Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Max Chilton tops day one of Barcelona test for Marussia

(©Ben Johnston 2014 Spanish Grand Prix)

The Marusssia F1 Team's Max Chilton set the fastest time on the opening day of the Barcelona in season test at the Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya. The Englishman set a time of 1m 26.434 and ended the day just ahead of the Lotus F1 Team's Charles Pic who completed 70 lap's and clocked a time of 1m 26.166s.

After topping the time-sheets this morning Lewis Hamilton was third fastest for Mercedes racking up 79 lap's with a fastest time of 1m 26.674s. Nico Rosberg will take over the W05 for the final day of the test tomorrow. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen had a difficult start to the day as stopped out on track after completing just two lap's. However the Finn made up up for lost time by posting the 4th fastest time for the Italian team with a 1m 26.965s.

The Finn will conclude Ferrari's programme tomorrow. Jean Eric Vergne, who also encountered problems with Toro Rosso this morning finished his day in 5th place just ahead of Force India's Nico Hulkenberg who followed up another points finish on Sunday with a strong sixth place finish. The German completed 53 laps and set a a time of 1m 27.727s.

Felipe Massa was 7th fastest for the Williams Martini Racing Team. The Brazilian completed 55 laps, and set a fastest time of 1m 27.756s, all eye's will be on the Williams Martini Racing Team tomorrow as Susie Wolff will take to the track in the FW36 as she prepares to take part in her first Friday Practice session at the British Grand Prix July 4th. 

Jenson Button was 8th fastest for McLaren just ahead of Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi. Switzerland's Sebastian Buemi was in the Red Bull RB10 despite more  and completed 54 lap's for the reigning world champions despite encountering problems.. Speaking after the session Buemi said:

'It was the first day for me in the RB10 and I experienced a bit of dry and a bit of wet, which was good, “We mainly concentrated on trying to understand the car better after the weekend and trying to improve it. We also worked on some correlation with the simulator, as I spend a lot of time in that. Then we had a gearbox problem, which stopped us, but otherwise it was a decent day. As ever, it was really about gathering data. We don’t get many opportunities for this type of testing so it’s important to get as much information as possible.'

Red Bull's Race Engineering Co-ordinator, Andy Damerum commented on today's running:

'We were in a good place first thing this morning with the car all set to run, but unfortunately the weather got in the way a bit. We moved things around on the schedule and managed to get what I’d called a lot of ‘stocking filler’ jobs done, but we really would have preferred dry running. We had Sébastien Buemi in the car today and he spends quite a bit of time in the simulator, so we wanted to give him a proper feel for the new car and do some correlation work to make sure that what’s happening in the simulator and what’s happening on the track is the same. Of course the race drivers use the simulator as well but it’s Sébastien who does the lion’s share of that work. We were able to do quite a bit of work in that area when the weather improved, which was good. We were also running a lot of other test items today, all of which are aimed at improving the package as a whole, so what with the weather it was quite a complex day. It was then made more complicated by the mechanical failure, which prevented us doing any more running. Sebastian Vettel takes over tomorrow and we have quite a packed programme so hopefully we’ll get in a full day’s running.”

The Sauber F1 Team's Giedo Van De Garde rounded out the time-sheets despite covering the most laps of any driver today as the completed a staggering 86 laps of the circuit. Speaking afterwards Van Der Garde said: 

'Today we got the tyre programme from Pirelli which was on high fuel. We tested several hard compound tyres as they gave us various options. In the morning we were interrupted by light rain, but we could still test a few intermediate tyre options. After that, the track dried off and in the afternoon we completed the test programme for Pirelli. I think it was a good test day. I am happy that I was back in the car again.

Testing concludes tomorrow with a number of team's swapping their driver's around for day two.

©Ben Johnston 2014

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