Circuit de Catalunya - 2013 Testing Day Five: Webber sets pace
Mark Webber sent Red Bull to the top of the time-sheets for the first time this year in the pre-season testing as it resumed at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Webber set his fastest time of the day on soft tyres in the final half hour of the afternoon session, after rain had blighted much of the morning running.
After a wet start to the day and several heavy showers in the morning, a dry line started to emerge on track in the afternoon and the teams were able to run slicks for the final 90 minutes. After a morning spent on intermediates and full wets, the times dropped quickly with Webber on top when the chequered flag fell.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton clocked the second-fastest time. The 2008 world champion, who headed the times in the morning, completed 113 laps (the most of any driver on the day) with Jean-Eric Vergne third in the Toro Rosso. However, with representative lap times only really being set in the final few minutes, little could be read into the times.
The first red flag came just 17 minutes into the morning session when Romain Grosjean spun off at turn 12 and left his Lotus beached in the gravel. A second red flag came 20 minutes before the lunch break when Esteban Gutierrez went off at the high-speed turn three. The nose of the car ended up against the barrier but damage appeared to be minimal and the Mexican was back on track in the afternoon.
Williams’ rookie Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest in the FW35. Marginally slower than Bottas were the Mexican duo of Sergio Perez (in the McLaren MP4-28) and Esteban Gutierrez (in the Sauber C32). Paul di Resta was seventh fastest for Force India.
Felipe Massa was eighth for Ferrari, but completed the second-most laps of the day, a full 112. And finally Marussia’s Max Chilton and Caterham’s Charles Pic rounded out the top ten, with Lotus’s Romain Grosjean a distant 11th for Lotus after having a minor off in the morning session.
Luiz Razia was absent again despite being listed as Marussia’s driver today (he missed the entire second test due to what he claimed were contractual “conflicts”). Razia was scheduled to kick off the final test, but when the garage doors opened it was Chilton at the wheel of the MR02 again. The team has remained quiet on the issue, and although Razia is also scheduled to share time with Chilton on Friday and Sunday, Marussia’s sporting director, Graeme Lowdon said it would be Chilton again in the car tomorrow.
|1.||Mark Webber||Red Bull RB9||1:22.693||90|
|2.||Lewis Hamtilon||Mercedes W04||1:24.348||113|
|3.||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso STR8||1:25.017||59|
|4.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams FW34||1:26.458||85|
|5.||Sergio Perez||McLaren MP4-28||1:26.538||100|
|6.||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber C32||1:26.574||92|
|7.||Paul di Resta||Force India VMJ06||1:27.107||57|
|8.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F138||1:27.541||112|
|9.||Max Chilton||Marussia MR02||1:28.166||78|
|10.||Charles Pic||Caterham CT03||1:28.644||83|
|11.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus E21||1:34.928||52|