The final Formula One preseason testing is underway at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. The weather was a mix of rain showers and gusty winds, but they ended the day on a dry track.
Mark Webber turned a lap of 1:22.693 toward the final minutes of the afternoon session on the 4.655km Circuit de Catalunya. The Australian placed his Infiniti Red Bull-Renault over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by 1.655 of a second. As it turned out the teams actually had just one hour at the end to set the fastest laps. Webber was on the soft-compound Pirelli tyres on a dry track when he turned the top laptime of the day.
He also toured the circuit for 90 laps in the RB9, and despite the heavy winds in Barcelona, Spain, Webber commented on the day: “It was pretty heavy, I must say. There was a big tailwind down to Turn One and in other sections it was pretty dusty. The level of wind wasn’t trivial but to be honest it was tricky enough anyway because of the greasy conditions on the track.”
Hamilton made the change to the Mercedes works team this year and he said, “All the guys have done a fantastic job both here and at the factory. I'm really happy that we're making progress together and very much enjoying working with everyone. The last couple of days of pre-season testing are always really exciting when everyone starts to add their upgrades so I'm looking forward to the weekend.”
Third today was a surprise as Jean-Eric Vergne set his best lap at 1:25.017 in the Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8. Like the other teams, Vergne spent most of the day on rain tyres and intermediates, which was good since Pirelli had made changes to their wet weather tyres for the 2013 season. Vergne and the team engineers were able to do aerodynamic work, including the evaluation of a few new components.
There are three more days left for the teams to complete their development work and evaluate new components and setups. The Australian Grand Prix is looming closer.
|1||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:22.693||90|
|3||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1:25.017||59|
|7||Paul Di Resta||Force India||1:27.107||57|