Rodolfo Gonzalez, Caterham, Mugello, 2012

Rain limits running on first day of Mugello test

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Rodolfo Gonzalez, Caterham, Mugello, 2012Wet conditions at the Mugello circuit prevented teams from doing much meaningful running in the first day of this week’s test.

No-one completed more than 50 laps as the session began on a damp track which dried, only for the rain to return around lunch time.

Fernando Alonso took advantage of the limited dry running to set the quickest lap of the day with a 1’22.444 in his Ferrari.

Alonso came to a halt earlier in the session, bringing out the red flags as Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg also stopped on track.

Several teams chose today to run their test drivers. Jerome D’Ambrosio was fourth-quickest for Lotus behind Mark Webber and Jean-Eric Vergne.

Kamui Kobayashi ended the day sixth-fastest in an extensively revised Sauber including revised rear bodywork, a new front wing, updated diffuser and other changes.

McLaren ran Oliver Turvey and Gary Paffett – the latter completing just a handful of laps when the track was particularly wet. Michael Schumacher left the pits late in the day but did not set a time.

Marussia made their first appearance at an official F1 test this year, Charles Pic completing 45 laps in the MR01.

The red flag came out late in the day as the conditions worsened at the track. The session resumed with around half an hour remaining.

Two days of testing remain at the circuit with the weather forecast to improve tomorrow.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Fernando AlonsoFerrari F20121’22.44446
2Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault RB81’23.648241.204
3Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari STR71’23.891321.447
4Jerome D’AmbrosioLotus-Renault E201’24.048401.604
5Nico RosbergMercedes W031’24.100491.656
6Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari C311’24.736482.292
7Oliver TurveyMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-271’25.303302.859
8Jules BianchiForce India-Mercedes VJM051’25.475193.031
9Rodolfo GonzalezCaterham-Renault CT011’27.197354.753
10Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth MR011’27.359454.915
11Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault FW341’29.179286.735
12Gary PaffettMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-271’50.898428.454
13Michael SchumacherMercedes W03No time5

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Rain limits running on first day of Mugello test”

  1. Ferrari went from being a second slower from the front runners, to being 1.2 seconds quicker! Wow, that must be an amazing update, and look, a McLaren have lost so much ground!

    ….*Cough* I mean, what a very interesting session that we can learn nothing from :). Definitely looking forward to some dry running to see if any teams can make some real progress.

    1. that was due to weather conditions Ferrari today experienced a new exhaust layout (different from the one seen in Jerez) the new aero package will be ready in spain

      1. I know ;) It was a joke lol.

    2. Yeah at least 10 poles and wins during the rest of the session.
      Going on that form Massa might even make a podium. ;-)

  2. Ferrari seemed to go for quali simulation today. I assume the others didn’t as their times are well below Alonso’s quickest of the day, but good to see them getting some milage.
    Surpricing to see Red Bull only do 24 laps, considering their troublesome rear sidepods and exhaust design.
    Maybe the weather spoiled their program.

  3. And now it seems Kimi won’t be testing at all. Booooo. Thanks, weather.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/99286

    1. Nick.UK (@)
      1st May 2012, 20:30

      He doesn’t want any rain to get on his ice creams.

    2. More euros coming out of France than there are Finland perhaps?

      Then again, perhaps not. Kimi seems to be happy with how things are, and has a lot more F1 experience than Roman. Also a good shout looking for consistency by using one driver. However, couldnt they run a morning and afternoon program for both drivers? Assuming they did 30-45 laps morning and afternoon, that’s a lot of information to work with.

      I dont want to call favouritism, just worth raising an eyebrow to…

      1. More euros coming out of France than there are Finland perhaps?

        It was clearly Raikkonen’s choice not to run. He did the same thing during FP1 in Melbourne. It’s not like Lotus changed their driver line-ups without reason or warning.

        Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Eric Boullier chose Romain Grosjean to be Raikkonen’s team-mate because Raikkonen’s presence meant the team would get more coverage and Grosjean could ride his coat-tails a little bit.

  4. Dont think we should read too much into Ferrari’s pace today. Yes they were fast, but they have been good in wet conditions as we have seen this year. So coupled with their updates, and program, probably the car was made to look faster than it really is.

    Didnt see an interview with Fernando post test, would be good to hear about the difference he felt in the car’s handling characteristics.

    Ferrari have to improve, there is no two ways about it. Based on Keith’s analysis over the gap to leaders since 2010, Ferrari has consistently deteriorated while the other teams have caught up, If it wasnt for Fernando’s stellar driving, they may as well ended with with no podiums in 2011.

    Cant wait to see some times set on a dry track.

  5. I’m interested to see how Marussia do. They have been quite good so far considering they didn’t attend any pre-season testing. Unfortunately I still expect 11th or 12th in the WDC will be dictated more by luck than design.

    1. @andrewtanner – Eleventh seems the most likely at the moment. HRT have made progress, yes, but they’re going to need a 13th place (or two 14ths) to pass Marussia, and they probably won’t get that without a race of attrition because the Marussias are clearly quicker. Tenth may even be manageable for Marussia, because the Caterhams have been plagued by poor reliability. But it’s still early days.

      Hopefully a 10th or 11th place will attract more investment in the team, and they can start moving up the grid, too.

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