Barcelona day five - Rosberg heads washed-out final day 12 Mar 2011
2011s final day of pre-season testing saw almost nothing in the way of meaningful running as heavy rain hit Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya. With just four teams in action, McLarens Lewis Hamilton was the only man to set a time in the morning, before Mercedes Nico Rosberg clocked the sessions fastest lap as conditions improved very slightly late in the afternoon.
"It was tricky out there today; there wasn't a lot of grip, but it was really useful to get the experience on the Pirelli wet tyres," said Rosberg. "We have made a lot of progress over the four tests this winter and it's really nice to see that things are going in the right direction. We are on the up for sure, and all credit to the team for getting the upgrades on the car and, most importantly, to see that they are working as expected."
Second fastest, and the only other driver to record a time, was Williams Pastor Maldonado. Today was a complete washout in Barcelona! said technical director Sam Michael. It's always useful to run in the wet, but it was too much unfortunately. Regardless, we've put some useful mileage on the FW33 at this final test, highlighted a few areas to work on from a reliability and performance perspective, and now we're all really looking forward to start racing again.
Hamilton, third in the times, commented: We tested a couple of things during some shorter runs, but it was very dangerous out there: very slippery and lots of aquaplaning. This definitely isnt normal Spanish weather! We learnt a bit about the Pirelli intermediates and extremes, but there was so much aquaplaning that it was a bit too risky to do longer runs.
Both Mercedes Michael Schumacher and Ferraris Fernando Alonso completed only a number of installation laps, with Ferrari choosing to pack up a couple of hours early due to the poor conditions.
HRT were also present at the circuit, but were unable to give their new F111 its planned track debut due to its dampers being held up in Spanish customs. The next Formula One track action will be first practice for the Australian Grand Prix on March 25-27.
Unofficial Saturday test times from Barcelona:
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP, 1:43.814, 35 laps
2. Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1:44.333, 23
3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:44.560, 33
4. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP, no time, 5
5. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, no time, 5
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