Formula 1 News

Hulkenberg and Perez on top today

Force India keeps showing real progress and Sauber seems to be in the right track.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

 BARCELONA, Feb 22, 2012 (AFP) - Germany's Nico Hulkenberg handed Force India a confidence boost on Wednesday when he clocked the fastest time in pre-season testing after an exhausting day's drive.

Hulkenberg timed 1min 22.608sec from a total of 112 laps with Sauber's Sergio Perez in second spot and world champion Sebastien Vettel, who had been quickest in the morning, finishing third fastest.

Once again, Caterham was first on-track with Vitaly Petrov making his debut with his new team; this included a selection of new car parts after Heikki Kovalainen ran into trouble with a rear suspension failure on Tuesday.

Huelkenberg achievement was set in the morning session and close to match in the afternoon, when the Spanish Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) scored the fourth fastest time of the day but best at those hours (1:23.180).

In fact, times hardly moved in the evening session as most drivers decided to go for long runs or to make Grand Prix simulations, such as the German Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren).

The two world champions were on the track very close to each other. At some point, Hamilton had to lift his foot off the accelerator to allow the RB8 of the German, with better pace, and that was in harder compounds than the intermediate ones of the Brit.

Vettel, who made the third fastest time of the day after of the Mexican Sergio 'Checo' Perez, successfully completed its second day of testing at Barcelona and will not see the track again until next week.

Alonso was one of the few drivers that improved his morning time. He primarily went to test various solutions to the exhaust system. Actually, Ferrari lowered the times by nearly half a second from the best in the morning after choosing softer compounds.

Alonso finished behind Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso), who with some mechanical problems in the afternoon session.

Testing continues until Friday and there will be a final series of testing back here on March 1-4, before the teams travel to Australia for the opening race of the season in Melbourne on March 18.

 

Testing times below:

Pos.
Driver
Car
Time
Laps
1
Nico Hulkenberg
Force India VJM05
1:22.608
112
2
Sergio Perez
Sauber C31
1:22.648
85
3
Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull RB8
1:22.891
104
5
Fernando Alonso
Ferrari F2012
1:23.180
87
5
Daniel Ricciardo
Toro Rosso STR07
1:23.639
50
6
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren MP4-27
1:23.806
120
7
Nico Rosberg
Mercedes W03
1:24.555
82
8
Valtteri Bottas
Williams FW34
1:25.738
117
9
Vitaly Petrov
Caterham CT01
1:26.605
69
10
Charles Pic
Marussia MVR02
1:27.343
108

 

Nico Hulkenberg today at Barcelona

Nico Hulkenberg today at Barcelona

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