With the 2010 Formula One racing season ready to start in two weeks' time in Bahrain, the teams completed their final pre-season tests at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on Sunday. Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets with a 1: 20:472...
With the 2010 Formula One racing season ready to start in two weeks' time in Bahrain, the teams completed their final pre-season tests at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on Sunday. Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets with a 1: 20:472 fastest lap, just a fraction faster than Red Bull's Mark Webber. Felipe Massa in his Ferrari was third fastest.
The 2008 world champion was pleased with the new MP4-25 as he declared that he was "happy and comfortable with the new car". Hamilton also informed the McLaren engineers that he is "looking forward to Bahrain".
All of the top times were very close to one another, and were performed with low fuel loads. Seven time world champion Michael Schumacher was in sixth position, just .02 seconds from the leaders in his Mercedes. But team principal Ross Brawn realizes that the first race of the year and perhaps the rest of the season might have the Mercedes Grand Prix team playing catch up among the top four teams.
"Today brings our pre-season testing program to its conclusion and overall we are very pleased with the progress made with the MGP W01 and the integration of Michael and Nico into our team," commented Brawn. "In performance terms, we are not quite where we want to be yet but then again we are not far off. In testing, it is always difficult to be precise about your position relative to the competition, and we have our complete upgrade package due for the first race in Bahrain which should bring further improvements. Michael and Nico have both looked very good during the tests and they are working well together to improve the car."
The fourth-best time was the Force India car driven by Adrian Sutil. This car has been in the top six all weekend long, along with Sebastian Vettel, who is right behind his countryman with the fifth-best time.
Rubens Barrichello was seventh in his Williams, while Kamui Kobayashi finished eighth for Sauber.
"We didn't manage to achieve the expected mileage today because of technical issues," said Kobayashi. "However, for me it was still a good day because we ran through several procedures for the first race weekend. As I said yesterday, these things are very important for me and I can see I'm improving. I feel ready for Bahrain."
Sebastian Buemi managed to place a little lower in the grid on his final day in ninth, but the Swiss nevertheless was pleased on how the new Toro Rosso worked.
"I am pleased with my two days here in Barcelona," stated Buemi. "Today, we concentrated on doing a scan of various mechanical set-up options as well as some aero work. Overall, I think we are in good shape and now I'm looking forward to the first race to see where we stand compared to everyone else."
Robert Kubica was hoping for more success in his upgraded Renault, but the Pole was more interested in long runs then in the best headline times and finished in tenth. Heikki Kovalainen and Lucas di Grassi finished at the bottom of the timesheets, respectively.
With all the tests now complete, all the teams who are in this year's Formula One World Championship now will have to wait until the race weekend in Bahrain on the weekend of March 14th, before any additional adjustments can be made to their race cars.