Formula 1 testing kicks off at wet Mugello

Formula 1's first proper in-season test for four years kicked off at a wet and overcast Mugello on Tuesday morning

Formula 1 testing kicks off at wet Mugello

With so little to separate the frontrunning teams so far in 2012 - with the true competitive order of the front-runners still not clear - the three day test has been billed as a vital element in determining the next stage of the championship battle.

And although the teams would have preferred dry conditions for all three days, the early downpour could prove just as useful to help them get a better understanding of the wet and intermediate tyres - on the back of the surprise Fernando Alonso victory over Sergio Perez in the rain-hit Malaysian Grand Prix.

Much of the focus of the three-day test will be on Ferrari's Alonso, who will get his first taste this week of some of the F2012 updates that are being brought to the Spanish Grand Prix.

Speaking after a fans' day at Mugello on Monday, Alonso said: "The championship is proving to be a real battle, but even if it's tough, the aim is still to win."

Mark Webber (Red Bull), Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) and Charles Pic (Marussia) are the only regular drivers doing a full day's running on the opening day.

McLaren, which has played down both the significance and relevance of the test, has opted to split the opening day between regular test drivers Oliver Turvey and Gary Paffett. Turvey will run in the morning, before Paffett takes charge for the afternoon.

Mercedes will operate a similar split, with China race winner Nico Rosberg being followed in the afternoon by Michael Schumacher.

Lotus, Force India, Williams and Caterham will all make use of reserve drivers on the first of the three days.

Jerome D'Ambrosio will take charge for Lotus, while Jules Bianchi - who suffered a costly crash for Force India during pre-season testing at Jerez - will resume testing duties for the Silverstone-based squad.

Valtteri Bottas and Rodolfo Gonzalez will meanwhile take the reins at Williams and Caterham respectively. Only HRT has opted not to run at Mugello.

shares
comments
Pirelli: Mugello test key to understand tyre challenges

Previous article

Pirelli: Mugello test key to understand tyre challenges

Next article

Fernando Alonso tops first morning session of F1 testing at Mugello

Fernando Alonso tops first morning session of F1 testing at Mugello
Load comments
French Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Plus

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push Plus

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push

The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2021
How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era Plus

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era

The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021