.

Michael Schumacher caused two of them in his Mercedes, and Pastor Maldonado, Sebastian Vettel and Vergne all stopped on the track as well.

In addition to the fog, there was a further red flag for debris. Nico Hulkenberg caused the eighth and final red flag after the lunch break.

In between the red flags, Vergne posted a lap of 1’23.126 on soft tyres to go fastest. He had just switched to super-softs for another effort when his car stopped on the track, and after that was missing for much of the remainder of the session.

But late in the session Grosjean beat his time with a 1’22.614, also set on soft tyres.

Vettel used medium tyres to post the third-fastest time later on in the day. Fourth fastest was Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, setting a 1’23.447 on hards, before running a race simulation in the afternoon.

Heikki Kovalainen used super-soft tyres to set the fifth-fastest time, 1.2s off Grosjean’s pace. He, Alonso and Grosjean did the most running, each completing more than 100 laps.

Kamui Kobayashi lost over an hour with an hydraulic leak. But Hulkenberg lost a significant amount of time when his car stopped with a driveline issue, limiting him to just 33 laps.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault E201’22.614124
2Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari STR71’23.126450.512
3Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault RB81’23.361850.747
4Fernando AlonsoFerrari F20121’23.4471250.833
5Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault CT011’23.8281041.214
6Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari C311’23.836771.222
7Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes VJM051’23.893361.279
8Michael SchumacherMercedes W031’23.978791.364
9Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-271’24.111651.497
10Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault FW341’24.925482.311
11Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault FW341’25.801203.187

2012 F1 season

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Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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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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54 comments on “Grosjean tops the times again in disrupted session”

  1. This renault has been fastest or at the top of the time sheets at all of the winter tests… romain said the car is very easy to drive and when it gets out of shape, it’s easy to read and understand to gain back control.

    Kimi Raikkonen @ 33/1 for the world championship… i think that’s looking a good bet for 2012! Romain @ 88/1 for the world championship too… hmmm.

    1. At the end of the last test last year Sauber set the fastest time, Torro Rosso were 4th fastest, Williams 5th fastest.

      Unfortunately for those teams those were not their relative positions throughout the season.

      Very few conclusions can be drawn by us viewers during testing.

      1. Agree, but today they went for a 66 laps run (longer stint of all teams) with reasonable times.
        To do that you obviously aren`t on super softs or low fuel.

        1. Like he said, testing can be misleading because many teams don’t actually try to set fast times.

    2. The lotus quite good yeh but do they have the money to maintain their development and stay ahead of the bigger teams who can bring updates, big or small, to nearly every race?????
      And bear in mind that the 1st race is a better show of pace than the testing goin on now!!!!

      1. What a lot of people forget about Lotus, is that in their previous guise of Renault, they were very good at developing mid-season prior to 2011. In 2008 they won 2 (well, you know…) races at the end of the year due to development and in 2010 they were continuously putting on new parts that worked well, developing just as well, if not better than the top teams. In 2011 they had a concept (forward facing exhausts) that made the car very difficult to develop, but this obviously doesn’t apply this year. They have an experienced driver in Kimi, and I personally see no reason why they shouldn’t be able to develop the way they did throughout 2010.

        There long run was very positive today compared to Ferrari; even on the stints that seemed most comparable in terms of tyres (scrubbed vs new). Can’t wait to see where they compare against Mclaren and Red Bull over the next couple of days, but I suspect they will be quite a bit off the pace.

        1. JAke makes an excellent point regarding Lotus/Renault’s development rate. I remember the season of their Honey Bee livery I believe they had a new front wing at almost every race, it was absolutely nuts!!

          Although saying their long run pace compared to Ferrari’s is good, isn’t saying much as Ferrari’s looks to be some way off RBR’s and Macca’s long run pace.

  2. Looks like Mercedes are struggling with tyre degradation, looking at lap times, massive difference between first and last lap of the stints, than any other team….hope this years car is not a lemon!!

  3. Nice to see Caterham right in the middle of the table, even if it means nothing!

    Maybe it has to do with Heikki’s weight loss. 3 kilos yesterday because of that food poisoning he got!

    1. Now they found out secret of performance!

      1. The chef has already been instructed by Fernandes to poison Heiki before every weekend.

    2. @fer-no65 I was just thinking that about the table too! Been a while since we’ve seen Kovalainen so high up.

  4. I hope the McLaren new parts are not doing the opposite of what they are supposed to, i know they been looking good so far but dont like to see em to far down the times, even if they mean nothing ;)

    1. really…

      seeing them so far down gave me confidence, means their happy with what their doing, steadily working through their test programme…touch wood

  5. Renault looks quite good, Red Bull still there, Mclaren either, Ferrari improving while Mercedes slides…I can feel Ferrari finding the way to breakthrough but I’m not sure they’re faster than Merc or Lotus and close to Red Bull…I hope they are.

    1. Ferrari don’t need a break through, don’t believe the media there is and has never been anything wrong with the Ferrari.

      As for Lotus, just reassuring the sponsors, after their screw up, nothing more, they are 4 – 5th placed team at best.

      1. BTW, I’d put Ferrari 3rd, so I suppose you could consider they need a break through if you don’t consider 3rd good enough for them ;-)
        Brundle has said they are look like Mclaren last year out of the corners “a bit of a handful’ so they’ll be competing for the win come China then ;-)

        1. of course 3rd is not good enough for them! they’re Ferrari.

  6. Still find really hard to believe any testing times. Its no secret Lotus needs sponsorship. They lost Petrov’s money and I dont think the Lotus Group has the budget to run the team and develop the car for the whole season. Call me a cynical but the headlining grabbing times are just another tool to boost the team image and draw sponsors. Cant blame them though, in the current climate…
    We will have to wait till Melbourne I think.

  7. Hard to read into these timings and data. To me it seems Lotus are doing great, and can hold good pace very easily. RedBull seem quick too, but aren’t showing their 1-lap pace and are instead doing quick-looking long stints. Mclaren had an odd day, and where either sandbagging, or having issues with some new parts. They didn’t show any impressive stuff today. Ferarri are getting in better shape, Mercedes AMG struggeling with tier wear. Can’t wait until Melbourne :)

  8. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
    2nd March 2012, 17:21

    Alonso was only a tenth off Vettel on the hard tyres and Vettel was on the medium. Also Ferrari did more than 100 laps which is good..
    15 days to go :D

    1. Yea, definitely not a bad sign though I’m not sure they’re really fast as Red Bull yet. Hopefully it would not slower than last year…

      1. With Alonso they do not necessarily need a car that is faster than Red Bull I think. If they can get as fast or only a little slower than Red Bull, Alonso will be a true contender for the championship. He showed ast year that he can squeeze anything out of that car, and a bit more.

        1. That’s what I want after dominant car from Ferrari :D He may not win title this year but I don’t want to see he’s lapped due to bad car again.

      2. *last

  9. 13 days till Melbourne race weekend.

    1. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
      2nd March 2012, 19:30

      Really? Friday practice 1 is on the 16th of March so its 15 days I thought..yup just counted it on the calender

      1. “” 13 days and 5 hours till practice one

    2. You too are a bit simple, aren’t you ? It’s Friday today and it’s on a Friday in two weeks time 12 hours or so early as it’s on the other side of the world.

      1. I meant you two obviously, LOL.

        1. You too are a bit simple

          Haha, :D

  10. Shane (@f1champion18)
    2nd March 2012, 18:50

    Red Bull and McLaren are joint 1st at the minute in terms of pace. Lotus look strong. I know it’s only testing, but they look really good. Mercedes not too bad either. Ferrari have work to do.

    1. How does Ferrari have work to do if they were only 1/10 slower than Redbull using Hard Tyres? Explain this to me.

      1. Shane (@f1champion18)
        2nd March 2012, 19:05

        So, by your reckoning Lotus and Toro Rosso are both faster than Red Bull? McLaren have lost a second all of a second have they? Ferrari don’t have the same pace as RB and McLaren, that’s plain to see for everyone and their reliability isn’t great either.

        1. That’s pretty much what you are implying! If you are saying Ferrari have work to do than so do everyone else like Mclaren and Mercedes. Your a blind McLaren loyalist if you think Red Bull and McLaren are on the same pace.

          1. Shane (@f1champion18)
            2nd March 2012, 19:24

            But what you’re saying is that Ferrari don’t have work to do just because they are a second behind RB on hard tyres. Who knows what fuel load they had. Maybe RB had heavy fuel. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve made an improvement since testing began, but work is still to be done.

      2. I read that times were dropping significantly on the long run. But that can be due to the fact they used tyre sets which were in different shape. Pat Fry admitted today that the work window of the car is still very narrow. They clearly have to work on that.

        1. No No…

          @Truly is of course correct…

          It’s the blind McLaren loyalist’s, every F1 journalist & probably the rest of the world who are quite clearly wrong

      3. @Truly

        Appears that Ferrari are a bit more then 1/10th behind RedBull & Mclaren, they appear to be there or there abouts with Lotus & Mercedes at the moment. If the link’s author is correct its a larger amount of time over a race then just 1/10th p/lap.

      4. *cough* fuel *cough*

  11. Seems as though tyre degradation might be a factor. From various snippets (Autosport), Schumacher lost almost four seconds in an 8 lap stint on softs (the first two seconds lost within five laps) and Alonso lost around 2.5 secs. in a 7 lap stint on hards.

    Does anyone have comparable numbers from last year?

  12. sid_prasher (@)
    2nd March 2012, 19:18

    Good to see a fast lotus. The more teams that are near the top the better it is for the season.
    Ferrari doing so many laps suggest that reliability issues are sorted out and that the data collected is proving useful. I hope merc is not slipping.

  13. was last years Sauber not excellent on its tyre’s?

    didn’t do them much good did it

    1. Maybe it did. They got an awful lot of points at the start of the season, that on raw pace/budget they probably didn’t deserve.

      As other teams caught up on tyre knowledge their race advantage disappeared, and they generally finished outside the points.

    2. @The-Edge From what I remember at Melbourne last year Sauber did indeed do really well on the tyres. Perez pitted once and Kobayashi twice. Of course, they were disqualified in the end, but that wasn’t anything to do with the tyres. @carsvschildren got it right though. Their advantage slipped away very quickly.

  14. It will be intresting tomorrow with red bull flying out a new car.

  15. I love how slow lap times for Red Bull and McLaren is ‘Sandbagging’ and the same for Ferrari and Mercedes is ‘Struggling’

    Truth is, Marussia may have the most radical car that comes along in Melbourne and blitz everyone, or Toro Rosso have been sandbagging lots more than everyone else, or Red Bull have made a dog and Newey has been working crazily for the past 2 weeks on a new car to try and save face.

    I don’t think any of these will end up being true, but as nothing else is true yet, they can be taken in the same vein as ‘OMG McLaren are sooo slow they obviously are sandbagging and will obliterate everyone in Melbourne’ and ‘HAHAHAHHAHAHA Ferrari are soooooo stupid they made a radical car and it’s not 7 seconds faster than everyone else bet they try and bribe BE and JT for a title now’

    1. Exactly.

    2. but @sam3110 its not the times that make people say Ferrari & Mercedes are struggling…its the two teams themselves.

      More importantly its also the commentators who are physically watching Ferrari struggle round the corners, having to continually correct the steering and having the rear slide

      Don’t take my word for it…surf the Net dude

  16. I’m slowly starting to think that Lotus aren’t just doing glory runs.. This seems incredibly consistent, and they weren’t off the pace in the 1st test if I remember rightly…
    Don’t want to say anything too big, but I’m certainly gonna keep an eye on them..

    1. whatever makes you feel better!!! it tells a different story tho that Ferrari fans are making comparisons to lotus………!

  17. What’s “a driveline issue”? Is that when the car is off-kilter and doesn’t go exactly in the direction it’s pointing?

  18. Yet again, expected this!

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