F1

Hulkenberg improves on performance in Barcelona

Hulkenberg improves on performance in Barcelona

After posting the second fastest time of the day on Thursday, AT&T Williams's driver Nico Hulkenberg took it one step further by setting best lap on Friday at the Circuit de Catayluna in Barcelona, Spain. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams F1 ...

After posting the second fastest time of the day on Thursday, AT&T Williams's driver Nico Hulkenberg took it one step further by setting best lap on Friday at the Circuit de Catayluna in Barcelona, Spain.

Nico Hulkenberg, Williams F1 Team.
Photo by xpb.cc.

The German rookie set a one minute, 20 second lap that just edged Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by only two tenths of a second. Home town hero Pedro de la Rosa finished third in his impressive Sauber C29.

Considering that Hulkenberg has been impressive at this final four day pre-season test for most of the Formula One entries, the former GP2 champion feels that there is still a long way to go.

"We have had a good test here." Said Hulkenberg. "P1 is nice, but it means nothing to be honest. We are not in Bahrain yet! It is positive for me, to know what the car can do though. We did a lot of set up work today and found some interesting things ,so I feel confident and ready to go to Bahrain now."

Early in the day before the teams broke for lunch, Alonso held the fastest time at this point, with a 1:20:637, while De la Rosa was right on his heels.

"Maybe the afternoon was a little quicker so I've got a better feeling, but I think that the situation won't be that different in the end," said Alonso. "It's always difficult to judge the others' times: today's classification doesn't mean anything. It's important to be on top of the classification after the last race."

Virgin returned back to the track, after the previous day's accident by Lucas di Grassi which destroyed the back of the car. The team managed to find good luck as spare parts arrived overnight at the circuit. Timo Glock took over testing duties, but only could manage an installation lap before returning back to the pits with a heat shield problem. The German returned back to the circuit, but his times were six seconds off the pace.

Timo Glock, Virgin Racing.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Michael Schumacher returned to the track and set the seventh quickest time, while his countryman Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest. Jarno Trulli was tenth best in his Lotus, while Robert Kubica made many adjustments in his Renault, but could only manage ninth quickest by the end of the day.

As the teams returned to the track in the afternoon, the weather was still very cool, but dry enough to start dropping times down. As the pace began to pick up for most cars, the first red flag finally occurred at three o' clock in the afternoon, when Trulli encountered a broken seal, forcing him to stop on the circuit. Lotus tried to replace the Italian's steering rack, and quickly managed to get him back out onto the track, but he could not improve his times.

Two days still remain for all the teams to make their last minute adjustments before the first race of the season in just over two week's time.

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