Perez quickest on rain-hit third day of testing

2012 F1 testing

Posted on

| Written by

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Barcelona, 2012

Sergio Perez was fastest for Sauber in the third day of the final test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Perez set his fastest time on soft tyres, edging Jenson Button by nine-thousandths of a second. The McLaren driver used the same compound for his time.

Third-placed Daniel Ricciardo used super-soft tyres to set a best time just six-hundredths of a second slower than Perez.

Felipe Massa used the same rubber to set the day’s fourth-best time, with a 1’22.413 in the Ferrari.

The Italian team set tongues wagging by cancelling their media activity at the track over the weekend, meaning their drivers will not be quizzed by journalists.

A 1’22.446 for Paul di Resta, also on super-soft tyres, gave him the fifth-fastest time.

McLaren and Red Bull ran new upgrades for their cars. Button had a quiet morning and logged just 44 laps by the end of the day.

Kimi Raikkonen also had limited running as the team made changes to the steering on his Lotus E20.

Rain fell at the circuit in the second half of the afternoon session, limiting the teams’ opportunity to run on slicks. However several drivers were able to do race simulations before the track became wet.

The session ended with the top nine drivers covered by less than nine-tenths of a second.

In marked contrast to yesterday there was just a single red flag during the session, caused by Bruno Senna’s Williams.

Meanwhile HRT confirmed they will not run in the final day of testing tomorrow. They are now aiming to give the F112 its first run in a filming day at the track on Monday.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari C311’22.094114
2Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-271’22.103440.009
3Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari STR71’22.1551310.061
4Felipe MassaFerrari F20121’22.4131220.319
5Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes VJM051’22.4461080.352
6Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault FW341’22.4801110.386
7Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault CT011’22.630640.536
8Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault RB81’22.662700.568
9Nico RosbergMercedes W031’22.9321290.838
10Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault E201’25.379433.285

Image © Sauber F1 Team

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

49 comments on “Perez quickest on rain-hit third day of testing”

  1. Jenson 0.009s behind the fastest driver again, as he was in qualifying for Japan last year.

    1. And everyone’s so close on pace! Let’s hope it remains close for the season opener onwards.

      1. No, thanks. Let’s keep it a 2 team fight;-)

        1. Na, lets make it a 4/5 car race. Atleast for a bit of the season before the development race kicks in and widens the gap.

        2. No way! I want it to be as open as possible!

  2. Today I found it quite interesting to see how different the approaches were between the teams, and off course the trouble that hit several of them today.

  3. Man I hope Ferrari have something up their sleeves.

    1. media activity getting canceled is a bad omen…

      1. Or they could be hiding something.

    2. Yup or they could end up being 5/6th ………………… hope they will be better in the race then this……….

    3. I know its only testing but the ban on the media speaking to anyone in Scuderia Ferrari seems a bit odd. Is it just for the day or tomorrow also?

      And yes, I would say it either means
      a) They are getting fed up with people asking if the cars a dog
      b) The car is a dog and its damage limitation/stop any leaks before Melbourne.

      1. Or:

        c) The car isn’t a dog, and they’d rather not tell anyone before Melbourne.

        1. everything ive read from people, both in lap time analysis and seeing the car on the track, leads me to suspect that its a bit of both a & b.

          When i say dog, I mean that its not with Mclaren and Redbull level of performance. At worst, the F2012 will be with the Merc and Lotus. Im not talking HRT speeds ofc ;)

          1. in otherwords it is status quo, dame as last year, red bull fastest, mclaren often matching them, and ferrari a solid 3rd. doesnt mean ferraris car is a dog, means they have all made similar progress.

  4. I wonder how effective the new red bull update is compared to the previous setup. Particularly the exhaust lay out. I imagine that mclaren will be having a look at the setup and comparing the results to that of their sidepod bulge as it’s essentially as though red bull have done a similar thing but extended the bodywork a little, also leaving a channel for air to flow around the sidepods, and over the diffuser and starter motor hole.

    What do ppl make of mclaren removing their snow plough?

    I’m also intrigued by what updates they’re adding tomorrow.

    1. Any pictures of the differences, i cant seem to find what people are referring to!
      Is it the bit behind the lower part of the nose?

      1. I would love to see the pictures of the red bull difference as well. Been searching the web for hours. Can’t find anything.

    2. asked how different the car felt, Webber replied: “Not massively to be honest. A few changes but not massively different, and we got through our normal programme.: ….. scarbs reckons Mclarens exhaust is quite similar in philosophy to Redbulls also…

      1. I mean pics of the snow plough, or without as is the case now, I don’t know what part people are referring to.

        1. @Preekel
          You can see it here.

          the lower image is with the snowplough and the upper is without.

          1. Thanks Guys, above and below, i thought they were referring to this but wasn’t 100% sure!

        2. here :

          if you compare this with the launched version, you can see something is missing just under the nose

      2. It’s interesting that Webber thinks that the Mercedes are very fast. That just fuels my thoughts that I reckon they might have leap-frogged Ferrari this year.

        Although having said that, the tyre degradation doesn’t look good.

        1. yeah I think you could be right, with Lotus also looking strong it means Q2 in oz is gonna be interesting…

        2. JamieFranklinF1…”the tyre degradation doesn’t look good”…and as NR points out, conditions will be quite different for the first two races from what they have had in Spain. Hot and less grip when as Button points out, in general, they are all dealing with less grip. Should be very interesting and we won’t know until Australia, and even then we won’t know for all the venues who will be strong and who will be less so.

          I just hope the top 6 teams are close and nobody runs away with it.

      3. My reply to Webber’s comment is the same as James Hunt’s comment in this link:

        1. *love it…@franton…not sure if its going to make COTD though…lol

          1. @The Edge : It’s ok. I’m fairly sure it won’t!

            But yeah, how can you suddenly turn up with a radically redesigned rear of the car that blows the diffuser far better than it previously did and call it not much of an improvement?

          2. how do you know it blows the diffuser far better than it did previously? it’s not guaranteed to work perfectly just because newey designed it….

          3. Lemon, because the previous car wasn’t blowing the diffuser at all? That’s a good place to start.

          4. that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to give a vast improvement to performance,.. the old exhaust layout may have made performance gains elsewhere…and has newey has admitted before their isn’t any where near as much performance to gain from exhaust blowing this year than there was last year…but unfortunately my engineering/aerodynamical knowledge is pretty limited, so i can only go on what I have picked up from other people….Despite this I do actually agree that webber was playing it down a little bit…

    3. I think Mclaren getting rid of the snowplough is interesting. It could mean 1 of 2 things:
      1: They have decided that it’s better to have the better airflow to the floor, and sacrifice some of the benefits that that snowplough provides. This would be a bit disappointing, as it means they probably would have been better off going for the higher, uglier stepped nose.
      2: They have found a way of getting the same benefits they got from the snowplough turning vane, with these new vertical turning vanes, and now have the benefit of better airflow to the floor.

      Judging by Jenson’s comments, and being an optimistic Mclaren fan, I suspect it’s probably the second. This is very positive for them and, possibly more important than the Red Bull upgrade, which I feel is not quite as big a deal as many are making out. Whilst they’ve clearly done a neat job with the exhausts, it’s nothing revolutionary, more like a mix between the Sauber and Mclaren systems. A big deal has been made out of it being a “new car” but just because it’s a new chassis doesn’t mean it’s a new car.

      Both teams will be adding further upgrades tomorrow and hopefully we will see some more running, including race sims from both. A lot of people ask for quali sims in testing but these are less useful as there are potentially more variables (more fuel difference, scrubbed vs new tyres, engine modes etc).

  5. I hope Button’s lack of laps and his pace is something that is shown throughout the season.

    1. Well, he did a lap 2 days ago that was 1 second slower on the hard compound (todays lap was on Softs), suggesting that he wasnt going all out today. Indeed, if you believe Whitmarsh, they wont be doing Qualy lap pratices until Melbourne. So potentially, we wont see any “Fast” laps from the Mclaren boys this weekend (and I dare say we can count Redbull in that too)

      1. i’d say theres a second or 2 left to come easy

  6. what are Ferrari playing at, cancelling the driver press conferences? They are just fueling the suspicion that their car is really, really bad.

    Apparently they want every member of the team to concentrate fully on the car!!…..really? Aren’t the conferences held AFTER each day’s testing?

    Heads must roll sharpish and let somebody else on the technical side try and get to grips with this car……. otherwise I can already see Vettel skipping and hopping away into the distance with the championship!

    Prancing horse indeed!!! More like thrashing mule!

        1. lol….. that’s priceless!!!!

        2. Lol nemo87…I see they’ve moved the step on the nose to the very front of it.

      1. I was going to say, they sacked Costa last season (whose now with Merc) and brought in Fry to shake things up!

        I wouldnt be scathing of him, if Aldo Costa is rubbing his hands together with glee at the thought of the Merc leapfrogging the Ferrari.

  7. I think the new updates themselves deserve to make the main article (certainly as much as these times that we are repeatedly told do not mean much) – the Red Bull exhaust is pretty clever, and I find it quite cool how it appears that they are copying Sauber (though it’s more likely to be a coincidence)

    1. It does look quite similar to the Sauber’s version, although it is slightly different. At first thought though, I thought that it was a copy of the McLaren’s design, without the ‘bulge’.

      It’ll be interesting to see if Red Bull are the ones who have fallen behind slightly :)

  8. delighted to see Heikki put in that time. Hope they can put a big challenge for Q2 in Melbourne and aim for points by mid season. I fear we could only have 20 cars on the grid in Melbourne with Marussia and HRT missing the 107 per cent. The more cars the better in my opinion.

  9. Is it me, or is this the first time Caterham finish within 1 s of the leading driver of the day? Hopefully they’ll finally get some points this year!

    1. From what we’ve seen so far, Caterham are looking pretty good. With a bit of luck, a top ten or two this year might not be out of the question. Fingers crossed!

      1. That’t won’t be easy tho. Most other teams, besides HRT and Marussia are looking strong.

        1. Yeah but if they are only 3-4tenths behind the other middle teams in race pace then depending on track and a strategy going well they can get the better of some of them a squeeze a 10 place once or two times.

  10. I bet @prisoner-monkeys is happy to see Lotus at the bottom of the pile! :D

Comments are closed.