Rosberg heads best time in Barcelona dry/wet day

Taking advantage of an early morning dry track, Nico Rosberg recorded a one minute, 20 second lap to claim the fastest lap of the day moments before rain fell Saturday, on day three of the four-day final pre-season test for Formula One cars at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"We had a good day today and made some significant progress in terms of set-up which was nice to see. We hadn't got the most out of the car in terms of performance over the last couple of days, but we made a step in the right direction today. We went through some big changes this morning step by step and found some good improvements," Rosberg said.

"The longer runs this afternoon were interesting. We learnt a lot as there were other cars running similar programmes at the same time so we were able to do some comparisons," the German added. "There is still plenty of room to improve but overall we're looking in pretty good shape."

With poor conditions for most of the day, Rosberg's best time could never be improved upon, thanks to the wet track. Only towards the end of the session did the track began to dry and this gave the Mercedes driver the chance to improve his time. But Williams' Rubens Barrichello caused a red flagged, disallowing the opportunity for Rosberg.

The veteran Brazilian driver later in the day provoked another red flag on the track when Barrichello spun his car into a gravel trap when the rain was once again causing havoc with the drivers.

Barrichello said, "We covered 101 laps today, which is always good. Unfortunately, we had some rain during the day which affected the programme a little bit. Everything that the team has brought to this test seems to be working well, so it's been a positive day altogether."

Timo Glock, driving his Virgin F1 car, was more interested in how the data of his car worked, and considering his time was the worst of the day, the German could only get his car out onto the track for one flying lap.

Jenson Button, McLaren Mercedes.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Toro Rosso's Sebastian Buemi was the second fastest on the day, while defending World Champion Jenson Button was third fastest in his McLaren. Barrichello followed in fourth, while Felipe Massa was fifth. Russian Vitaly Petrov had his best test result in his Renault taking sixth, while Germans Adrian Sutil and Sebastian Vettel, who failed to only complete 51 laps all day, were seventh and eighth respectively. Jarno Trulli, Kamui Kobayashi and Glock rounded up the 11 test times for today.

The teams have only one more day in this Catalan town to complete their alterations to their race cars before the start of the season in two weeks time.