FEBRUARY 3, 2011
Kubica on top in Valencia
Robert Kubica (1:13.144) topped the final day of Valencia testing with the new Lotus Renault GP R31.
The team measured downforce levels with some aero tests in the morning, involving running the car at constant speed on the straight and found that results tied in with their wind tunnel figures.
"I think we can split the day into two halves because we had some problems in the morning and only managed to do our first real run about 1:30pm," Kubica said. "After we solved the issues with the car we managed to do a bit of set-up evaluation and tyre work although we didn't complete the laps we targeted.
Even so, after solving its electrical gremlins the team put 95 laps on the car and technical chief James Allison added: "Our first three days of testing have not been without incident. The first test has shown that tyre management will be absolutely critical, so it was good to make progress in that regard."
Adrian Sutil (1:13.201) was back on duty for Force India and completed more than 100 laps with the old VJM03, focused on collecting Pirelli data, and posted second quickest time of the day.
Jenson Button (1:13.553) drove the interim McLaren, a day ahead of the launch of the new car in Berlin, and was third quickest, ahead of Mark Webber (1:13.963), who did more than 100 laps in the new Red Bull RB7 after a problematic first day.
"There are some quick cars out there but it was a good finish to the test for us. Overall the team has done a bloody awesome job - to get the car here for the first test and do the work we've done straight out of the box, it's impressive."
Felipe Massa (1:14.017) took over from Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari F150 and ended the day fifth quickest, a couple of tenths up on Timo Glock (1:14.207) with last year's Virgin, with Richard Branson's team due to unveil its new car in London next Monday.
F1 rookie pastor Maldonado (1:14.299) got over 100 laps of experience with the new Williams FW33 as the team concentrated on getting its KERS system running.
Fellow rookie Sergio Perez (1:14.458) was close behind in the new Sauber C30, a tenth quicker than Michael Schumacher (1:14.537) who got in some meaningful running with the new Mercedes, familiarizing himself with KERS for the first time.
"I am pleased with that and with how the car was behaving," the seven times champion said. "This is not our final race car for the season but a lot of elements have already proved to be a significant step forward. I felt totally comfortable in the car."
Sebastien Buemi (1:14.801) also familiarized himself with KERS and did 73 laps in the new Toro Rosso STR06. Narain Karthikeyan (1:16.535) was a couple of seconds slower than his qualifying simulation best of yesterday with the HRT.
Team Lotus had Jarno Trulli out in its new chassis but the team was still suffering from the power steering problems of yesterday and Trulli, although happy with his initial impressions of the car, did installation laps all day.