Under blue skies with occasional cloud coverage, Romain completed 95 laps; many of which dipped into the 1min 18s. He ended the day with the best time set thus far this week – a 1min 18.218secs – with no other car running under 1min 19.000secs.
Kimi Räikkönen will take to the wheel of the E21 for the first time tomorrow, before wrapping up the opening test on Friday.
Romain Grosjean: “It was good today; the programme went to plan and we showed we have good reliability. For me, the whole test has gone well which bodes well for the year ahead. My feeling in the car is good and it was great to be at the top of the times. Even if it doesn’t mean anything during testing, it’s still good to be at the front. We used the soft, medium and hard compounds and whilst we’re not 100% yet on the differences between each we have a good idea. Kimi will be working on this area for the next two days so we’ll have a better understanding when we head to Barcelona. It’s not easy to understand everything about the car and tyres yet, but I think we’re working quite well and it’s up to us to find the best solutions.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “I’m very happy with today’s performance. The pace looks good and we haven’t had any issues with reliability meaning we could complete all of our programme without interruption. We focused on learning more about the 2013 Pirelli tyres and ran with the soft, medium and hard compounds with a variety of different set-ups, both mechanical and aerodynamic, to understand how they react. This combined with a good mileage today to give us some very good data to work through ahead of Kimi getting in the car tomorrow.”
Track: Jerez, Spain, 4.4km
Weather: Sunny, ambient 5-22°C, track 7-28°C
Programme: Systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, evaluation of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package, tyre performance assessment.
Laps Completed: 95.
Classification: P1, 1:18.218.
Interruptions: Stopped out on track on lap 96 (fuel).