Lotus has had an excellent testing week in Barcelona even if Nico Rosberg overshadowed them at the end of the afternoon. According to the Mercedes driver, his time isn’t impressive. How are the other teams supposed to react by hearing this? Ferrari has confirmed its progress. Williams’ programme was too special so it’s hard to talk about its potential. Toro Rosso, Sauber, Sahara Force India have had some reliability issues. Red Bull still has to work very hard but Lewis Hamilton bewares of the men from MK. Only Friday was good for McLaren. Spain has lived a very bad day with its local heroes. Fortunately, they’re fine despite their respective crashes at turn 3. The next testing days in Barcelona will take place from February 26th until March 1st. Let’s review this Sunday full of red flags…
Weather report: sunny and very windy (13km/h), T. air: 7-17°C ; T. track: 12-28°C
Lotus has signed three of four best times this week. At 4:47pm, Romain Grosjean offered himself the absolute best one of BCN1 in 1’24’’067 onto the supersoft tyres (111 laps completed ; programme: stop-start practices, tyre and aero tests, race simulation). Obviously, it’s not representative of the real level of the E23 but the team makes progress. Nico Rosberg, second (129 laps ; programme: setup analysis work and start procedure practices), has woken up the paddock with his great lap onto the medium tyres (1’24’’321). Pirelli said that the supersoft compounds are quicker about 1,5-2s than the medium tyres. Mercedes is pretty amazing especially the world champions in title haven’t shown their true game yet. Their rivals should continue to struggle this season too… Let’s note that the German driver did the same as Sebastian Vettel yesterday (spin at turn 5 at 9:27am – cold tyres). Daniil Kvyat has invited himself at the third row in 1’24’’941 (time signed onto the supersoft tyres at 3:48pm – 101 laps completed ; programme: aero tests, tyre evaluation, long runs, short runs, set up work). Red Bull will test a new front wing on next week. Felipe Nasr has appeared in fourth position in 1’24’’956 (72 laps ; programme: set up work and tyre evaluation). His session was very quiet (a halt at the entry of the pitlane at 9:48am caused by some general issues ; first time of the day at 2:44pm ; another stop at turn 6 at 5:50pm). Valtteri Bottas has been fifth in 1’25’’345 (127 laps ; programme: chassis tests perturbed by the wind on the morning and a race simulation stopped by 3 red flags this afternoon). The Finn had to stop his FW37 at turn 4 at 4:17pm. Carlos Sainz Jr has been classified sixth (1’25’’604 ; 88 laps completed and leader at the lunch break). The Spaniard was working on a race simulation when his session ended at 3:58pm after a spin at turn 3 (very damaged car after having hit the tyres wall but he’s ok). Carlos went to the medical center for a check-up. Sebastian Vettel shares his team-mate’s good feelings about the behaviour of the SF15-T on track. The Little Prince from Heppenheim has occupied the seventh place (1’26’’312 – 74 laps ; programme: set up work, soft and medium tyres tests, reliability test over the long runs). Nico Hülkenberg, eighth in 1’26’’591 (36 laps ; programme: an in-depth assessment of the new 2015 tyres), had to give up at the exit of turn 1 at 3:26pm (power unit issue). McLaren wanted Jenson Button to drive the MP4-30 after the lunch. They let Fernando Alonso take in charge of the morning plans (9th: 1’27’’956 ; 20 lapss). The last testing day of the week started at 10:59am and it ended at 12:45pm (crash at low speed at turn 3). The Matador isn’t injured but he’ll spend the night at the hospital nonetheless. Let’s wish him a speedy recovery!
(credit pic: newscom.com)