Fernando Alonso knew the new F138 had the speed and on the third day of testing for the Spaniard, he topped the unofficial time sheets on Circuit de Catalunya in his homeland. More importantly, the issues of the past two days allowed him to finally get laps under his belt. The 2012 vice champion clocked a time of 1:21.875 with a total of 97 laps around the circuit in Barcelona.
It was a cloudy day for the FIA Formula One Championship’s third test day in Spain but for Ferrari and Alonso it was a positive outcome after two earlier days with the dreaded issues that caused them time in the garage. Of course they were not the only team shaking down the new cars that had problems. In fact the testing will continue tomorrow and again next week as they all prepare for the first grand prix in Australia.
Felipe Massa will be in the F138 cockpit for tomorrow's final day of the second round of preseason testing. Added Alonso, "With every change we made, the car reacted as I expected and it was useful to try out the different settings, especially to understand which direction we need to go in next week, when there will be a greater emphasis on performance."
Like most of the teams, Nico Hülkenberg and the Sauber F1 Ferrari team focused on the tyres and setup changes in the morning but switched over later in the day to focus on the full-fuel long runs. His best unofficial time was 1:22.160, and he put an additional 91 laps on the C32. Tomorrow the team's rookie Esteban Gutiérrez will be back in the car for the second time this week.
"It was a positive day. We got a lot of testing done with just minor problems. I ran the soft tyres in the morning here in Barcelona for the first time to get a feeling for those, which was interesting. The car is performing pretty well, and I‘m as happy as I can be," said Hülkenberg.
Grosjean said, “I think I’m ready for a sleep after so many laps in the car! It’s good to see reliability today to add to the pace we’ve already seen in the car. We’re still at an early stage of development so it’s really promising to see where we are. It was difficult out on track as temperatures were so low, but we’ve gained a lot of useful data. The 2013 tyres certainly feel different from last year’s but already we’re starting to understand them. I hope it’s dry tomorrow so we can get some more laps under our belt.”
|8||Adrian Sutil||Force India||1:22.877||78|
|9||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:23.024||108|
|10||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1:23.366||106|
|12||Giedo Van Der Garde||Caterham||1:26.177||93|