Formula 1 News

Kobayashi sets the standard in Barcelona

Kobayashi clocked the best time in today's testing session. William's Maldonado marked second best, confirming the team's good momentum.
Friday, February 24, 2012

BARCELONA, Feb 24, 2012 (AFP) - Japan's Kamui Kobayashi set the pace on the fourth and final day of the second week of pre-season testing in Barcelona before the opening Formula One race next month.

The Sauber driver clocked a fastest 1min 22.312sec during 63 laps, ahead of Venezuela's Pastor Maldonado in the Williams (1:22.561) and Britain's Jenson Button in the McLaren (1:23.200).

"I'm quite happy," said Kobayashi. "We achieved a very good mileage today. The set up changes we did in the morning meant an improvement in lap times, which, of course, is very positive.

"There is still a lot of work to do in terms of understanding the car and the different tyre compounds at different fuel levels, but we are working in
the right direction. I think it was a good test for us."

Maldonado, who had been fastest on Thursday, said the week's work had given the veteran Williams team plenty of optimism for the season ahead.

"It has been a positive test for the team. Weve had no problems with the car, getting in some good mileage across all four days," he said.

"We now have a great deal of data to analyse so we will keep pushing to improve our car for the next test. I am looking forward to coming back next week for the final test, and getting back to racing very soon."

A final series of testing will be held, again in Barcelona, on March 1-4, before the teams travel to Australia for the season opener in Melbourne on
March 18. World champions Red Bull and Ferrari have been given permission to put back the start of their final testing by a day, citing logistical reasons.

Below, final times of today's session.

Pos Driver Car Time Laps
1. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber C31 1:22.312 145
2. Pastor Maldonado Williams FW34 1:22.561 134
3. Paul di Resta Force India VJM05 1:23.119 101
4. Jenson Button McLaren MP4-27 1:23.200 115
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari F2012 1:23.563 103
6. Mark Webber Red Bull RB8 1:23.774 85
7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso STR07 1:23.792 92
8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes W03 1:23.843 139
9. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham CT01 1:26.968 70

Kobayashi waiting in his C31 to leave for the track today at Barcelona.

Kobayashi waiting in his C31 to leave for the track today at Barcelona.

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