After the first 2 days of testing, which saw Jenson Button at the wheel of his MP4-25, day 3 in Jerez saw of 2008 Champion Lewis Hamilton out on the track. First the times (courtesy of Formula1.com), then the explanation.
1. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, 1:19.919, 76 Laps
2. Pedro de la Rosa, BMW Sauber, 1:20.736, 58 Laps
3. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:21.428, 48 Laps
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:21.603, 72 Laps
5. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:21.783, 59 Laps
6. Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 1:22.000, 68 Laps
7. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP, 1:22.820, 53 Laps
8. Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 1:23.217, 120 Laps
9. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:23.985, 68 Laps
10. Lucas di Grassi, Virgin, 1:37.107, 8 Laps
Now, before you panic and think it’s all going pear shaped like this time last year, there is a reason for the slow time, in comparison to the other drivers:
With wet weather forecast to hit the circuit today, the test team had specifically devised a run programme to make best use of the day. The only dry running of the day took place in the morning, which the team used to undertake a number of aero mapping runs. Conducted at lower speeds, the only dry times of the day were therefore not representative of the team’s overall pace. As the rain started falling, focus shifted towards evaluating Bridgestone’s wet and intermediate compounds.
You can read the rest of the report from McLaren over at McLaren.com. So, not quite the disaster it looked like at first glance. As you can see from the following photo, it got pretty wet out on the track yesterday:
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The next photo, taken during the small window of dry weather, shows Lewis Hamilton being followed by Felipe Massa – get used to that Felipe ;o)
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Interesting to see the sponsorship of Santander on the Ferrari with the addition of white to the traditionally all red livery. Lewis is out in Jerez testing again today, let’s hope the weather is better than yesterday so he can a good few laps of dry running completed.
On a side note, Hamilton’s McLaren team mate of 2008 and 2009, Heikki Kovalianen, was at the launch of his new car as part of the Lotus Racing team. Here he he is with the brand new Lotus T127, with team mate Jarno Trulli, at yesterday’s launch in London:
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Best of luck at the new team Heikki, hope it goes well – though not too well!