Kobayashi upsets the formbook
SAUBER continued the trend of confusing the formbook, as Kamui Kobayashi ended up fastest on the final day of testing this week in Barcelona. Although the Swiss team admitted afterwards that his fastest run was as a qualifying demo, it leaves many fans and experts still confused about a potential running order going into the Australia season opener.
Gary Anderson, the new Technical Analyst for BBC F1 said on their website; “This was one of the most confusing pre-season tests I can remember in terms of trying to work out what was going on. The big teams have been keeping their powder dry. They look like they’re confident enough to not need to go out there and see what the car can do on a big one-off lap.”
Anderson went on to predict that he still thinks the Red Bull is going to be the car to beat. Kobayashi set a 1.22.312 today, not only ending quickest, but setting the fastest lap time of the week. It was slightly better than Pastor Maldonado’s metoric effort yesterday, but the Venezuelan continued his purple patch by going second fastest. Paul di Resta completed a very surprising top three in the consistent Force India, as Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Felipe Massa spent another day gaining more mileage and not end up being too concerned about setting a fast time.
Six drivers did over 100 laps today, but Marussia never left the garage. Charles Pic was sidelined for the day after an early discovery of a damaged suspension component. The team will launch their 2012 model next week. Meantime, it seems to have emerged that HRT have some issues with their 2012 car. Their non-appearance this week indicates that the new car has failed the mandatory FIA crash test.
The final pre-season test will be held again at the Circuit de Catalunya, beginning next Thursday.
BARCELONA DAY 4 TESTING TIMES
1. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber Ferrari) 1.22.312 – 144 laps
2. Pastor Maldonado (Williams Renault) 1.22.561 – 134 laps
3. Paul di Resta (Force India Mercedes) 1.23.119 – 101 laps
4. Jenson Button (McLaren Mercedes) 1.23.200 – 115 laps
5. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1.23.563 – 103 laps
6. Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing Renault) 1.23.774 – 85 laps
7. Jean-Eric Vergne (Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari) 1.23.792 – 92 laps
8. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP) 1.23.843 – 139 laps
9. Heikki Kovalainen (Caterham Renault) 1.26.968 – 70 laps