Rosberg closes out preseason testing on top in Barcelona

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The winter preseason test days have now been completed with Nico Rosberg topping the speed chart on the final day. Yesterday his Mercedes works teammate, Lewis Hamilton was the fastest, and today the German set the top time.

Mercedes AMG’s F1 W04 garnered again the fastest unofficial fastest lap time of 1:20.130 on the Circuit de Catalunya. Nico Rosberg toured the circuit for the most laps, a total of 131 laps, on a sunny day in Barcelona, Spain. It was another positive day for the team that now appears to be one of the favorites for 2013.

“We have achieved our objectives for the test programme and the mileage that we have been able to complete has been very satisfying,” said Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn.

Nico Rosberg commented: “I'm pleased with our pre-season testing programme. We have achieved a lot of mileage and I can feel that the balance of the car is good. I have the general feeling that we are in a better position than in the second half of last year but this is testing not racing, of course.”

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari F138
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari F138

Photo by: XPB Images

The Formula One teams were pleased that the weather today and yesterday cooperated with no signs of rain which allowed them to finish their evaluation programmes. In fact the top three today are the teams who are expected to be the ones vying for the championship points. The Lotus F1 team – Kimi Raikkonen did place 3rd last year in the title fight – started the preseason testing as one to watch this year, and again they were in the top five.

Fernando Alonso, who ended the 2012 season, just shy of the title, was second fastest on his final day in the Scuderia Ferrari F138. The Spaniard missed the Jerez test but has taken his turn in the cockpit of the Prancing Horse. With a best lap of 1:20.494 and adding 120 laps on the new car, the team and both Alonso and Felipe Massa appear ready for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Jenson Button’s best lap today was a 1:21.444 with 122 laps around the circuit in the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-28. Sam Michael, sporting director for McLaren knows that the data collected over the 12 testing days in Jerez and Barcelona is vital to their preparations for the first race. McLaren and the other teams were able to test the new Pirelli tyres as well as discover how the new cars did on on-track during the rainstorms and on a semi-wet track.

Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-28
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-28

Photo by: XPB Images

“After completing over 5,000 kilometres, through dry and wet conditions, we have collected plenty of data from MP4-28A. A large part of winter testing is taken up with methodically working through many systems checks and verifying that the correlation between design and track is solid – that’s more important in modern F1 as track testing opportunities are so limited,” Michael said.

Unofficial times

Pos. Driver Car Time Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:20.130 131
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:20.494 120
3 Jenson Button McLaren 1:21.444 122
4 Nico Hülkenberg Sauber 1:21.541 118
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:21.658 50
6 Paul Di Resta Force India 1:21.664 112
7 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:22.415 42
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:22.514 100
9 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:22.524 31
10 Charles Pic Caterham 1:23.115 116
11 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:23.167 62
12 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:23.628 91
13 Max Chilton Marussia - -
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About this article
Series F1
Article type Testing report
Tags alonso, barcelona, brawn, button, f1, ferrari, lotus, mclaren, mercedes, raikkonen, rosberg

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