Perez on top as lap times fall in Barcelona

2013 F1 testing

Posted on

| Written by

Sergio Perez was quickest for McLaren on the second day of testing in Barcelona.

Perez’s lap of 1’21.848 was two-tenths faster than the quickest time seen in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya last year and four-tenths quicker than the pole position time at last year’s Spanish Grand Prix.

As was the case yesterday, Sebastian Vettel headed the times for much of the session. The Red Bull driver caused the first red flag of the day when his car stopped at the pit lane exit 45 minutes before the end of the session.

It was another day of limited running for Kimi Raikkonen. He lost several hours’ running due to a gearbox problem, having been delayed by a telemetry fault yesterday.

After spending much of the session in the pits he quickly set the third-fastest time after he rejoined the track.

Lewis Hamilton had a busy day for Mercedes, completing 121 laps in the W04. Charles Pic was the only other driver to pass the hundred laps mark, enjoying better reliability from his Caterham on the second day.

The session effectively ended when Max Chilton stopped on the track with five minutes to go, causing a second red flag. Marussia had paused their running earlier in the day so their engineers could spend time evaluating the data they had gathered.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifferenceTyres
1Sergio PerezMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-281’21.84897Soft
2Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault RB91’22.197840.349Soft
3Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault E211’22.697430.849Medium
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes W041’22.7261210.878Hard
5Fernando AlonsoFerrari F1381’23.247761.399Medium
6Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault FW351’23.561981.713Soft
7Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari STR81’23.718701.870Medium
8Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes VJM061’23.971622.123Medium
9Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari C321’24.205882.357Medium
10Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth MR021’25.115673.267Soft
11Charles PicCaterham-Renault CT031’26.2431024.395Medium

2013 F1 season

Browse all 2013 F1 season articles

Image © F1 Fanatic |

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.

59 comments on “Perez on top as lap times fall in Barcelona”

  1. Caterham. Are. Toast.

    1. Nick Jarvis (@)
      20th February 2013, 20:34

      They were on hard, Marussia were on soft, which are 1.5 seconds faster.. they also run over 100 laps, suggesting they were looking at reliability or something like that. iId say they’re pretty much on par at the moment, and they will be around 1.2/3 seconds off the pace, but it will increase a lot, as they save money for next year’s effort.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        21st February 2013, 3:41

        Yes, according to Ted Kravitz, Caterham were running high fuel loads all day so that Pic could get accustomed to a heavier car with KERS charging.

        1. That makes a lot of sense – its the part of the race where it can be trickiest to get to grip with KERS.

  2. Nice to see LH get in a good amount of laps.

    1. And decent time on hards. Actually I’m starting to like W04.

      P.S.: I’m ignoring that old ‘fallacy’, “you cannot read too much into winter testing times”

  3. Why do the top teams sandbag during testing ? Does it makes a difference if the others know how fast you are ?

    1. I think its more that they are more intressed in how the car is with fuel than without. its just Q and last laps that are with less fuel during an weekend. So times are not important now,

    2. Good point man. Everybody want’s to be fastest. If one is clearly faster than the others,like 1.5s faster, than what could others do. Take out a rabbit out of heat and bridge the gap?!?

      1. When teams know a car is genuinely fast, the concepts on that car seem to work. Perhaps that is why the don’t want to show their true pace. Now teams see interesting concepts on cars, but they are not exactly sure if it brings something or not.

        Of course this is just a possible reason, i have no idea if it’s correct.

        1. They want to stop others from copying their car. hmm.. interesting point.

    3. @aimalkhan & @nidzovski
      Any of you play poker? You dont show your hand until all the bets are in the pot. If others realize that their hand is weaker, they wouldnt call or even raise your bet, so you would gain less at the end of the round.

      Now, in F1 it is similar, but for a different reason. Say you have a car that is faster than the others, not by 1.5 but just .5 sec. Other teams would surely start searching for a reason, and they would find it. After they have found it, they would try to implement it. If it is a small thing with a grat idea behind, than others can research it and implement it in a short amount of time, maybe even before the first race, and your advantage is gone. Or it would take a huge amount of resources and time to copy your solution, so others would want to have it banned, and there goes your advantage again.

      On the other hand, if you sandbag, it can build up a pressure in other teams, they would start wondering just how fast that thing can be.

      These are just a few examples, but I think it is a reasonable tactic to sandbag, if it wasnt than noone would do it.

      1. @bag0
        No I’m not a poker guy. Brawn F1 showed their cards in testing in 2009 and still won both titles.

        1. @nidzovsk As they were desperate for sponsorship. @bago is quite correct.

          1. @novotny Mate just read this article and you’ll know what was I talking about :)

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        20th February 2013, 17:02

        Another reason is that in general, a lot of the work goes into race pace. Blasting around as fast as possible with a few drips of fuel in the tank won’t give much useful data. It’s useful for qualifying but useless for the race and you won’t spend any time with low fuel and new tyres.

        Most of the race is spent trying to preserve fuel/tyres and with higher fuel loads or old tyres so teams simulate these situations. When they’re not doing this, they’re testing new parts and getting the setup right. Why risk crashing and losing crucial hours when there is no benefit.

        1. Guys I’m well aware of what is going on while testing and I didn’t invent the word “sandbaging” LOL!!! I was just saying that on testing it is to complicated to know who is doing what,regarding the target of the test, to use the word sendbaging. Jurnalist and the guys who want to speculate love that word :)))

    4. They don’t “sandbag”

      It’s just not a competition, why go for quickest lap time? What’s the point?

      1. You get more accurate data running your car to the limit?

      2. Yeah I’m with you Mike…I don’t know what makes people think teams are sandbagging. I personally don’t think they have enough testing time such that they can afford to sandbag. Maybe they did in the past when testing was so much more plentiful, but between limited days, and then within those days factor in gremlins that hold them back, or weather that they must factor in as a possible deterent to them running their full programs for the pre-season in general, and I don’t think sandbagging can come into play any more. I think that if they appear slow it is because they are heavy on fuel, or are trying things that might allow them to use the process of elimination to help them focus on a direction.

        And I’m not convinced that any team is going to react to something they see or hear or that appears to work well on another car until a) that something is proven to work well over several actual races and b) that something can be fitted to their car without adversely affecting other aspects of it in terms of balance or aero. They’re just learning about their own new creations, so I don’t think they can or would react to something they see on another car until they have had time to analyze things.

        1. In my understanding of the word, the teams dont go all-out for the cars full potential, but the big teams tend to carry more fuel onboard, than it is neccessary to do as many laps as they do, thus making them appear slower.

          1. @bag0
            Hi mate. As for sandbagging, check this out:
            I can understand that the one that doesn’t have any problems with it’s car have the comfort for “sandbagging” (I don’t like the term), like RBR I suppose.

  4. Quite amazing to see that in testing, at the start of the year Perez already managed a faster time then the pole from last year.

    It’s amazing how much these cars improve every year!

    1. Tell me about it… I just wonder if we are going to be able to say the same thing next year with the new engines coming!

      1. I think he might, and I must say I would find it incredible too if they actually managed to go faster with the new, smaller engines!

    2. Umm Melkurion, the tires have changed from last year. Think that might have something to do with it?

      1. Yeah that and the track after just one day of running will have more rubber than after a GP weekend ( before qualifying). A full day ( and a half before the fastest times were set) of very car driving round some doing 100’s of laps will put a lot more rubber down than three practice sessions.

  5. Given how little time he spent on track Kimi wasted none of it when he got out on track there!

  6. why Kimi always had problem? *grunt
    and Romain’s day usually trouble-free *double grunt

    1. @adityafakhri That is all cancelled by
      Why does Romain always have problems(or creates them) in races?
      Why does Kimi always have trouble-free races?
      BTW, we have the same first name. You live in the country too?

      1. Yes, he definately lives in a country.

  7. William Brierty
    20th February 2013, 16:18

    Please help me someone, how on earth do testing times turn out quicker than a fully committed lap, in warmer conditions and with 4 races of R and D? In short, why was the fastest time of testing last year faster than Maldonado’s pole? And here’s another thing I don’t get, I know these are more aerodynamically developed cars, but surely that advantage is wiped out by the penalty of the new DRS restrictions. So why on earth is Perez ALREADY quicker than testing last year? Do they just use it everywhere in testing then? I have literally NEVER been this confused…

    1. Because the cars have been developed about 10 months further since that race William

    2. Maybe they were testing some illegal stuff last year and drop it before the season started.

    3. Tyres maybe??

    4. Well first of all this years tyres are quicker so you would probably have a 0.5 second difference on that alone, then there’s the conditions, it probably was windy, very hot, etc the day of the race last year and last but not least, cars are much quicker now remember the Williams didn’t even have a coanda exhaust last year, all those things easily make up for the 0.4-0.6 deficit of the new DRS rules so you can expect faster times this season.

      1. He is talking about last year’s testing and race times.

    5. Rules have stayed fairly constant which allows for easier development, and Pirelli have made each tire faster.

    6. There are 3 main reason (also others) why this happen.

      1. +1 year of development, and in this days we know how much development is important. Red Bull, Ferrari, Mclaren have fought hard till the end of the season on development.
      2. According to Pirelli this year tyres will be at least 0.5 sec faster but will degrade more.
      3.It’s colder in tests compared to the race. And when it’s colder it’s much easier to get a faster lap.

      I think there are maybe other reason but i wouldn’t be surprised if the next week Red bUll, Ferrari and Mclaren could get easy a

      1. 3.It’s colder in tests compared to the race. And when it’s colder it’s much easier to get a faster lap.

        This is quite the opposite from the truth. Warmer track gives better grip, as long as tires or the track surface are not melting.

    7. Its much cooler in testing in catalunya than it is in the race and as far as I’m aware the cold air makes the engines and the aerodynamics more efficient..

      1. Density

        The density of air has significant effects on the airplane’s capability. As air becomes less dense, it reduces (1) power because the engine takes in less air, (2) thrust because the propeller is less efficient in thin air, and (3) lift because the thin air exerts less force on the airfoils.

        Effects of pressure on density
        Effects of temperature on density

        The effect of increasing the temperature of a substance is to decrease its density. Conversely, decreasing the temperature has the effect of increasing the density. Thus, the density of air varies inversely as the absolute temperature varies. This statement is true, only at a constant pressure.

    8. Cooler conditions give more downforce and more power. Conditions should be the reason, as the cars can not possibly become slower during season (if there is no ban on something important performance wise). And also qualy sessions are quite hectic compared to testing so that may play a role as well, but certainly it can mostly be explained by the change in conditions.

    9. remember that pole position times in Q3 are set with a lot of fuel in the car, a quicker time in testing set on the same track earlier in the year could have been set with just a few laps of fuel in the car. Pole position times in Q3 are rarely the fastest lap a car is capable of, they might do just one or 2 laps and they are brimmed with fuel.

      1. The cars aren’t brimmed in Q3. The race fuel rule went out a few years ago.

        1. sorry, i thought that rule was still in place

          1. Nope they did away with that for 2010. Now they run on fumes hence why if you get it wrong you get a penalty ie Hamilton in Spain and Vettel in Abu Dhabi

      2. @scuderia29 We’ve got the winner in answering. Thanks man. I forgot about it completely :)))

  8. One question: Are the teams free to use DSR wherever they want in the circuit during these testing or they are restricted to the same new qualifying rules?

    1. First of all it’s DRS, and the answer is yes they can, in testing, use it however they like.
      However it makes no sense to do so because come Q1 in Melbourne they will have no representative times for the car.
      So it is better if they begin testing with the new rules in place and follow them if they want to understand the cars perfomance

    2. @claudioff At Jerez the teams had agreed to use DRS on the start/finish straight and the other long straight, and I believe they have a similar arrangement here.

  9. We have no idea how much fuel a car finishes a stint with, so there are huge unknowns, but we can adjust the times for what we do know…

    Hamilton’s best time was done on the start of an 8 lap run, so adjusted for this would be very similar to Perez, who pitted straight after his time. Not mentioning the tyre compound difference either.

  10. I wish we knew what tires everyone was running on for those times. They’ll never tell us the fuel levels, but at least we can observe the tires.

    1. Good thing it’s in the article then…

  11. it is stupid to read anything into the lap times as each team was using undisclosed levels of fuel and they were all set on different tyres. Perez for instance set the fastest lap for the day BUT he did it on the soft tyre while Lewis set his on hard tyres which are a good second slower than the softs. Only at first practice in Melbourne will we be able to compare the teams properly…setting fastest laps here and there is nothing more than window dressing at this point!

    1. eddieb, thats a good point. I was watching the live timing and Hamilton set his fastest lap on hard tyres at the start of a 10 lap run, which suggests quite a high fuel load. Both Mclaren and Redbull set theirs on softs and both on one or two lap runs. I guess both the Redbull and Mclaren had more than one lap of fuel in, but its still interesting to see the different programs. If it were the other way around ( redbull on hards at the start of a 10 lap run only 0.8 slower) I guess a lot would be jumping to conclusion of redbull domination ?

      1. well, lets wait for Gary Anderson’s sum up analysis.

      2. Paul Ogbeiwi (@)
        20th February 2013, 22:30


  12. Hey, look! No ‘paydriver’ comments! Sweet!

Comments are closed.