Formula 1

F1 winter testing: Barcelona II

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG W06

Formula 1 pre-season testing is all done and the post-rationalising from the teams telling us what a great job they were able to do is well underway. As the saying goes, when the flag drops the bullshit stops and we’ve got less than two weeks until the Australian Grand Prix.

After the break is a list of times for the final four days of testing in Barcelona. Mercedes AMG and Williams shared the spoils with their drivers setting the fastest times across the week.

Nico Rosberg claims the title of fastest man in pre-season with his 1:22.792 lap on day two, a full 1.2 seconds faster than his nearest challenger on the day.

It’s no surprise, then, that reigning constructors’ champions Mercedes AMG look to be the team to beat once again this season.

Formula 1

F1 winter testing: Barcelona I days 2–4

Romain Grosjean, Lotus E23, Barcelona

Lotus can leave the first Barcelona test with bragging rights after Romain Grosjean (1:24.067) set the fastest time of the week overnight. He comfortably outpaced Nico Rosberg (1:24.321) and Daniil Kvyat (1:24.941).

On Saturday Lotus was again the team on top, this time in the hands of Pastor Maldonado (1:24.348), who was also quickest on day 1 in Barcelona. Young punk Max Verstappen (1:24.739) showed the Toro Rosso day care centre that he’s got genuine pace, with a gap over one second back to Lewis Hamilton (1:26.076).

Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo (1:24.574) set the best lap on Friday, narrowly edging out the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen (1:24.584). A touch further back was Felipe Massa (1:24.672).

A full list of times and total laps covered by each driver from the previous three days of testing can be seen below.

Formula 1

F1 winter testing: Barcelona I day 1

Pastor Maldonado, Lotus E23, Barcelona

Pastor Maldonado has topped the time sheets (1:25.011) on the opening day of testing in Barcelona overnight.

The Lotus driver made good use of his new Mercedes power unit and some fresh soft tyres to set his best lap late in what was quite an exciting day, as far as pre-season testing goes.

Kimi Raikkonen (1:25.167) again kept Ferrari near the pointy end, while Daniel Ricciardo was the third fastest (1:25.547). The top three had a full second clear back to the remaining pack.

“The car felt good today, we got a bit of running done on a few different [tyre] compounds, which was interesting and we got a lot of data, which is always good,” said Daniel. “I think we’re chipping away. We’re definitely making progress but it takes time. However, I think come Melbourne we’ll be there.”

The excitement came from a minor coming together with Felipe Nasr (Sauber) and Susie Wolff (Williams). In the morning session Nasr had shown good pace, heading the field, but that all came undone after he ran into the back of Wolff’s car. The damage was minor and both drivers were able to get back on track later in the day.

Lewis Hamilton set the slowest time of the day and ended his running early due to illness. The world champion completed only 11 laps and his departure meant that reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein was quickly recalled from his loan spell with Force India. Wehrlein was able to complete 48 laps in the W06, after putting in 32 laps for Force India earlier in the day.

F1 in pictures Formula 1 Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2011 Spanish Grand Prix in pictures

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

Despite being teased by our own Mark Webber when he scored pole position, the Spanish GP ended up being yet another Sebastian Vettel victory. That’s four from five races for the 2010 champ and history suggests that impressive start is already enough to put Vettel at almost unbackable odds to make it a second world crown.

As usual there’s some great pics from the latest race and there’s a couple of shots where you can see how dramatic the marbles are with the new Pirelli tyres.

We’re already in another Grand Prix week with the classic Monaco GP just a few days away. Can Mark match his unstoppable performance from 2010, or is he fast becoming a broken man with shattered confidence?

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Mark Webber wins Spanish GP

Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing

Mark Webber has capped off a totally dominant weekend in the most perfect way by winning the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix in Barcelona. The Australian posted the quickest times in all three qualifying sessions yesterday to claim pole position and he had no equal during today’s race, leading from start to finish.

Webber set numerous fastest laps during the Grand Prix and won by 24 seconds over Fernando Alonso. Webber’s Red Bull Racing teammate Sebastien Vettel suffered braking issues late in the race and was forced to drive conservatively to nurse his car across the finish line. Vettel managed to hold on for third place more than 50 seconds behind Webber.

There was drama late in the race when second placed Lewis Hamilton suffered a left front puncture with less than two laps to go. On the previous lap Hamilton had set the fastest time for the race (1:24.357), but the incident forced him off the track and into a tyre barrier. The parochial Spanish crowd cheered mightily as Alonso inherited his  former teammate’s second place position.

Speaking after the race Webber acknowledged the efforts of his team, “The team have just been incredible the week. Collectively, Renault and Red Bull, everyone just put a huge effort in—the driver did a little bit of his work as well—in the end it was a fantastic result and I’m absolutely thrilled.”

Webber’s third career GP victory and his first for 2010 moves him into fourth place in the title race. He now has 53 points, 17 behind current leader and defending champion Jenson Button.

The F1 circus back up immediately for next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix and if Webber and Red Bull can continue their qualifying supremacy they should be well placed to register consecutive Grand Prix victories.

Stay tuned for a picture gallery of the Spanish Grand Prix to be added in the next 24 hours.

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Mark Webber drives virtual lap of Barcelona

Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing

Mark Webber is back in his fancy Red Bull Racing computer game thingy. This time he’s giving us a preview of what to expect from this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. Well, apart from lots of fans for Fernando and a tough race for car and driver.

You can see the video below after the break.