MERCEDES GP PETRONAS F1 Barcelona Test Days
Formula One's third pre-season test began at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona Friday
by Jim Davis | 21 February 2011
View the photo gallery
MERCEDES GP PETRONAS driver Nico Rosberg stole the headlines from McLaren F1 Driver, Lewis Hamilton, at the Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya as Germany’s F1 hope set the pace for the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS TEAM.
Thanks to a late dash from Nico Rosberg, he bettered Lewis Hamilton’s time by 0.690 seconds, after Rosberg clocked 1 minute 23.168 seconds. Vitay Petrov was second for Renault, 0.395 seconds ahead of Hamilton
Formula One’s third pre-season test began at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today with Michael Schumacher kicking off the programme for the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team. Nico Rosberg will take over the car on Saturday and Sunday, before Michael completes the four-day test on Monday.
With the track damp from overnight rain and taking time to come up to speed, Michael first headed out midway through the morning to complete aerodynamic evaluations and balance checks. Following the lunch break, he completed a successful race simulation including pit stops. Michael completed 90 laps in total today.
Michael Schumacher: “We had a good day and it is certainly satisfying to finish a race distance with all of the systems operational and to have everything working fine. Now we have to turn our focus to performance and it was important to complete today’s simulation to understand how the car and tyres behave going from a heavy to lighter fuel load.”
Nico Rosberg was in action at the wheel of the MGP W02 in Barcelona today for the second day of this week’s test.
A positive day of running saw Nico complete further acclimatisation work with the KERS system, alongside set-up comparisons and aerodynamic evaluations in the morning session. During the afternoon, the team successfully completed its second full race simulation of this week’s test, including live pit stops.
Nico completed 131 laps, which equates to over 600kms of running and is one lap short of two full race distances at the Circuit de Catalunya. He will continue the programme tomorrow before Michael resumes testing on Monday.
Nico Rosberg: “We completed a great deal of mileage and that was important for me to understand more about the tyre behaviour. There is a lot for the drivers to learn about how the Pirelli tyres are performing, and about how to make them last over the long runs; it’s going to be a key factor this year in the races and I think we made good progress on that front today. The reliability was ok but everybody in the team knows we need to keep pushing to make sure we are trouble-free for the start of the season.”
Nico Rosberg continued the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team’s pre-season programme at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today on the third day of this week’s test.
The track was damp for much of the morning following overnight rain, and Nico’s programme was restricted to several exploratory runs to gain experience of the Pirelli intermediate tyre. Conditions improved for the start of the afternoon session, allowing the team and Nico to complete a very constructive programme. Nico continued his familiarisation with the KERS system in conjunction with set-up comparisons over longer runs to further develop the team’s understanding of car and tyre behaviour. His day concluded with qualifying simulations, including operation of KERS and the adjustable rear wing.
Nico completed 92 laps today, bringing his total lap count for this test to 223 laps. This equates to more than 1030 kms and demonstrates an encouraging step forward in reliability from earlier tests this winter. Michael Schumacher will complete the fourth and final day of testing tomorrow.
Nico Rosberg: “It was interesting running with the intermediates this morning and, although the warm-up is tricky, we definitely improved our understanding of the tyres. Our long runs this afternoon included some aero work in preparation for our next upgrade package before going into lower-fuel, new-tyre running at the end of the day. We made good progress in understanding the car and the tyres, and the reliability was solid once again. Overall, I’ve enjoyed two positive and productive days here in Barcelona.”
Michael Schumacher completed the four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya for MERCEDES GP PETRONAS today.
Michael’s programme over the day included aerodynamic evaluations, further race weekend preparation work and set-up development, particularly focusing on longer runs. Michael also continued his familiarisation with the KERS system.
Michael completed 114 laps today, bringing the team’s total mileage for this test to 1988 kms.
Michael Schumacher: “We’ve had another busy day, focusing on set-up work and improving our understanding of the car. The reliability was good, which gave us a solid platform to work from, and we made progress in terms of finding set-up directions. On the performance side, this isn’t the package we will start the season with, so we are not drawing too many firm conclusions. Overall it has been a productive test for us in Barcelona as we continue our pre-season preparations.”
Ross Brawn: “We have had a good test in Barcelona this week and made significant progress with our testing programme. Michael and Nico have both completed race weekend simulations, which have been extremely valuable to develop our understanding of the behaviour of the car and tyres on different fuel loads, and to use KERS and the adjustable rear wing in realistic situations. The reliability of the MGP W02 has been encouraging at this test which now allows us to turn our focus to the performance developments we have to come.”