Alonso quickest on busy day in Barcelona

2013 F1 testing

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Fernando Alonso concluded his three days of running at the Circuit de Catalunya by putting Ferrari on top of the times.

But his best effort of 1’21.875 was fractionally slower than the quickest lap of the test so far, set by Sergio Perez yesterday.

With wet weather expected tomorrow, several teams took the opportunity to conduct long runs in the afternoon session. Romain Grosjean completed a race distance in the Lotus, covering more laps in one day than Kimi Raikkonen managed in the previous two. He also set the third-fastest time behind Nico Hulkenberg.

Nico Rosberg was fourth-fastest for Mercedes ahead of the two Williams drivers, who shared the running in the FW35 today. Pastor Maldonado was 0.151s faster than team mate Valtteri Bottas.

Force India ran their fourth different driver in seven days as Adrian Sutil returned to the cockpit. He ended up eighth, almost exactly a second slower than Alonso in a closely-matched field.

The final moments of the session were disrupted by the only red flag of the day when Giedo van der Garde’s Caterham came to a stop on the run to turn three, just after setting his best time of the session.

Marussia kept Max Chilton in the car for the third day in a row and he ended the test tenth-fastest.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifferenceTyres
1Fernando AlonsoFerrari F1381’21.87597Soft
2Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari C321’22.160910.285Soft
3Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault E211’22.1881190.313Soft
4Nico RosbergMercedes W041’22.6111080.736Medium
5Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault FW351’22.675790.800Soft
6Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault FW351’22.826680.951Soft
7Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-281’22.840710.965Hard
8Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes VJM061’22.877781.002Soft
9Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault RB91’23.0241081.149Medium
10Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari STR81’23.3661061.491Soft
11Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth MR021’25.690583.815Soft
12Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault CT031’26.177934.302Soft

Image © F1 Fanatic |

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Keith Collantine
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37 comments on “Alonso quickest on busy day in Barcelona”

  1. Fast laps tell us a car is competitive but slower laps tell us nothing, however all indications are that it will be close at the front to begin with.

    1. Most likely third, but probably closer to the top two than they finished the year.

    2. Also, interesting wear pattern on the Ferrari, I thought this years tyres were supposed to have a broader contact-patch.

      1. maybe it’s excessive camber.

    3. @hohum – Not exactly nothing: for instance, Caterham and particularly Marussia’s consistently slow laptimes suggest that they are still definitely behind the midfielders. Which is a shame really, as I would quite like to have seen Caterham challenging for points!

      1. Caterham hasn’t done anything to be faster. They’ve already written off this season. Two pay-drivers and slightly updated 2012 car. Marussia looks a lot better, newley designed car, new engineers and design team + KERS. Marussia will score this years in some crazy race. They almost did it last year.

      2. @vettel1, you are absolutely correct Max, the bottom order cars are of course trying to impress potential sponsors, may I call them the exceptions that prove the rule?

  2. It seems to me this season will be closer than last one in terms of pace. Many different teams have shown some quite quick laps.

    Does it mean something that Marussia has put faster laps than Caterham in the last tests?

  3. As i said in the live feed I’m quite surprised with caterham putting their cards on the table. Failed glory run for Guido? Marussia had better time with more fuel.

    It seems ferrari is focusing on testing certain aspects of the car while RB and lotus are now testing the whole package. And both show some nice consistency. Ferrari is looking good on pace but I’m excited to see their other exhaust at next test.

  4. The good news is that at least Ferrari will seem competitive from the start but it´s just a darn shame that none of us know what fuel loads they run hence, leaving us to guesstimate…

  5. thats an impressive showing from sutil. a year away and straight up to pace like the great driver he is.

    1. Nice try, Adrian ;)

  6. I still don’t get why more teams don’t have two cars and both drivers out there on every test day possible. Rain is expected tomorrow, throwing a wrench into a rare test day. And with no in-season testing other than on Fridays, I still struggle with the concept of teams these days only having one car and driver per day at a test session. They’ve got the equipment there anyway…why not hit these days full force while they have them? Of course I trust that the teams know what they are doing and if it was better to do it as I suggest above, then I’m sure they would, but I can’t seem to wrap my head around not having both drivers there each in their own car for the only, mere handful, of test days in the year. Especially with the risk of weather hampering their programs. To me the doubling of the input from the drivers, of the testing of setups, and of the sussing out unreliabilites, would be worth the cost and the effort in the long run.

    1. I think they’re only ALLOWED one car each at the pre-season tests. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    2. I do note that Williams has two cars out there. Why not more teams?

      1. It was the same car twice.

      2. Two cars are banned, Williams only had one car and swapped the seats out between runs

    3. @robbie first off, no, Williams didn’t run 2 cars, they just swapped drivers during lunchtime.

      Secondly, I doubt teams have the resources to run two cars. It’s not just putting another car there, you have to have another fleet of mechanics, spare parts, more data analysis… so it’s not that simple. It means more work, more costs…

      Not to mention of course that it is banned ! :P

      1. Thanks, folks.

        As to them not having the resources…while I do appreciate that it would be a saving to only have one car and crew there, I don’t think it would be double to have two, because they’re going there anyway, and also they probably would be able to double up on some staff that could do some work for both sides.

        Somehow they managed to afford all kinds of in-season testing in the past, not just pre-season, so I would think that if you compare what they used to spend on testing vs. 2 cars and drivers for 12 days pre-season as I’ve wondered about, I wonder if most teams would have 2 there if they were allowed, seeing it as their only opportunity, and still a huge savings in money compared to when testing seemed ‘endless’.

        And what is the cost of the unreliability that many teams experience? Perhaps doubling up pre-season testing might pay off in the first number of races that might otherwise end in tears.

        Anyhoo…it is what it is…thanks again for the clarification(s).

        1. @robbie well, for one they are getting impressive reliability, so that’s not much of an issue.

          And yeah, it’d mean double the staff, double the resources. Sending twice the amount of spares and 2 chassis to Spain must be very expensive. It’s not just the team, also Pirelli, the fuel and oil suppliers, technicians from Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes for the engines and so on…

          That’s a cost that’s not necessary. Specially with the long seasons we’re having lately.

          Remember that back in the day they had dedicated “test” teams…

  7. After a year off from the sport Sutil time looks respectable

    1. My thinking exactly, I know it is just testing, but he seems to be on the pace, and didn’t prang it. Personally I would rather him not get the drive, but I think he will, it is just my opinion though.

  8. Alonso’s definetly going to win the championship.

    1. I’m not an Alonso fan, but I would give him odds on favourite to take it, however I don’t think he will walk away with it, Jenson, Kimi and Seb will be fighting it out until Brazil I think.

      1. but watch out for that raw pace of caterham, lol.

      2. @dodge5847 I was just kidding :P you know… testing troll !

    2. The Ferrari seems to be good, but how good relative to Red Bull, McLaren and Lotus? Plus pace is one thing but by the looks of how quickly the tyres degrade, a car that’s easy on its tyres may end up with a huge advantage.

    3. Don´t jinx him for Christ´s sake…. to early to say anything…

      1. Fernando’s comments dont suggest he is very impressed with the car, he says its just ok.

        Maybe he’s playing it down?..hope so.

  9. Can anyone tell me what tyres Rosberg was on for his fastest lap?

    1. His fastest lap of 1:22.611 was completed on the medium tyre on lap one of a seven-lap run

    2. I believe he was on mediums. I think Mercedes are looking pretty darn good, personally. On the one day they ran soft tires they topped the test, & since then they’ve not been too far from the fastest times while running on the medium & hard tires. They’ve also seemed to have worked out most of their reliability issues, & are quietly racking up quite a bit of mileage this test. I’m anxious to see another proper run on the softs (with Hamilton next time, preferably), but so far I think they’re right in the thick of it.

  10. Good to see Sauber finally doing some quick laps at last. I know it doesn’t mean much, but after six days of doing slower runs, it’s reassuring to see they can be on the pace.
    Also Marussia have been quicker than Caterham for some good days now, hoping that’s a positive sign for their future!

  11. testing tells us very little in terms of pecking order.

    all i hope is no one team has a much quicker car and runs away with the championship.

  12. Haha I think Ferrari and Sauber ran light because they know that the Force India board members will be looking closely at today’s lap times ;P

    1. A very cynical but interesting point. I wouldn’t be surprised at all in a game like this…

    2. not at all impossible @matc888

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