Barcelona Test Day Four: Grosjean quickest as Alonso Crashes Out
Romain Grosjean went quickest for Lotus on the final day of testing in Barcelona, while local hero Fernando Alonso gave his fans a scare when he ...
Romain Grosjean went quickest for Lotus on the final day of testing in Barcelona, while local hero Fernando Alonso gave his fans a scare when he left the track in an air ambulance following a heavy impact with the barriers.
Alonso's difficult week for McLaren ended shortly before lunchtime when his Honda-powered machine left the track at turn three, making heavy contact on the car's right hand side.
The double world champion was concussed in the accident and transferred to the circuit medical centre and then airlifted to a local hospital where a CT scan later confirmed there were no injuries. However, the crash capped a week of constant trials for the Woking squad. The accident meant that there was no track time for Jenson Button in the afternoon.
"Fortunately, he’s fine, but was concussed during the accident, which therefore required an overnight stay in hospital as a precaution," said McLaren's Eric Boullier. "That’s normal practice after a concussion. It was just a normal testing accident."
Grosjean completed a strong week for Lotus who appear to have a much more impressive car than last year. The team got through lots of solid work complemented by their glory hunting short runs. Grosjean's best time came on super soft rubber towards the end of the day.
Apart from an early spin for Nico Rosberg at turn five, replicating Sebastian Vettel's Saturday blooper, the final day of the test was a hugely effective one for Mercedes.
The world champions concentrated on long runs with Rosberg completing the most laps of all, and for an encore vaulted to second on the time sheets within the last hour and a half.
Rosberg's best was just over two tenths shy of Grosjean and that the German only required medium compound tyres to achieve that time will have sent more than a few shivers down spines up and down pit lane.
Daniil Kvyat completed over a hundred laps once more for Red Bull, completing a hugely encouraging test with the day's third fastest time, recorded on soft tyres.
It was a difficult day for Sauber who were unable to record a flying lap in morning running with Felipe Nasr due to unspecified problems which confined them to the garage for long periods.
Nasr did run in the afternoon and managed fourth fastest time but he was stranded out on track with a few minutes to go, bringing out the final red flag of a busy day for the trackside workers.
While the promised race simulation didn't appear, Valtteri Bottas and Williams did manage to almost equal Nico Rosberg's mileage and again showed little concern for chasing lap time.
The Finn ended the week fifth, just ahead of Carlos Sainz who crashed during a race simulation with a couple of hours to go. The Spaniard was uninjured after hitting the barrier at Turn Three.
Team boss Franz Tost speculated afterwards that high winds may have played a part in the accident.
Ferrari showed little appetite for chasing big mileage or the top of the time sheets. Sebastian Vettel turned 74 laps on his way to seventh fastest time.
Finally, Nico Hulkenberg's first F1 appearance of 2015 for Force India ended two and a half hours early when his 2014 spec Mercedes engine expired in a cloud of smoke after turn one. His best lap put him eighth, faster than only Alonso.
Barcelona Test - Day Four
1 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:24.067s 111 laps
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.321s 0.254s 129
3 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing 1:24.941s 0.874s 102
4 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:24.956 0.889s 73
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:25.345s 1.278s 127
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1:25.604s 1.537s 88
7 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:26.312s 2.245s 74
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.591s 2.524s 36
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:27.956s 3.889s 20
Lotus enjoys a solid first test in Barcelona
Red Bull finishes test on a positive note at Barcelona
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