Romain Grosjean and Kamui Kobayashi have posted fastest identical lap-times – to the thousandth of a second – at the second day of the year’s only in-season Formula 1 test at Mugello.
Bahrain podium finisher Grosjean posted his 1:21.603 effort just over an hour into the day’s running at the Italian circuit, while Kobayashi left it until the dying minutes to match the Frenchman’s lap time.
After the opening day’s inclement weather – which had temporarily suspended on-track proceedings – conditions were picture perfect when the circuit opened for business, with a sunny day giving the teams the best opportunity to test the raft of new developments they have brought ahead of the upcoming European leg of the championship season.
The day was not necessarily about chasing a fast lap-time, but more so to perform crucial aerodynamic and tyre work in preparation for the upcoming races. As a result, a number of cars were decked out in a host of sensors and luminous flow-vis paint so engineers could gauge the effect of these upgrades.
A quartet of drivers – Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher, Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna – clocked up 100 laps or more apiece, each having been given a full day’s running in their respective cars.
Grosjean – having been given an extra day in the Lotus E20 – registered 97 laps all up, while Kobayashi probably would have cracked the 100 barrier had he not caused the day’s only red flag by spinning his Sauber into the kitty litter. The Japanese driver would later recover and match Grosjean’s lap time in the closing minutes of play.
While the majority of teams opted to dedicate their day’s running to a single driver, the likes of Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso and Marussia opted to split their day’s running between two drivers, with the changeover happening during the lunch hour.
Having taken over the Red Bull for the afternoon (along with a full day on Thursday), Sebastian Vettel narrowly edged out team-mate Mark Webber to finish the day just over two-tenths slower than the leading duo, with the Australian 0.172 seconds behind.
Felipe Massa finished an encouraging fifth-fastest – just 0.654 seconds adrift – in his only day’s running in the Ferrari, just ahead of the Toro Rosso pairing of Jean-Éric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, who ran in the morning and afternoon respectively.
Having driven countless miles around the circuit during his Ferrari days, Michael Schumacher racked up the most laps of the day (144) to finish eighth-fastest.
Charles Pic posted a lap-time in his Marussia that put him an impressive ninth-fastest – just 2.3 seconds slower than the best laps of the day – before he handed over to team-mate Timo Glock, who finished half a second down on the Frenchman. Glock’s programme was impacted by a power steering problem, which necessitated a complete steering rack change by his mechanics, limiting him to just 37 laps.
The Marussia pair sandwiched Caterham’s Vitaly Petrov and McLaren reserve driver Gary Paffett on the timesheets.
Paffett’s former DTM team-mate Paul di Resta had a nightmare day in the Force India, with the Scot managing a meagre fourteen laps while the team investigated a complicated hydraulics problem and also changed his Mercedes engine. Given his lack of running, the team later announced that it would split the final day’s running between its two main drivers – di Resta and Nico Hülkenberg – to give them equal track time.
2012 Mugello In-Season Test – Day 2 Test Times:
|1.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:21.603||97|
|2.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:21.603||+ 0.000||87|
|3.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:21.825||+ 0.222||64|
|4.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:21.997||+ 0.394||54|
|5.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:22.257||+ 0.654||106|
|6.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:22.424||+ 0.821||65|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:22.759||+ 1.156||22|
|8.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:23.404||+ 1.801||144|
|9.||Charles Pic||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:23.982||+ 2.379||46|
|10.||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham Renault CT01||1:24.312||+ 2.709||112|
|11.||Gary Paffett||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:24.480||+ 2.877||59|
|12.||Timo Glock||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:24.499||+ 2.896||37|
|13.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:24.749||+ 3.143||14|
|14.||Bruno Senna||Williams Renault FW34||1:24.842||+ 3.239||100|