Montmelo, 21 February – Third day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari at the Catalunya circuit, on the outskirts of Barcelona, and Fernando Alonso’s last day at the wheel of the F138. The Spaniard will be back on track here next week for the final pre-season test session.
The team’s work programme was completed without any problems and it included set-up work aimed at adapting to the Soft tyres, which Fernando was trying for the first time this year and the Hards. Fernando covered a total of 97 laps, the quickest in a time of 1.21.875.
Fernando Alonso: “Today we concentrated on a comparison of the compounds, starting with the Soft and moving on to the Hard in the afternoon. The track was colder than yesterday, especially in the morning, which made it harder to adapt the car and find the right grip level. We tried various aerodynamic configurations and for the first time, we made some set-up changes to get a good understanding of tyre behaviour and degradation. With every change we made, the car reacted as I expected and it was useful to try out the different settings, especially to understand which direction we need to go in next week, when there will be a greater emphasis on performance. Once again this year, the tyres will be one of the crucial aspects to manage: they are softer and quicker, but also less consistent and they degrade rapidly with every lap. We will have a lot of work to do to understand how best to balance the car, but that applies to all the teams.”
Testing continues tomorrow at this circuit, when Felipe Massa will be on track.
Unofficial Thursday test times from Barcelona:
1. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1:21.875, 97 laps
2. Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, 1:22.160, 91 laps
3. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1:22.188, 119 laps
4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:22.611, 108 laps
5. Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1:22.675, 79 laps
6. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:22.826, 68 laps
7. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:22.840, 71 laps
8. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:22.877, 78 laps
9. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:23.024, 108 laps
10. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1:23.366, 106 laps
11. Max Chilton, Marussia, 1:25.690, 58 laps
12. Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, 1:26.177, 83 laps