The final pre season test got underway today in Barcelona. The test will last four days and its the last chance for teams to test new parts ahead of the first Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Teams worked mainly on set up and in the afternoon many focussed on long runs when the track conditions were stable.
Lotus has bounced back from the shock of missing last week’s test due to a chassis construction issue. Romain Grosjean set the fastest time of the day on a soft tyre run, ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button.
After a difficult first two tests, where they were assessing their new car, Ferrari
are able now to start the normal development programme. The main area of interest for them is the exhausts. This is true of a number of teams with varying approaches of blowing on the bottom element of the rear wing or even onto winglets on top of the rear brake ducts.
But Ferrari remain the only one of the front running teams not to have managed a full race distance simulation. Massa was going for one when he was interrupted, so it remains on the job list for the moment.
There is no HRT or Marussia at the test, the former ran out of time after passing the FIA crash tests late and the latter still has to pass them, which it hopes to have done by tomorrow.
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg covered the most mileage with 596 km today, the equivalent of two Grand Prix distances at Barcelona. He ran a new rear wing on Day 1 on the Mercedes and there is a growing sense of excitement at Mercedes about the potential of their car.
BARCELONA FINAL TEST, Day 1
1. Grosjean Lotus 1m23.252s 73
2. Button McLaren 1m23.510s +0.258 64
3. Perez Sauber 1m23.820s +0.568 118
4. Webber Red Bull 1m23.830s +0.578 102
5. Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.992s +0.740 128
6. Vergne Toro Rosso 1m24.216s +0.964 113
7. Di Resta Force India 1m24.305s +1.053 98
8. Massa Ferrari 1m24.318s +1.066 105
9. Petrov Caterham 1m24.876s +1.624 123
10. Maldonado Williams 1m25.587s +2.335 58