FEBRUARY 26, 2010
Barcelona Test, Day 2
The second of four days of the final test before the start of the 2010 Formula One season took place at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona.
On a day with excellent weather conditions, Nico Hulkenberg set the fastest time of the day, the Williams FW32 was easy on tyres during long runs in the morning, as well as being effective in qualifying runs during the afternoon.
Hulkenberg said, "We've had a good test here. P1 today is nice but means nothing, to be honest. We're not in Bahrain yet! It's positive for the team, and for me, to know what the car can do though. We did a lot of set-up work today and have found some interesting things so I feel ready and confident to go to Bahrain now."
Technical Director Sam Michael said, "Nico finished his last day of winter testing today with a good run of laps. Our programme included the evaluation of a new sidepod, starts practice and some additional work on the set-up of the FW32. We're making progress, but there's still plenty to do.
Rubens Barrichello will take over the car for the final two days of testing.
Fernando Alonso was second quickest of the day, and the overall pace of the Ferrari during the tests has impressed their rivals. Alonso completed a race simulation and did competitive laps.
Alonso said, "We had a long program to complete this winter and we ticked all the boxes, we did everything we had planned and the car worked exactly as we expected it. I said if before and I repeat it now: this is the best car I've ever had. If it's good enough to win in Bahrain, I don't know because I don't know how strong the others are. But it's the best car I've ever had, that's for sure."
Felipe Massa will take over testing duties on Saturday and Sunday.
Pedro de la Rosa in the BMW Sauber also completed a race distance and set the third fastest time of the day. De la Rosa said, "It had been a long time since I completed a race distance, so this was a big day for me. We found some very good things on the set-up of the car, we completed the program we had for today and now I feel prepared to go to Bahrain and return to Grand Prix racing."
His team mate Kamui Kobayashi will take over the next two days of testing.
Vitantonio Liuzzi finished the day fourth quickest, running a similar programme. Liuzzi said, "This was a good way to finish my pre-season preparations. We did set-up work in the morning and then a race simulation in the afternoon. I'm happy with the pace and the reliability we've shown and even though there are some areas in which we still have to improve, I'll go to Bahrain in a very confident mood, as we've got a good package already."
Sebastian Vettel posted the fifth quickest time of the day in his Red Bull, but was interrupted during his race distance when the team spotted something wrong on the car's telemetry and he needed to stop for repairs. He later continued the run and under similar conditions was around half a second slower than Alonso.
Vettel said, "It was good do complete 125 laps and the problem we had was a minor one. We did almost two race distances in total, so I'm not concerned with the reliability of the car. Of course I would have preferred to do more laps, but we did enough, made progress and got to understand the car even better. It's impossible to know where we stand, but I'm confident we'll be competitive from the start of the season."
Vettel will continue tomorrow.
Jaime Alguersuari was sixth quickest in the Toro Rosso, although his lap times were a bit inconsistent. Alguesauari said, "It was great to complete a Grand Prix simulation without any problem and we've really ironed out al the reliability issues we faced - and they were really very few. I would have liked to do a qualifying simulation, but the team didn't think it was necessary, so we'll wait for Bahrain to find out where we stand."
Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes only managed to post the seventh quickest time of the day, the German seeming a bit downbeat, "I don't think we'll be able to win in Bahrain. We are certainly not in the position we would have liked to be at this moment, but the championship is long and just because we're not winning the first race doesn't mean we cannot win the championship. Besides we've got a few things to put in the car for the first race and I'm sure they'll improve our pace."
Schumacher will be in the car for his final day on Saturday.
Lewis Hamilton had a positive outlook, posting the eighth quickest time, saying, "we're miles ahead of where we were this time last year, so I can only smile and look forward to Bahrain."
Renault struggled with problems with the suspension of the car, and this limited Robert Kubica's running today. The team hopes to have a solution tomorrow.
Lotus continued to have hydraulic problems today, and Jarno Trulli was 10th quickest. Timo Glock was the slowest runner in the Virgin Racing chassis - he started later in the day as the team was still repairing the car from yesterdays off by Lucas di Grassi.
1. Nico Hulkenberg (Williams FW32-Cosworth), 1m20.614s (99)
2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari F10), 1m20.37s (134)
3. Pedro de la Rosa (Sauber C29-Ferrari), 1m20.973s (114)
4. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Force India VJM03-Mercedes), 1m21.056s (90)
5. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB6-Renault), 1m21.258s (125)
6. Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso STR-Ferrari), 1m21.571s (104)
7. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes MGP W01), 1m21.689s (85)
8. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren MP4-25-Mercedes), 1m22.152s (93)
9. Robert Kubica (Renault R30), 1m24.912s (53)
10. Jarno Trulli (Lotus T127-Cosworth); 1m25.524s (70)
11. Timo Glock (Virgin VR-01-Cosworth), 1m25,942s (52)