Saturday, March 3, 2012

Perez Shines As The Rain Falls In Spain

Sergio Perez was assured of a P1 finish to Saturday's penultimate day of testing as the rain came down at Barcelona in the final hour

The Sauber driver worked his way to the top of the timesheets half an hour before the lunch-break, clocking a 1:22.094 on the soft Pirelli tyres.

And while it was Daniel Ricciardo who challenged Perez for the P1 slot ahead of lunch, it was Jenson Button who did so at the end of the day's play.

The McLaren driver had a slow start, completing just 17 laps with a best time of 1:23.409 as a hydraulic issue sidelined him for much of the morning.

But, out on track after the break, Button came to the fore, taking second place, just 0.009s behind Perez. The McLaren driver, though, only managed a total of 44 laps the entire day.

Ricciardo dropped to third, finishing ahead of Felipe Massa. The Ferrari driver was 0,319s off the pace having set his best time during a short-distance run during the morning's session.

Swapping to a race distance in the afternoon, Massa covered 122 laps on Saturday.

Paul di Rest was fifth quickest ahead of Bruno Senna while Heikki Kovalainen had a great day for Caterham as he brought his CT01 home in seventh place, just over half a second off the pace.

Mark Webber, driving Red Bull's heavily revised RB8, was eighth, 0.568s down. The Aussie amassed only 70 laps and only once completed a run of more than five laps.

Nico Rosberg in ninth place was under a second off the pace while the same cannot be said of Kimi Raikkonen. With steering column problems hampering his day, he finished last, three seconds off the pace and with only 43 laps under his belt.

The day's play, though, was interuptted late in the afternoon when the rain came down with an hour remaining. Most drivers did opt to test Pirellis intermediate and wet tyres.

01. Perez Sauber 1m22.094 114 laps
02. Button McLaren 1m22.103 +0.009 44 laps
03. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m22.155 +0.061 131 laps
04. Massa Ferrari 1m22.413 +0.319 122 laps
05. Di Resta Force India 1m22.446 +0.352 108 laps
06. Senna Williams 1m22.480 +0.386 111 laps
07. Kovalainen Caterham 1m22.630 +0.536 64 laps
08. Webber Red Bull 1m22.662 +0.568 70 laps
09. Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.932 +0.838 129 laps
10. Raikkonen Lotus 1m25.379 +3.285 43 lap

Source: Planet-F1

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