What We Have All Been Waiting For, Well At Least -Me-

Well it is now time for the last driver (that is already contracted to a team) to familiarize himself with his 2013 machinery. Of course I could only be referring to a one Fernando Alonso. Ferrari and Alonso have come painfully close to the ultimate prize in two of the last three years, which makes this (before the regs change to a v-6 turbo formula for 2014) year the last that we will have some parity up and down the pit lane. The felling that I get from 2010 and last year 2012 (2011 was a Redbull shalacking) was if Ferrari would of designed just “a little better of a car” in hindsight Fernando would of been 4x champion. Of course one never can really say with any certainty what would have been. But that is the feeling, at least from my bias interpretation.

With that said, we and I’m sure the rest of the grid eagerly await to see what the Ferrai’s new challenger, the F138 is capable of in the hands of this top driver. The reason for this wait: he elected to skip the first test. Some (there is no shortage of trash talking in the F1) thought this was not only foolish but also arrogant (that you for your input Niki Lauda).  The reason we are told is that Fernando was still training in middle east. On the surface of it, maybe most drivers not to mention, most of us, would like to get in to the car as soon as possible, especially with this new “faster- degrading” Pirreli tire. However, I’m sure Fernando know’s what he is doing. When asked about his absence, he [Alonso] quite simply said the first test is about miles and systems checks. Ok fair enough. Well here we are at the second winter test and Alonso on the third day did not disappoint. Here are the times. I did not include day 4 because it was rain affected.

Barcelona Test Day 1
1. Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.616s 54 Laps
2. Raikkonen Lotus 1m22.623s +0.007 44 Laps
3. Alonso Ferrari 1m22.952s +0.336 110 Laps
4. Vettel Red Bull 1m22.965s +0.349 66 Laps
5. Maldonado Williams 1m23.733s +1.117 86 Laps
6. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.884s +1.268 73 Laps
7. Perez McLaren 1m24.124s +1.508 77 Laps
8. Di Resta Force India 1m24.144s +1.528 82 Laps
9. Gutierrez Sauber 1m25.124s +2.508 68 Laps
10. Chilton Marussia 1m26.747s +4.131 65 Laps
11. Pic Caterham 1m27.534s +4.918 49 Laps

Barcelona Test Day 2
1. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m21.848s 97 Laps
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m22.197s +0.349 84
3. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m22.697s +0.849 43
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m22.726s +0.878 121
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m23.247s +1.399 76
6. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m23.561s +1.713 98
7. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.718s +1.870 70
8. Paul di Resta Force India 1m23.971s +2.123 62
9. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m24.205s +2.357 88
10. Max Chilton Marussia 1m25.115s +3.267 67
11. Charles Pic Caterham 1m26.243s +4.395 102

Barcelona Test Day 3
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m21.875s 97 Laps
2. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m22.160s +0.285 91
3. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m22.188s +0.313 119
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.611s +0.736 108
5. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m22.675s +0.800 79
6. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m22.826s +0.951 68
7. Jenson Button McLaren 1m22.840s +0.965 71
8. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m22.877s +1.002 78
9. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m23.024s +1.149 108
10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m23.366s +1.491 106
11. Max Chilton Marussia 1m25.690s +3.815 58
12. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m26.177s +4.302 83

Top 5 Quickest Times From  Both Days
1. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m21.848s 97 Laps  (d2)
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m21.875s 97 Laps (d3)
2. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m22.160s +0.285 91 Laps (d3)
3. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m22.188s +0.313 119 Laps (d3)
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m22.197s +0.349 84 Laps (d2)

So the second test of winter 2013 is complete. Massa says the car in on another “planet” Fernando calls it 200 time better.  We will not really know until the new stuff (Australian spec aero package) gets bolted on to the car for the next test and teams go for true competitive times in preparation for the first race of the season.  Time to get serious everyone…            jp

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