Lotus with Romain Grosjean have beaten Buttons pace of the first day with a time of 1.18.218s and ended up 8/10th’s of a second quicker than an impressive Di Resta in the Force India. Grosjean’s last lap on a suspected low fuel run did end up causing the last red flag of the day, but the pace of the Lotus is looking good.
The arrival of James Key as technical director seems to have borne some fruit with Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso having set a time just under a second off the pace of the Lotus. The midfield seemed quite packed with a little under a second covering cars from second to eighth. Hamiltons break failure on lap 15 meant he couldn’t get any more running in, but they can take comfort from the fact that these failures are occurring at the first test rather than the last. “That’s what testing is for.”
Sergio Perez got the first taste of his new office around Jerez yesterday and was about 7/10th’s off Buttons pace from day 1. But it is not clear what setup’s the teams were running so a comparison would not give us a real indication of the difference in the pace between the youth and his much more experienced team mate, who is actually the most experienced driver on the grid after the exit of the seven time champion.
The bosses at Ferrari must be quite upbeat with newbie astronaut, Felipe’s indications of the new car. “The car is really on another planet. The rear is so much more solid” ,he said. He carried out long run testing with different exhaust systems and they surely seem to be in a better place than 2012’s first test. The other Ferrari powered car of Sauber finished the day two places ahead of Massa in the hands of Hulkenberg.
James Rossiter, Force India’s simulator driver took to the wheel for the last hour to help with synchronization of the simulator while Maldonado put in the miles in last years Williams, albeit with the new vanity covered front nose section and other development parts. Two of the Formula 1 newbies Van de Garde and Luis Razia tried to get as much track time in as possible, but the Marussia driver was hindered with engine trouble.