Kobayashi fastest as first Barcelona F1 testing ends

Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber C31 ended the final day of Barcelona fastest

Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber C31 ended the final day of Barcelona fastest

Feb.24 (PVM) Kamui Kobayashi powered his Sauber C31 to the top of the timing screens this morning, on the final day (of four) of the first stanza of testing at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, and remained there for the rest of the day.

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW34.

Pastor Maldonado was second fastest in the Williams FW34

Kobayashi used a set of Pirelli soft tyres just before lunch to set a time of 1 minute 22.312 seconds, which made him the fastest man at the Spanish Grand Prix venue this week, although only by a mere 0.079 seconds! The Japanese driver also completed the most laps on the day, with 145 to his credit despite bringing about the second red flag with 15 minutes left in the day’s proceedings.

Second best on the day was Pastor Maldonado in the Williams FW34, who also set his best time in the morning, ended a quarter second down on Kobayashi’s best with 134 laps on his chart.

Paul di Resta brought out the first red flags of the day shortly before noon when he briefly lost control of the Force India VJM05 and got on the gravel at Campsa Corner. He recovered to compete 101 laps and set the third best time.

24.02.2012 Barcelona, Spain - Paul di Resta (GBR), Force India F1 - Formula1 World Championship Pre-Season Testing  - Circuit de Catalunya +++ © Copyright:  RACE-PRESS.com

Paul di Resta's Force India VJM05 gets a lift back to the pit garage

Next up on the timing screens, in fourth place, was Jenson Button who amassed 115 laps in a productive day for the Woking squad. Notably the 2009 world champion set his time on hard tyres during a morning run.

Ferrari and Red Bull were again somewhat subdued, or in F1 parlance: focusing on their own programme to the exclusion of everything else. And perhaps as a result Felipe Massa was fifth fastest with 103 laps notched up in the Ferrari F2012 and Mark Webber sixth on the timing sheets with 85 to his credit in the Red Bull RB8.

Next up, seventh fastest, was rookie Jean Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso STR7 ahead of Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes W03 and slowest of all on the day Heikki Kovalainen in the Caterham CT01, who only did 70 laps due to a forced engine change.

A suspension problem prevented any more running In Barcelona for Timo Glock in last year’s Marussia MVR02. Also absent were HRT who did not turn up for the test and Lotus who packed up after their first day to sort out a chassis flaw.

The third and final episode of F1 pre-season testing is scheduled to start at the same venue – Circuit de Catalunya – on 1 March.

Barcelona Testing Day 4 Results – Friday, 24 February 2012

P Drivers Teams Times Laps
1 Kobayashi Sauber C31 1.22.312 145
2 Maldonado Williams FW34 1.22.561 +0.249 134
3 Di Resta Force India VJM05 1.23.119 +0.807 101
4 Button McLaren MP4-27 1.23.200 +0.888 115
5 Massa Ferrari F2012 1.23.563 +1.251 103
6 Webber Red Bull RB8 1.23.774 +1.462 85
7 Vergne Toro Rosso STR7 1.23.792 +1.480 92
8 Rosberg Mercedes AMG W03 1.23.843 +1.531 139
9 Kovalainen Caterham CT01 1.26.968 +4.656 70