FEBRUARY 13, 2011
Barrichello on top at Jerez test concludes
Rubens Barrichello (1:19.832) set the fastest time of the week as the second pre-season F1 test of 2011 drew to a close at Jerez. The Williams then caused one of the day's red flags when it stopped with a hydraulic leak.
"Nothing was going to stop us from doing over 100 laps today!" smiled technical director Sam Michael, acknowledging the lost running earlier in the week largely down to the KERS system. "Rubens was trying various things to learn about the Pirelli tyres - some worked, some didn't. Now we've also gathered some data on the Pirelli wet tyre after a small shower at the end of the session. At the next test we will also have KERS back on the car as we ran without it today."
Kamui Kobayashi (1:20.601) was second quickest but brought out a red flag when he put the Sauber C30 into the gravel in the morning and then had to stop early because of a power train related problem,
Fernando Alonso (1:21.074) finished up third fastest for Ferrari but concentrated largely on longer runs with heavier fuel loads and again ran more than 100 laps.
Sebastien Buemi (1:21.213) was fourth with the Toro Rosso and had his first taste of the super soft dry compound Pirelli and also the Italian company's intermediate rain tyre.
"I'm satisfied with the past two days, even if we know there is a long way to go in terms of developing the car," Buemi said. "Reliability improved throughout the test and since Valencia, so we must continue working in this direction while also beginning to think more about performance."
Bruno Senna (1:21.400) enjoyed his first experience of the Renault R31 with Eric Boullier stressing this was not a shoot-out with Nick Heidfeld, merely an opportunity to give the young Brazilian some mileage.
"It was an awesome day and I'm pleased with how things went," Senna said. "It was very much a learning day for me. I had never used the adjustable wing or the KERS before, so I had to adapt to these. It's not easy at first, because there is a big workload and you are operating two factors that change the balance of the car, but by the end of the day it became more like second nature. I started the day pretty relaxed; gradually built up my confidence, and then by lunchtime I was feeling pretty comfortable. I was looking forward to doing some hard laps at the end of the day but with the red flags and the weather, there wasn't enough time."
Heikki Kovalainen (1:21.632) got Mike Gascoyne's new Lotus T128 round just a couple of tenths slower, while Nico Rosberg (1:22.103) again suffered some mechanical interruptions to his Mercedes programme.
"The four days in Jerez have proved to be extremely useful although the test has not been without its challenges," Ross Brawn said. "We had good reliability for the middle two days which allowed us to accumulate a lot of mileage, however there are issues to be resolved so that we can maximise our track time for the remaining two tests. Both Michael and Nico continue to feel comfortable in the car and our priorities remain reliability, developing our understanding of the tyres and the KERS, whilst simultaneously pushing on with the developments still to come."
Sebastian Vettel (1:22.222) continued to put more miles on the consistent looking Red Bull but Jenson Button (1:22.278) was unable to find a suitable balance with the McLaren MP4-26 and the team's progress was brought to an early end in the middle of the afternoon following the failure of an internal component.
Jerome D'Ambrosio (1:22.935) stopped the Virgin on track in the morning with an oil feed problem and Paul di Resta (1:23.111) went off at the Dry Sack hairpin with just under half an hour remaining in the Force India, reporting a front suspension problem.
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