Marussia’s Max Chilton was the quickest man in the opening day of the two-day Barcelona test at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Briton recorded a lap of 1.26.434 during his 60 lap run which set him .227 ahead of the second fastest time which was set by Lotus reserve driver Charles Pic in the E22. The Frenchman focused on set-up changes and an assessment of aero and mapping updates, but Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane admits they were cautious with their programme due to the heavy rain during the morning session.
Sunday’s race winner at the same track Lewis Hamilton was third for Mercedes ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, whose running was limited to 20 laps. The Finn was 1.2 seconds ahead of Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne who narrowly placed ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa and who completed 51, 52 and 55 laps respectively. Unlike Lotus, Williams were prepared for the wet weather and had a wet weather plan in place, which Rod Nelson, the Chief Test and Support Engineer for Williams, said helped them gather information on which will help in wet weather qualifying and race conditions.
Jenson Button was eighth for McLaren, over half a second shy of the Williams ahead of him, while Kamui Kobayashi placed ninth before a big accident in the final half hour.
“Unfortunately in the last half hour I went off in turn three on run 22 and hit the barriers pretty hard,” Kobayashi reported. “There is quite a lot of damage to the car so I’m sorry for the guys in the garage who now have a long night ahead to fix the car. Even though the day ended with a pretty big off it’s still been quite a good day for us and we’ve managed to get through a lot of work.”
Behind him was Sebastian Buemi who piloted Red Bull’s car and finished five seconds off the pace of the Marussia. Buemi’s slow pace can be explained through fine-tuning the car rather than pushing for competitive lap times, but the Swiss driver were forced to end the day with a mechanical failure after 54 laps. Giedo van der Garde was the final man down the order as he took charge of the Sauber and he set the most laps of any driver – 86 – while his fastest lap was 5.4s behind that of Chilton.
|Max Chilton||Marussia||1.26.434||60 laps|
|Charles Pic||Lotus||1.26.661||69 laps|
|Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1.26.674||79 laps|
|Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||1.26.956||20 laps|
|Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1.27.724||51 laps|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1.27.727||52 laps|
|Felipe Massa||Williams||1.27.756||55 laps|
|Jenson Button||McLaren||1.28.333||73 laps|
|Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham||1.30.101||72 laps|
|Sebastian Buemi||Red Bull||1.31.440||54 laps|
|Giedo van der Garde||Sauber||1.31.783||86 laps|