Grosjean and Lotus bounce back on first day in Barcelona

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E20
Romain Grosjean ended the day fastest in the Lotus E20

Mar.1 (PVM) After missing out on three and half days of testing last week in Barcelona, due to a faulty suspension system, Lotus bounced back in the best way possible when Romain Grosjean topped the timing screens at the end of the first day of the last week of Formula 1 2012 pre-season testing.

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/27 in the pits.
Jenson Button ended the day second fastest

Just a week earlier the E20 was being shipped back to Enstone to sort out a problem with the mounting of the upper front wishbone rear arm (Report here>>>) thus with half an hour to go in the day’s session at Circuit de Catalunya, Grosjean bolted on a set of Pirelli soft tyres and proceeded to set the fastest lap of the day of 1 minute 23.252 seconds.

With 73 laps on their chart the Lotus team will no doubt be relieved that their woes appear to be over. Watch this space…

Prior to that the Lotus was second on the timing screens behind Jenson Button who had set the pace during a morning run, in the McLaren MP4-27. The Briton, who was the only world champion  (of the six who will line up on the grid this year) on duty, ended the day with 64 laps, and 0.258 seconds off Grosjean’s best.

The Sauber C31 again showed strongly, with Sergio Perez ending the day third best, and fastest of the Ferrari powered cars, with 118 laps to his credit. The Mexican set his best time during a morning stint.

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8. Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday 1 March 2012.
Mark Webber fourth fastest

Fourth fastest on the day was Mark Webber in the Red Bull RB8 with 102 laps on the charts. The Australian’s best time was set in the afternoon.

Most laps on the day went to Nico Rosberg who pounded around the Spanish Grand Prix venue no fewer than 128 times in the Mercedes AMG W03.

Rookie Jean Eric Vergne, in the Toro Rosso STR7, was the last of the drivers within one second of the top time of the day. He amassed 113 laps.

Seventh fastest and just under a second down on Grosjean was Paul di Resta in the Force India VJM05, who was just short of a 100 laps at the end of day one.

Felipe Massa was eighth fastest, also just shy of a second down on the pace setting Lotus, with 105 laps completed in the Ferrari F2012.

Vitaly Petrov made the most of his third outing with his new team, notching up 123 laps in the Caterham CT01 and ending the day ninth fastest and 1.624 seconds down on the top time.

At the foot of the timing screens was Pastor Maldonado in the Williams FW34, who only managed 58 laps and was over two seconds adrift of the best on the day. The team had issues that curtailed their running, which they were investigating into the night.

Both Marussia and HRT were absent, however there is talk that the latter may wheel out their 2012 car on the final day of the test for Pedro de la Rosa. Report here>>>

Barcelona Test  Day 1 – Thursday, 1 March 2012

4M.WebberRed Bull1:23.830+0.578102
6J-E.VergneToro Rosso1:24.216+0.964113
7P.Di RestaForce India1:24.305+1.05398


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