Formula 1 News

Raikkonen tops final test, Vettel struggles

Lotus looks better by the day, and Red Bull's altered RB8 left questions.
Sunday, March 4, 2012

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BARCELONA, March 4, 2012 (AFP) - Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, driving a Lotus, clocked the best time of the week on the final day of pre-season Formula One testing at Montmelo on Sunday.

The Finn, who has returned to the sport after a spell in the World Rally Championship, timed 1min 22.030sec after completing 121 laps.

In sharp contrast, defending world champion Sebastian Vettel was the slowest on the day with a time of 1:23.608 in his Red Bull after his team managed just 23 laps.

"We would have liked more time on the track, but we had a problem in the morning," said Vettel

"I went on the circuit and broke the front wing, lost time and then, just before the interval, we had a problem with the gearbox."

Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who was eighth fastest on Sunday, believes the testing period has demonstrated that there will be little to choose between the teams this season.

"The car felt good from the very beginning, and we have managed to improve it over the test days, so I think we can say that we are very well prepared," said the Mercedes driver.

"Again, what this means compared to our competitors is something I want only to go into after some races, as we all know that testing does not show everything. What we can say though is that the field is tighter than it has been, so we are looking forward to an exciting season."

The 2012 Formula One season gets underway in Melbourne on March 18.

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More information soon. below the best times for the day:

Pos Driver Car Time Laps
1. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus E20 1:22.030 121
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari F2012 1:22.250 115
3. Bruno Senna Williams FW34 1:22.296 53
4. Nico Hulkenberg Force India VJM05 1:22.312 101
5. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber C31 1:22.386 72
6. Lewis Hamilton McLaren MP4-27 1:22.430 115
7. Vitaly Petrov Caterham CT01 1:22.795 101
8. Michael Schumacher Mercedes W03 1:22.939 100
9. Pastor Maldonado Williams FW34 1:23.347 48
10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso STR7 1:23.393 100
11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull RB8 1:23.608 2

Kimi Raikkonen

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