Rosberg pips Raikkonen to top time in Barcelona

2013 F1 testing

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Nico Rosberg led the way as F1 testing resumed at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The Mercedes driver set the fastest time in the last half-hour of the session, producing a 1’22.616 on medium tyres.

But the team again did not enjoy a trouble-free day. Rosberg was sidelined by a gearbox fault in the morning.

Moments after he set the day’s top time Kimi Raikkonen almost replicated it on the same tyres. He ended up second-fastest, 0.007s off the Mercedes.

Sebastian Vettel led the times for most of the afternoon, but ended up fourth-quickest on a 1’22.965.

Fernando Alonso had his first day at the wheel of the Ferrari F138 and did most of his running on the hard tyres. He ended the test third-fastest having covered more laps than anyone else.

The Williams FW35 logged an impressive 86 laps in Pastor Maldonado’s hands following its launch this morning. He ended the day fifth.

Stoppages for Sauber and Caterham caused the day’s two red flags.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifferenceTyres
1Nico RosbergMercedes W041’22.61654Medium
2Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault E211’22.623440.007Medium
3Fernando AlonsoFerrari F1381’22.9521100.336Medium
4Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault RB91’22.965660.349Medium
5Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault FW351’23.733861.117Soft
6Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari STR81’23.884731.268Hard
7Sergio PerezMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-281’24.124771.508Medium
8Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes VJM061’24.144821.528Medium
9Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari C321’25.124682.508Hard
10Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth MR021’26.747654.131Soft
11Charles PicCaterham-Renault CT031’27.534494.918Hard

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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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58 comments on “Rosberg pips Raikkonen to top time in Barcelona”

  1. All that black heat proofing material at the back of the Merc must have made the difference!

  2. What was the best time from last year’s pre-season test at this circuit?

    1. The best time of 2012 tests at Barcelona was 1’22.030 by Raikonnen on the last day of the tests.
      For reference, the fastest time achieved on the first day testing in Barcelona in 2012 (21-Feb) was 1’23.265 achieved by Vettel.

  3. Would be good if they had a car that could upset the order regularly. Imagine a season where all of Mercedes, Williams, McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Lotus, Sauber and Force India would have a realistic shot of winning :-)

    1. Nah, compared to that season the others would be boring.

    2. @bascb

      It would be a DREAM!

      It would be outright slaughter and pure competition where only the best shine!!!

      I pray 2013 is like that! What fun is it to see domination?

      1. It would be boring for you all because Fernando would just win all the races. ;)

        1. @aimalkhan

          I love Alonso, dont mind his domination at all. I was rooting for him in Brazil last year.

          Im just saying its much better to see a slaughterhouse with cut throat competition than seeing the same face over and over again.

          1. Remember all of the politics when that happened at the beginning of last season with 7 different winners in 7 races. Teams were saying how it “wasn’t good for the sport” lol. Fans were having the best time!

        2. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
          19th February 2013, 17:02


          1. Agree Alonso would beat everyone. :)

          2. I think if there was backlash at all about the 7 different winners, it was because of the way (namely the regs) that saw lottery tires throw everyone huge curve balls in the first half particularly. The complaints were more about the tires having too much effect on the outcome than desireable. If there were actually 7 different winners who won through driver skill primarily, then that would truly be fantastic and drivers wouldn’t have lottery tires to offer as a reason. And I don’t think it has to take spec cars to achieve that.

        3. If Massa lets him pass and gives him positions in pole, yes!

          1. I like how everyone seems to conveniently forget the trouncing Alonso gave to Massa before the last few races of the season.

          2. @aimalkhan

            I like how everyone seems to conveniently forget Massa had to fear for his seat halfway through the season. So was it a case of Alonso trouncing Massa or Massa under-performing heavily?

        4. He was far from dominant when Lewis was his team8…

    3. I Love the Pope
      19th February 2013, 17:05

      That is a spec series. No thanks.

    4. I don’t want a spec series! I doubt it’d be total Alonso domination anyway: one could argue both Vettel & Hamilton have more “natural” speed.

      1. We will never truly know who is the outright fastest driver in the field, maybe Alonso is over rated and has always been given a much better spec car than his team mate through out his career? Maybe Charles Pic is the freakiest driver in the whole field if given the same equipment, the same treatment, the same track conditions? We will never really know in Formula 1…

        …and I like not knowing.

  4. Some good news at last for Mercedes, cue all the pundits stories on how clever Hamilton was to leave McL for Merc. At least until tomorrow.

    1. haha, So true !

    2. :D
      Yea, let’s savour the moment whilst it lasts.

  5. Good show by Rosberg, that certainly was a dramatic improvement after being stuck in the garage for a large portion of the test!

    I know that testing isn’t going to give us a reliable indication of how the cars are going to perform in the season because of various factors, however I am reassured that the Mercedes seems to be on par with the rest of field. I think Hamilton is going to do very well this season, as his past record seems to indicate that he is able to get some serious speed out of a car that isn’t the best on the grid. As long as the Mercedes isn’t too far of the pace of the front-runner, I think Hamilton will be able to get himself on the podium more or less consistently and might even secure a couple of wins.

    1. All that is fine . Its the last part of your comment that is crucial for his success . He needs to be more consistent .He needs to grind in the 4th and 5th place finishes when not on top . That , makes all the difference . Best example : vettel in early 2012

      1. He seemed to be pretty consistent in 2012, really. If you discount his DNFs, which were mainly due to reliability issues out of his control, Hamilton scored points in pretty much every race, and scored 7 podiums, 3 of which were wins. And considering that he retired from the lead in 3 of his DNFs, that would have amounted to 10 podiums which is pretty good going.

        I’d say that Hamilton needs luck more he needs consistency to be honest.

        1. I Agree, he just needs the luck.

          His consistency in 2011 was fantastic, just a shame it was consistency to crash with Massa. Last year he drove some fantastic races and really should have won the WDC. Such a shame Mclaren threw it away.

          I just Hope both Hamilton and Rosberg get a good car which is reliable. If Hamiton has the luck Schumacher had last year, he’s in for a rough season !

        2. It’s not down to luck, it’s down to unreliable car.

  6. Interesting… Vettel was only 1 tenth faster with mediums than the time with hards in the morning, he must had more fuel, he is the one who improved less…

    1. Didn’t Pirelli say the times between compounds would be closer this year/

  7. Marussia eight tenths quicker than caterham. Good show by them:D

  8. I know people say testing means nothing but merc do look top 5 top 4 team to me guys.I hope their good though because it would be a travesty imo if Hamilton only wins 1 championship the guy is so talented , he could still go down as 1 of the greats Last year e was mega .Hamilton won 4races and the most poles it just shows how bad reliability was .Hamilton could of finished with 7 wins he defo would of won Abu Dhabi , Singapore he was leading but could of come 2nd , as Vettel was close and brazil he would of won imo .Lewis could of won the last 3 races .I know some might say to many ifs and maybe’s but Hamilton was leading these races far into the Grand Prix.

    How good would it be to see the big 3 at it again I can only dream lol

  9. Francis Nderitu
    19th February 2013, 16:58

    Having followed the action the whole day. I think the only point is that the lotus is the closest challenger to the Red Bull so far. The time set by Rosberg is not representative to the other teams and thus I say the teams to watch out for are Red Bull, Lotus, Mclaren, Ferrari, Force India and Mercedes. All teams follow that order but I stand to be corrected

  10. something Interesting in this pic

  11. 1:22,9 from Alonso was on hard or medium tyres?

    1. According to most sites he was on medium tyres

      1. Hard tyres would be a surprise. Thanks!

  12. @st91 if that is true it would point to Red Bull perhaps putting more fuel in as they no doubt would have seen the times tumbling so maybe they put another couple of laps worth of fuel in Sebs car to not show too much pace?

    The hadline times are great and being a Hamilton fan it’s good to see Rosberg topped the times, but what I’d like to know is how consistent his longer runs were earlier in the days when compared to say Alonsos and Vettels? That’s the sort of info that gives you a better picture, obviously you still dont know what fuel they had at the time but its a better indication than the fastest lap they did all day.

    Anyone have any of that info available?

    1. Vettel’s best lap in the morning was 1:23.046 with hard tyres and his best on mediums was 1:22.965 more or less only a tenth between them so he obviously had more fuel when he was on mediums.

      And on this page you have all test lap times

  13. What to say? We don’t know the programmes everybody follows. Based on recent history however, I dare say Caterham and Marussia aren’t sandbagging.
    For the rest: let’s see in Australia

  14. Kimi: 44 laps are enough. I’m fast anyway. Where is my ice cream?

    1. They had problems with their data transfer system.

  15. The red bull is definitely the fastest here because it ran 1:23.046 on the hard tyre and 1:22,965 with the medium , that’s an improvement of about a tenth of second only meaning the red bull most probably had a huge load of fuel .

  16. I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but the Mercedes time was faster today (1:22’616) than their best qualifying time at this track from last year (1’22.882). Obviously, the car is better. So, how much faster is it really compared to last year? Ditto for all of the other cars as well. Hopefully the times will keep tumbling and we will get an answer this week.

  17. Sadly, I think that’s about the only session Mercedes will be topping the timesheets in this season!

  18. I kinda want Rosberg to be faster than Hamilton. You can call me hater if you want, but I do dislike HAM. Lets see how that goes. At least we’ve seen that Rosberg isn’t slow at all.

    1. @chebeto0 – you’re already much better than half of the anti-Vettel bandwagon because you’re admitting the fact that you just don’t like him instead of coming up with excuses, so kudos to you sir!

    2. I am a big Hamilton fan, all the most talented drivers have their detractors due to that fans allegiance to their competitor. Having said that I think Nico Rosberg is going to be closer to Hamilton than some give him credit. Rosberg is no slouch, just ask schumacher.

      1. I think there is a good chance NR will be faster than LH, at least initially. The cars are an extension of last year’s, and they have a ton more data on NR than LH. Although LH did use Merc engines, so there’s a nice tie in for him that way. To me it is LH that will have to do the catching up as the team continues to progress and evolve in this new chapter for them. If LH is out of the box faster, I’ll be surprised, and I think NR has shown good resilience and he has the experience and confidence of besting MS for 3 years, and winning his first race last year. I’ll think it is only onward and upward for NR, and LH could/should have his hands full. I think they’ll be a blast to watch.

        1. Ha lol Hamilton catching up u serious the guy is at his peak .I agree will find out how good Ros is but Ham is a class act as proved by last season and that Merc does look better , Ham will be fine im sure he is talented enough to get regular podiums , you don’t become a bad driver for moving teams Alo has done it enough and it has not affected him , and they real close to the same ability.

          1. I don’t question LH’s abilities. I merely suggest that it would be understandable if LH and the team needed time to gel and that I believe initially, while the gelling occurs, NR, who has already gelled with the team and knows their ways and they his, may have the upper hand. This was not meant as an insult to LH. Just a reality of F1. If LH has the upper hand out of the box, as I say, I will be surprised, and good on LH if it happens…I just don’t expect it. He has never been on a non-top-3 team. He may find himself frustrated initially, and scrambling for answers that come more easily on a proven top 3 team. He has already expressed the reality that communicating with the team has been different…they say things differently and think differently than he was used to at Mac. Don’t get me wrong, I wish him the best, but I still say that he may have his hands full with NR, who has obviously maximized that car better than a 7 time WDC could. So there’s no reason to think that LH is going to trounce NR out of the box, and I think the only chance of that is if somehow the car, which LH had nothing to do with influencing, suits him extremely well and NR not at all…and I think the odds on that are slim.

  19. And HE said, “Let there be an Increase in the SPEED of the MERCEDES, and let it separate the Good from the Best.”

    Game ON Lewis !!!!!!!! Way to Go !!!!! :)

  20. Sandbag that Redbull!
    Go Mercedes….

  21. While it looks like good news for Mercedes, the gearbox fault is what troubles me.

    They’ve stopped one session due to the car catching fire, another due to brakes not working, and sat out a portion of this session due to gearbox issues.

    To me, if they cannot go through the rest of testing without fault, speed really won’t matter since their car will just fail, regardless of whether it’s during qualifying or the race. I hope I’m wrong and that they’re able to challenge for some wins, but they’re giving me some serious doubts.

    I understand that part of testing is to iron out these issues… but they have to make some tremendous leaps if they want to be competitive and reliable.

    1. Nobody knows more than them what leaps they need to make. And F1 usually doesn’t work in leaps. I think Merc deserves some time and for us to all see every car get through the first race before we try to predict reliability, because the season is a work in progress, and every team will have unreliability to some degree or other throughout the season. Even if they both konk out in the first race, that is no guarantee that their season will carry any more unreliability than any other team when all is said and done and averaged out.

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