Barcelona Test Day 2: Perez Heads The Field As Times Get Competitive
Posted By:   |  20 Feb 2013   |  5:43 pm GMT  |  140 comments

Sergio Perez showed that pre-season testing is in full swing today by going fastest on the second day at Barcelona with a time just shy of last year’s pole position, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

Perez and Vettel both set their times during a one-lap run on the soft tyre, before switching their attentions to extended stints in the afternoon. Whilst Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton behind set their fastest laps on the medium and hard compound respectively, with Hamilton’s lap in particular likely to make the other teams raise an eyebrow as it was set during an eight lap run.

Vettel began the day quickly, leading the field by half a second at lunch time after his series of short runs on the soft tyre. In the afternoon Red Bull set their sights on a race simulation, which was cut short as Vettel brought out the red-flags when exiting the pits to complete the second half of the stint.

Raikkonen said yesterday that a telemetry issue had disturbed the day for Lotus and any hopes of a smoother run today were ruined by a gearbox issue early in the morning. The gearbox had to be changed and Kimi did not set a competitive time until the final ninety minutes of the day.

It was another encouraging day for Mercedes, who topped the times yesterday with Nico Rosberg; today Hamilton managed to complete 121 laps. The Briton spent the morning switching between different exhausts – with and without the Coanda system. And like many others this afternoon was focused on longer, fuel-laden stints.

Fernando Alonso made it the five top Constructor’s filling the top five spaces as he gained more familiarity with the F138. After posting his fastest lap on the medium tyre, Alonso conducted a number of long runs on the hard tyre as the day came to a close.

Valtteri Bottas took over from Pastor Maldonado today to have his first taste of the William FW35, with the young Finn ending the day 2/10ths quicker than his team mate could achieve yesterday.

Further down the field, Max Chilton put Marussia in tenth place and ahead of Caterham  for the second time this week.

Testing continues tomorrow, but on Friday rain is forecast, so teams may alter their plans to cope with that. Many will be keen to take the opportunity to try the new Pirelli wet tyres. The wet was the weakest tyre in the range last season and has been changed for 2013.

JA on F1 Technical Adviser Mark Gillan gives his assessment at the half way stage in the second test:

“It is clear that the Teams are struggling on the tyres in the cold conditions. Barcelona is a stern test for the Teams’ new cars and it is a fickle track at the best of times and track evolution throughout the Event and even through the day can be large.

“Most Teams will bring a new 2nd chassis to this test, with a 3rd chassis in preparation for either the 3rd test or an aero test prior to Melbourne.

“The way it works is this: Most Teams will use this first Barcelona test to check for reliability and then bring the new aero update package for the 2nd Barcelona test to concentrate on performance – Ferrari’s
post Day 1 debrief, for example, was pretty much in line with this programme.

“It is therefore surprising that with the exception of a couple of Teams, headed by Ferrari, that more mileage was not done yesterday. There were clearly a number of small but very irritating software/electronic/mechanical issues that curtailed running.”

Barcelona Test Day 2
1. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m21.848s 97 Laps
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m22.197s +0.349 84
3. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m22.697s +0.849 43
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m22.726s +0.878 121
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m23.247s +1.399 76
6. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m23.561s +1.713 98
7. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.718s +1.870 70
8. Paul di Resta Force India 1m23.971s +2.123 62
9. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m24.205s +2.357 88
10. Max Chilton Marussia 1m25.115s +3.267 67
11. Charles Pic Caterham 1m26.243s +4.395 102

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Yes why has Perez changed his helmet to yellow does he think he’ll be another Lewis I’m getti g confused its going to be hard enough with rosburg helmet and Lewis yellow helmets think you’ll get the commentators mixed up as well but there’s only one Lewis Hamilton so great luck Lewis you’ll outshine them all whether you win or not you make formula1 so exciting racing goes dead when your car let you down again and again last year no fault of your own. Your the spark that keeps f1 going so keep in shining




Could Perez be quicker than Button in 2013?


Yes, when Button stops for a pit stop.

JK, couldn’t resist 🙂


As Hamilton spent part of the day using the old non-coanda exhaust system, I’m wondering if he set his time with that configuration. I understand there is a performance penalty in using the coanda system, which the others would have been using.


‘A performance penalty in using the coanda system’?

You mean the same system that everyone has spent at least a year and millions of dollars developing in order to gain back some of the benefits of a blown exhaust?

You might to have to explain that one…good luck 🙂


Just curious: Why is Perez’s helmet changed to yellow? A request from McLaren or Hamilton is Perez’s hero?


I think it’s the latter 😀



There’re a few quotes appearing from drivers stating that the tyres are causing major concerns re the degradation.

Perez is quoted as saying that Melbourne may see “something like seven or 10 stops”.

I think I saw Nico quoted as saying that the tyres were only lasting for a lap (!).

Are you hearing the same concerns from your sources ?


James – could you (or the Prof) advise how many chassis a team usually makes during the season?

Given the number of laps the teams are doing in testing, does this have any impact on the chassis? Or are they capable of doing many more?


Testing is testing. The only thing I truly believe up to this point is that Red Bull and Ferrari haven’t gone for a truly fast lap yet. More speed to come from them.


Unless the times were an aberration, I would hold off on getting too excited about the Merc pace just yet. It really slows up over a run. Comparing it to the others it looks to be gnawing at it’s rubbers pretty hard. May not be the case as I’m not even on the same continent as the testing but it looks kind of ominous.


well if you are not in spain how can you tell they are eating their tyres??? This is a typical case of ” the power of suggestion”. From what I saw on the timings, mercedes were not worst than any of the other big teams when looking after ther tyres. Mclaren were struggling with tyre degredationa nd perez could not get a proper feel for the car due to his tyres ging off after 2 laps.


Yes yes, the power of suggestion, I’ll give you that. The timing feed I watched showed the Merc regularly starting a session strong and steadily falling off around five seconds over the course of the run. The others looked like they were more consistently off around 3 seconds per stint. What that “suggested” to me was they were using the tires aggressively.

Now that doesn’t mean that I know all there is to know about what they were doing and they did do a lot of long runs. I feel fairly certain they were looking for data on degradation, if that was their plan, I’d say they pocketed a huge amount to dissect after that day of running.

I’m watching the feed again today and they have not turned near the laps as they did yesterday. It will be interesting to see the day progress. Would be a lot more entertaining to be there so I could lay hands and eyes on the tires after each stint, but alas I am not. I suppose babysitting the GT1 car this weekend will have to suffice.


I saw that today and I completely agree, Nico did look much more consistent today than Lewis did yesterday. That could very well be from the work Lewis put in yesterday. Probably also from Nico’s experience in the car. I’m sure that will play into it as well. No doubt it will be interesting to see how it goes as the season unwinds.


Just saw the Autosport feed earlier Kevin and Rosberg managed 8 laps after lunch on mediums all around the 1.24’s with lap 3 in the 1.23’s which was very good compared to those around him dropping 1 + second a lap – including Ferrari at the very front. Way too soon tell and the aero updates come Melbourne will change the pecking order again but I think right now the Mercedes very consistent on its wear rates.


I’m not shocked that Mercedes will put in very quick times, over one lap, Lewis will get that bit extra out the car.

BUT, it’s the consistently and race pace, especially looking after their tyres (which is even more crucial this year) that Mercedes need to improve on.

I’m getting excited though.


Anybody any solid info on the difference in tyre compounds over a lap?

AMuS says soft to medium 0.5, BBC’s Benson says Pirelli said soft to medium is 0.8 which seems excessive and don’t believe until see someone else say it or a direct quote from Pirelli.

Perez done one lap on hard then pitted and changed and done one lap on soft with a difference of 0.7.

James or Meadows, any idea on the differences in the compounds?


No Button and Whitmarsh to slowdown Hamilton now… Looks like Hamilton is providing excellent feedback to the Merc engineers…

I will close my eyes during those sissy DRS overtakes, but will enjoy watching the Merc battle to the front this season…


Yes guys, those stickers dont line up and we need more downforce! 🙂 great feedback …….

Button and Whitmarsh to slow Hamilton down? Oh dear, really, you really believe that?

It makes it so much easier to see where the worldwide phrase “a whinging po* ” (fill in the blank *) comes from hey, its never his fault, he is the greatest at EVERYTHING!!! Now whom or what can we blame….


Yeah the 2013 form guide gets clearer and clearer thanks to Barcelona.

For one we aren’t having the mid field pretenders anyway near the top of the timing screens and it’s a little bit strange this winter testing in that we aren’t seeing one or two of the lads bolting on the supersoft tyre for a good old glory run >>> it seems everybody wants to hide their assets.

Anyway it’s been a pretty revealing day and for sure the tyres are going to have a major say this year (or at least till the teams figure them out) for we seeing drivers times fall off after a couple of laps and some teams are more consistent on certain tyres than others e.g. Red Bull is consistent on the hards but is struggling with the softs likewise Mclaren is having a hard time with the mediums but is okay on the softs.

All in all, has been another interesting day that has confirmed Lauda could have been right when he said Mercedes could now compete with the top 3 teams whilst Ferrari and Mclaren aren’t exactly the teams to beat.


Dear James.

According to Mercedes that flying lap by Lewis did was actually a 10 Lap stint not an 8 lap.

Rgds, S


I think it depends on if you could the in and out lap, or not


A few questions:

1. Are the tires really that bad that they degrade 0.5 second every lap as seen from tests (not sure if they were soft)?

2. Is Lotus using DDRS? If not, are they planning to use at all?

3. Why does only RB have so much secrecy about their car that they cover it immediately and park it in a side alley where no one can see while others do not take that extra trouble?

4. McLaren’s long runs today were consistently in 1:29s and 1:30s for many laps. Does this mean they have better tire management or was it Perez’s special drive that we saw.



Are Williams and Catherham still running their illigal exhaust system, or did they take it off?


Horno – I read somewhere that the teams are allowed to run the ‘illegal’ parts during testing as testing does not constitute a grand prix event (so they couldn’t run it in a Friday practice session for example)

If they are running the illegal parts, it would strike me that the teams consider that the FIA ruling is going to be clarified/overturned – why would they want to test a part that’s illegal and they can’t use in a race?

If they are not running them, that might indicate that the teams consider that hte FIA ruling in unlikely to change. If this is the case, Williams might be particularly disadvantaged as they did not run the new car in the first test so have less time to develop a legal alternative.


James, is the system that sends the telemetry the same as what sends the timing data to the FIA? I’m just wondering if the issue Lotus have been having is anything to do with Rolex taking over as time keeper. I know WRC have a new timekeeper this year and had major problems in Monaco earlier this year.


Good to see Bottas putting some presure on Maldonado, he will be the car to avoid for the top teams… is record isnt good, and now hes going to be angry with Bottas putting the presure on. Will be very surprised if he isnt the next to receive a race ban!

Val from montreal

While 95 % of British F1 fans were focused on Hamilton these last 3 years , other people such as myself was focusing on Mercedes and Michael S. …. Schumacher also set “fastest times” during testing but Nobody seemed to give a damn ! All it takes is a fast lap from Hamilton and the flood- gates open loose ! Mercedes will be lucky to score a podium this year , and the next year , and the one after that …. So go ahead and rejoice if it will make u guys feel better but please don’t count yout chickens before they hatch …. Go Vettel !


Val you wrong. You shouldn´t judge fans that way. I was checking Mercedes for 2 reasons. One reason you said yourself, Schumacher. I was curious about what he would do in his return to F1. And the second reason was Mercedes itself. Mercedes Benz is a household name all over the world. I´m happy that Mecedes is back in the F1. They were big back in the 50´s thanks to Fangio.

So I was aware of Schumacher fastest laps you mentioned. It wasn´t very misleading after all. Keep in mind that early in the season Rosberg won in China. And Schumacher won the pole in Monaco and he was in the podium in Valencia. Their biggest problem last year was that they run out of money later on. So they couldn´t came up with important upgrades.


I am impressed! Most so called expert commentators on F1 are reluctant to even predict the first race without more data. But after only six days testing you have predicted the next three years…

Any chance you can give me the Oz Lotto numbers for next week.


Ha ha Brilliant Jake !


I hear ya Val, and totally agre with your sentiments aside from “go vettel”. Being an Aussie I am firmly in the “Go Webber” camp, although I wait with anticipation to see how the two Merc drivers fare off against each other and have a sneaky suspicion that Rosberg wont be quite the pushover that many Hamilton fans simply assume he will be.


Im an Aussie and want Wenber to do well but Im also a realist and realise he can’t get off the line well enough otherwise he would have won twice as many races.

Hamilton has already worked out the Mercedes and I can already tell who on these posts will be surprised and I lnow it wont be me. He won’t win the championship but he will win a race or 2 and he will beat his team mate who Val knows goes to sleep in some races- maybe he will wake up this year with lewis pushing him along.

Val from montreal

I always wanted to visit Australia … Australians are cool people with great humour … They were/are huge Michael Schumacher fans. , unlike most brits ! And Mark Webber has always been one of my favourite drivers on grid also … So good luck to Mark Webber in 2013 !!


Val do you have a German thing going on ?.. First Michael the. Seb- oh sorry you just go for whoever is winning right – Makes it easier for you .

The Merc is definitely not as good as the Mclaren but I reckon Lewis will win 2 races- Canada will be one of them the other probably Hungary. So be ready to cheer ! Lol


IF your crystal ball is THAT good then give the lottery numbers, Ill split it with you, yeah?


looks like perez will surely push vettel come march 16th.


I thought Lewis set his fastest lap on a harder compound than Kimi. :S


I have said it before and I will say it again…. Mercedes spent a lot of the tail end of last season getting ready for this one. I am not at all surprised by the performance of the mercedes. In fact the only thing that surprises me is how many people were doubting LH and the Mercedes team.


So we´re having chassis change this test. I guess they will start tomorrow with that. If it rains on Friday its a good news, bad news thing. The good news is they can test wet tyres and the bad news is they can´t get on with their programmes.So all teams or some of them may think it´s a waste of time

Tornillo Amarillo

Kimi said something like “fix the stupid software!”

Ha-ha! Nice phrase for the records.


Yet another disrespectful, unhelpful comment, that had it come from any other driver would have been considered rude offensive. But because it’s Kimi, and he’s “such a character” it’s not only acceptable, but legendary?

I just… I just don’t get it.

Tornillo Amarillo

Well, maybe it is more disrecpectful to give a software non properly tested to F1 teams with not too much time to run on track.


The software disrupted the whole teams running all of Tuesday even other teams had glitches too ! bet the engineers were calling it “stupid software” too it’s just the media focus on it because its Kimi- Im sure he doesn’t want it aired either- just normal work frustrations- Yoi guys seriously need to get a life !

Colombia Concalvez

It’s not nice, it’s RUDE


He’s talking about software not insulting your mother- gosh how’s that rude


It’s getting interesting, and the eyebrow raiser will be Hamilton’s run on the hard compound with more fuel. Perez and Vettel on single lap runs with soft tyres not that much quicker considering the fuel and the tyres. Of course it’s still guess work but Mercedes aren’t the slouches everyone seemed to think. I hope Lewis and Nico give the field a run for their money.


It’s funny, I’m not saying it will happen but how good would it be if Lewis was up there this season with Mercedes. That time was very quick considering fuel, length of run, tyre used!

It will be reported by the media that its all about Lewis and not the car if he does!


Probably because it will be, how often did Lewis take nearly half a second out of Jenson in qualifying.

I think it’s pretty much accepted amongst most, that over one lap on raw pace, Lewis is the fastest in F1.


think it’s pretty much accepted amongst most, that over one lap on raw pace, Lewis is the fastest in F1.

Not by me. Fast, Yes. Fastest, No. That honour belong to Sebastian Vettel my friend. Qualifying lap, race lap, whatever lap, Seb is the man.



My understanding is that the McLaren was the fastest car of 2012. With that in mind, I would gladly bet that SV would be even quicker than he already was in the slower RB. No offense to you my friend, merely my opinion. I respect all the drivers, especially WDC’s. They don’t give those prizes to just anyone. I hope your fav driver does well in ’13 🙂


Put them in the others’ car, and ask yourself if Vettel would’ve got within a tenth of Lewis in Austin (as LH did on SV)?

LH was the only driver to make every Q3 in 2012. I think it’s accepted by most in the paddock that LH is the fastest over one lap.

LH said near the end of last year that Alonso (and I’ll assume he was including himself in with FA) was more “accurate” in terms of making apexes and taking correct lines, than SV was, but that the car was covering up for any of SV’s “misses”.


And all it won him was a last corner championship against Massa of all drivers, lol.


Seeing as Massa and Kimi had the faster car that year, yeah, it should mean a lot. The only driver on the grid to have won a WDC in a car that wasn’t the fastest (or best, taking into account reliability as well). Heikki was all the way down in 7th! Alonso almost repeated that feat this year (Massa finished 7th, and Ferrari 2nd), losing thru some cruel misfortune in Belgium and Japan.


I think Massa will surprise you this year 😉


Also it maybe possible that the Merc heats up tyres quickly, ok for a short run, but put softs on and it will eat the tyres.

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