Hamilton on top at end of Jerez test
|By Edd Straw||Saturday, February 13th 2010, 16:10 GMT|
Lewis Hamilton ended the week on top at Jerez, the McLaren driver setting the fastest lap of the four-day test in the final 10 minutes of today's session.
The former world champion set a 1m19.583s time during his late run, putting him half a second clear of previous pacesetter Adrian Sutil, who still completed a promising first test for the new Force India VJM03 in encouraging style.
Sutil also produced his best lap in the final hour on a day when teams were grateful to complete a significant amount of dry running and mostly prioritised runs on heavier fuel loads.
Although the day started wet, the track had dried by lunchtime and teams began to work on longer runs, with Ferrari's Felipe Massa the first to commit to a big stint.
Rubens Barrichello, who was hoping to find more performance from the Williams FW32 after the team spent three days concentrating on the Cosworth engine, set the third fastest time of the day on the fourth lap of an 11-lap run, 0.7s off Hamilton's time. The Brazilian completed a number of longer runs during the day and managed 90 laps in all.
Robert Kubica was fourth fastest for Renault, with Michael Schumacher fifth in his Mercedes and completing 83 laps despite causing a red flag in the middle of the afternoon when he deliberately ran the fuel tank dry shortly after setting his best time of the day.
The German's former team-mate Felipe Massa completed over two grand prix distance's worth of laps at Jerez driving the Ferrari F10. Despite causing an afternoon red flag when he stopped on track - also with an empty fuel track as part of a planned fuel consumption test - Massa ended the day seventh fastest overall behind Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull. The German lost some track time with an unspecified technical problem.
Sauber's Pedro de la Rosa achieved his aim of getting a large amount of dry mileage to make him less "rusty" with over 100 laps.
It was a good day for Virgin Racing, with Brazilian Lucas di Grassi completing 63 laps and setting a best time within 3.3s of the pace. He set the time in the late afternoon after a quiet morning, and also completed some longer runs for a car that had managed just 24 laps on the opening three days at Jerez.
The next test kicks off at the same circuit on February 17.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m19.583s 113 2. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m20.180s + 0.597s 83 3. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m20.341s + 0.758s 90 4. Robert Kubica Renault 1m20.358s + 0.775s 85 5. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m20.613s + 1.030s 83 6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m21.203s + 1.620s 89 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m21.485s + 1.902s 160 8. Pedro de la Rosa Sauber 1m22.134s + 2.551s 105 9. Lucas di Grassi Virgin 1m22.912s + 3.329s 63 10. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1m24.072s + 4.489s 98 All timing unofficial