- Jerez Test Report - Day One
Vettel tops table at end of day
Sebastian Vettel's time remained safe for the rest of the day despite a dry line emerging towards the end of the session. The teams continued to run right up until 5.00pm but no one managed to rival the Red Bull's 1:22.593.
Lewis Hamilton put on a late charge and set the fastest time since an afternoon rain shower with a 1:23.017 to move up to second. McLaren had a relatively quiet day, completing 71 laps in total.
There was one final red flag half an hour from the end to allow Williams to retrieve Rubens Barrichello's stopped car from the back straight. The Brazilian would not have been too upset after completing 109 laps, only beaten by Michael Schumacher's 111 for Mercedes.
Felipe Massa's Ferrari spent a large part of the afternoon in the garage and he missed the opportunity to run on the track when it was at its best. The team didn't seem to downbeat about the situation and still notched up 70 laps in total with a best time of 1:23.204.
Adrian Sutil took over from Paul di Resta in the Force India after the second rain shower and set a time faster than the test driver. The team completed 102 laps in total.
Meanwhile, Lotus called it a day with about 45 minutes remaining and team boss Tony Fernandes said he was delighted with the car's first proper test. Heikki Kovalainen will drive the T127 tomorrow, when the team is hoping to have its power steering system fitted.
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull RB6||1:22.593||99|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren MP4-25||1:23.017||72|
|3.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F10||1:23.204||72|
|4.||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso STR5||1:23.322||79|
|5.||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber C29||1:23.367||76|
|6.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes W01||1:23.803||111|
|7.||Adrian Sutil||Force India VJM03||1:24.272||28|
|8.||Paul di Resta||Force India VJM03||1:25.088||74|
|9.||Vitaly Petrov||Renault R30||1:26.237||55|
|10.||Rubens Barrichello||Williams FW32||1:28.256||109|
|11.||Fairuz Fauzy||Lotus T127||1:31.848||76|
|12.||Timo Glock||Virgin VR-01||1:32.417||10|
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel hit his stride in the afternoon, pipping Felipe Massa's best time by over half a second with a 1:22.593. He first nipped ahead of Massa during a 25-lap run and then lowered the benchmark even further during a shorter stint. He has also completed more laps than anyone else at the test with a total 90.
At the other end of the timesheets, Lotus boss Tony Fernandes revealed that his test driver Fairuz Fauzy was running without power steering. It is still waiting on a supplier but is hoping to have the car fully working by tomorrow. Fauzy is currently nine seconds off the pace of Vettel but has notched up an impressive 56 laps - far more than Virgin managed in its first three days of testing last week.
The stop-start nature of the first day of testing continued over lunchtime, as two more red flags interrupted running. The first was caused by Rubens Barrichello's Williams at 12.35pm, when he stopped on track while performing rudimentary systems checks over a long run. The second was a result of pacesetter Felipe Massa's Ferrari pulling up on the circuit. The team said it was nothing to worry about and was pleased that he had started running on slicks, setting the fastest time of 1:23.204 in the process.
At one stage Massa was trading hot laps with Lewis Hamilton, but the McLaren driver was third fastest and a full second off the Ferrari's pace. Sebastian Vettel is currently closest to Massa, after setting his fastest time during a consistent string of laps in the 1:23s. The Red Bull driver has completed over 75 laps in total, a tally only matched by Barrichello and Paul di Resta.
Meanwhile Virgin is experiencing another frustrating day, with Timo Glock firmly planted at the bottom of the timesheets with just four laps to his name. Lotus has notched up an impressive 50 laps on its first day at the circuit, although test driver Fairuz Fauzy is still over eight seconds off the pace. However, the spread of times is so wide (Michael Schumacher is still three seconds off Massa in sixth place) that the times could be even more misleading than usual.
All 11 teams have now made an appearance, with Virgin firing up their VR-01 at 11.45am local time and heading out onto the circuit. Timo Glock was at the wheel as the team attempts to make up for the time it lost at last week's test, when a shortage of parts restricted its running.
Pedro de la Rosa stood at the top of the timesheets by over a second for most of the morning, after he put in a quick lap just before a heavy rain shower around 11.00am local time. Since, however, the sun has come out, and combined with the continued running of the cars, the track is starting to dry again. Felipe Massa has now jumped to the top of timesheets with a 1:27.655.
Lotus appears to have no major problems with its new car and has completed a number of runs irrespective of the weather, notching up over 35 laps this morning. Fairuz Fauzy's best time is marginally faster than main rivals Virgin's, although both will be focussing on reliability over one-lap pace.
For the teams that were at the circuit last week the rain is becoming a nuisance and Ferrari has said it isn't able to conduct a "proper test" in the conditions. More rain showers are forecast, which is likely to result in a frustrating stop-start day for the teams.
The first hour of testing at a cloudy and damp Jerez was interrupted by two red flags, but it allowed spectators to get their first sight of the new Lotus T127 on the track.
Felipe Massa was the first to appear, followed soon after by Fairuz Fauzy in the Lotus. Once the installation laps, which all teams except Virgin completed, were out of the way, Fauzy put in his first timed lap before returning to the garage.
Michael Schumacher set out his stall with an impressive first lap of 1:30.549, almost three seconds clear of his rivals.
Lewis Hamilton was the first to cause the red flag when his McLaren stopped on the track. The action resumed after a 15-minute break, only to be halted four minutes later when Paul di Resta spun his Force India.