While it can often be foolhardy to put too much faith into times achieved in Formula 1 pre-season testing we learnt early on last year that Lotus would have good raw pace. And it looks as though that will be the case again in 2013 after Romain Grosjean sent the Lotus E21 to the top of the time sheets on the second day of pre-season testing in Jerez overnight.
Grosjean’s time of 1:18.218 is six tenths faster than Jenson Button’s best from yesterday. Grosjean was quick all day and one of the few drivers to improve his lap time during the afternoon session.
The Frenchman completed 95 laps and has left him full of confidence before handing over test duties to Kimi Raikkonen tomorrow. “It was good today; the programme went to plan and we showed we have good reliability,” Grosjean said. “For me, the whole test has gone well which bodes well for the year ahead. My feeling in the car is good and it was great to be at the top of the times. Even if it doesn’t mean anything during testing, it’s still good to be at the front.
“We used the soft, medium and hard compounds and whilst we’re not 100% yet on the differences between each we have a good idea. Kimi will be working on this area for the next two days so we’ll have a better understanding when we head to Barcelona.”
Meanwhile, spare a thought for Lewis Hamilton, or have a wee chuckle, depending on your opinion of the 2008 world champion. Just 15 laps into his Mercedes AMG career he suffered a brake failure in the F1 W04 which caused him to crash and miss the rest of the day. He was unharmed in the incident and is happy, for now, to tow the party line.
“These things happen and it’s all part of testing,” said Lewis. “Of course, it’s better that we get these small issues out of the way sooner rather than later, and the guys are working really hard to overcome them.”
For the record, he was a fraction faster than Sergio Perez in his first outing in the McLaren MP4-28.
Mark Webber had a good day, locking away 101 laps and despite not being at the top of the times is very happy with his two days in the RB9. Fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo notched up 83 laps and set the third fastest time in the Toro Rosso STR8. He too was happy, although a little circumspect, after his track time.
[Pic: Lotus/LAT Photographic]
2013 F1 pre-season testing – Jerez (Day 2)
- Romain Grosjean Lotus – 1:18.218 (95 laps)
- Paul di Resta Force India – 1:19.003 +0.785 (95 laps)
- Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso – 1:19.134 +0.916 (83 laps)
- Mark Webber Red Bull – 1:19.338 +1.120 (101 laps)
- Nico Hulkenberg Sauber – 1:19.502 +1.284 (99 laps)
- Lewis Hamilton Mercedes – 1:19.519 +1.301 (15 laps)
- Sergio Perez McLaren – 1:19.572 +1.354 (81 laps)
- Felipe Massa Ferrari – 1:19.914 +1.696 (78 laps)
- Pastor Maldonado Williams – 1:20.693 +2.475 (71 laps)*
- James Rossiter Force India – 1:21.273 +3.055 (19 laps)
- Giedo van der Garde Caterham – 1:21.311 +3.093 (88 laps)
- Luiz Razia Marussia – 1:23.537 +5.319 (31 laps)
All timing unofficial