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Last day of testing a complete washout

Day five in Spain and only an hour of testing due to the severe rain

Posted Mar 13, 2011 by Weekend Round-Up

Vettel on wet track

Day five of the last official testing session before the season starts in Australia at the end of this month was hit by heavy rain which made it practically a right off for many of the teams.

This has proved a massive blow for some of the teams and in particular McLaren who have been struggling with their new car which has been proving unreliable – they really needed as much track time as they could get ahead of the 27th March.

The rain subdued to allow testing in the final hour of the session but the Circuit de Catalunya near to Barcelona was practically water logged. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg chalked up the fastest lap of the day with a time of one minute 43.814 seconds followed closely by Maldonado and then Hamilton who was 0.746 seconds off the pace.

One party that welcomed the rain was Pirelli as it gave them and the teams the chance to test the new Pirelli wet tyres in what can only be described as monsoon-like conditions. Pirelli took over from tyre-maker Bridgestone as F1's sole supplier for the 2011 season and because of the lack of wet starts in any of the testing sessions, it had been difficult for Pirelli to understand how their tyres were going to perform in the conditions.

McLaren are still the only of the major teams to have yet to run out a full race simulation but I imagine this is down to fear of what they might find rather than anything else!

Grid-fodder Hispania F1/HRT finally unveiled their new car on Friday but have yet to run it out, sadly I think this team that has been plagued by financial and performance problems in the past have handicapped themselves once again by leaving it so late in the day – indeed they have confirmed that no testing will take place and they will be heading to Melbourne without a single run out in the new car.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone had talked about ‘making it rain’ on certain tracks in order to spice up competition in the races, I can only imagine that the 80 year old didn’t read the how to do a rain dance manual thoroughly enough as it seems to have come early and in far greater amounts than he proposed.

Circuit de Catalunya Testing Session Roundup

Day 1 – Mark Webber, Red Bull: one minute 22.544 seconds

Day 2 – Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull: one minute 21.865 seconds

Day 3 – Sergio Perez, Sauber: one minute 21.761 seconds

Day 4 – Michael Schumacher, Mercedes: one minute 21.249 seconds

Day 5 – Nico Rosberg, Mercedes: one minute 43.814 seconds

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