Rosberg tops wet first day at Jerez

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg topped the rain-hit first day of the second pre-season Formula 1 test at Jerez

Rosberg tops wet first day at Jerez

The 24-year-old was fastest during the first hour before the rain, setting a best time of 1m20.927s to shade Scuderia Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi by just 0.104s.

Despite topping the times, his day ended badly as he brought out the red flag with 10 minutes remaining after stopping on track on his 58th lap.

But Rosberg was still content at the end of the session, having felt much more comfortable in the car than he had at Valencia last week.

"The car felt very good today," he said. "Compared to Valencia where I was sitting too low which affected my visibility and the set-up wasn't perfect, today I felt really comfortable and I could push so it was an enjoyable day and a good start to the test for me."

Because of the bad weather, drivers' fastest lap times were all set in the first hour, with the new Red Bull RB6 ending near the foot of the times because Mark Webber's lap was posted while the car was still going through the installation process.

The Australian completed 47 laps before being forced to stop on track with an oil leak, and was only able to rejoin the session in the final 15 minutes as the problem meant an engine change was required. However, the late red flag meant that he could only manage another three laps.

"It's frustrating that a problem with a simple component late morning forced an engine change later in the day, as it cost us quite a lot of time," said the team's head of race engineering Ian Morgan.

"However, the most disappointing thing today was the weather - it's good to have a test in the wet, but it's not ideal when it's your first. We're hoping for better conditions tomorrow when we will continue working through the new car system checks."

The Force India VJM03 also ran in public for the first time, with Vitantonio Liuzzi driving the car that Adrian Sutil shook down at Silverstone.

The Italian was seventh fastest, four seconds off Rosberg's mark, but like Webber the time was set while the car was completing installation laps after missing last week's Valencia test.

"In the dry, the balance felt good," said Liuzzi, who completed 71 laps. "Although when it started to rain it made it more difficult to judge how the car was."

Williams racked up more miles on the Cosworth engine on only the powerplant's second full test since 2006. Nico Hulkenberg, who set the third fastest time when the track was in good shape in the first hour, completed 118 laps and the team reported that it was happy with progress.

Hulkenberg was also one of the fastest drivers in the wet, setting a 1m25.950s in the penultimate hour before the rain got worse.

Fernando Alonso, on his second appearance in the Ferrari, was fourth fastest. The Spaniard missed most of the morning running after setting his time early on, but the team's hopes that the track would dry were unfulilled and he completed several longer runs in the afternoon, racking up 88 laps.

"We're satisfied, because we could collect lots of data, which is important for the reliability," Alonso said. "We hope that the weather is better tomorrow, because it's important to drive on a dry track, too.

"The car went very well on the wet track though and it's easy to drive. The feeling is good, just like on the dry. All in all I had some positive sensations today."

Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi also had a restricted programme because of the weather, running regularly throughout the day but completing only 55 laps. The Japanese was fifth fastest overall ahead of Jenson Button, whose McLaren was fitted with some attention-grabbing aero sensor equipment as the team attempted to maximise the data gathered.

Vitaly Petrov completed only 27 laps on his second day in the Renault R30. After setting his fastest time in the first hour, he stayed in the pits until the afternoon, but despite having no mechanical problems the team preferred to limit his track time.

"I usually enjoy driving in the wet but it was annoying to lose so my much track time to the weather," Petrov said. "Hopefully we will have better conditions later in the week."

The new Virgin VR-01 made its first public appearance in the hands of German Timo Glock. The team flew out new parts that arrived in Spain on Tuesday night and weren't able to hit the track until the afternoon.

After two installation laps, Glock completed a three-lap run in mid-afternoon, setting a best time of 1m38.734s.

Testing continues tomorrow, with the only scheduled driver change being Michael Schumacher stepping in at Mercedes in place of Rosberg.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m20.927s 57 2. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1m21.031s +0.104 84 3. Nico Hulkenberg Williams 1m22.243s +1.316 118 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m22.895s +1.968 88 5. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m23.287s +2.860 55 6. Jenson Button McLaren 1m24.947s +4.020 68 7. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India 1m24.968s +4.041 71 8. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m25.440s +4.513 27 9. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m26.502s +5.575 50 10. Timo Glock Virgin 1m38.734s +17.807 5 
shares
comments
Teams warned over missing races

Previous article

Teams warned over missing races

Next article

Bridgestone announces tyre allocations

Bridgestone announces tyre allocations
Load comments
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku Plus

The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Plus

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021
How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP Plus

How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP

Formula 1's return to Baku after a year away had thrown up an eventful qualifying marred by four red flags, but the race appeared to be running to a familiar Red Bull vs Mercedes template entering the closing stages. That is, until a dramatic conclusion where victory was snatched away from two drivers, before landing in the lap of Sergio Perez

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021