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Alonso dominates Day 3 of Barcelona test

by Niharika Ghorpade Posted on February 22, 2013 16:12 IST 776 Views

Fernando Alonso climbed to the top of the time sheets on Day 3 of the Barcelona test at the Circuit de Catalunya. He was followed by Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso finished his final day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona at the top of the time sheets after completing a total of 97 laps. The Spaniard dominated both morning and afternoon sessions with his fastest lap achieved on soft compound tyres. It was a problem free day for Ferrari and they were able to run their programme smoothly, which included setup work aimed at adapting to soft tyres and then moving on to hard compounds later in the day. 


Alonso hinted at tyres being the key factor this year as the compounds are softer and degrade rapidly. He was the only driver under one minute and 22 seconds and will now handover the wheel to team-mate Felipe Massa for the final day of the test in Barcelona.


Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg clocked the second fastest time of the day, 0.3 seconds slower than the Ferrari driver’s pace. The German also set his quickest time on soft tyres and completed a total of 91 laps. He started the day testing aerodynamic components and by afternoon he focused on long runs with heavy fuel loads. 


Lotus’s Romain Grosjean was second fastest in the morning session but dropped to third fastest by the end of the day after getting outpaced by Hulkenberg. In the first two days of testing the Lotus E21 had several minor problems with the car which were stopping them from getting the desired number of laps on the E21 as Kimi was able to complete just 44 laps on the first day and 43 laps on the second day. However, Grosjean had a smooth day and completed 119 laps making him the busiest driver of day 3.


Nico Rosberg Mercedes-AMG Petronas


Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was the fourth fastest after completing 108 laps and taking his pre-season mileage up to 1471 km. His morning programme consisted of gathering data and setup adjustments. Moving into the afternoon he concentrated on longer runs on medium and hard compound tyres.


Pastor Maldonado followed Rosberg to fifth place on the time sheets on his second day in the FW35. The Venezuelan completed 79 laps in the morning and handed the wheel to team-mate Valtteri Bottas for the afternoon session. Bottas followed him with the sixth fastest timing of the day and completed 67 laps. Between the two drivers they completed a total of 147 laps, the highest tally of any team in the entire day. Williams split the sessions between both drivers to carry out their race simulation programmes. 


Jenson Button was seventh fastest in the McLaren MP4-28, and completed a total of 71 laps. The Brit spent the morning session in tyre evaluation and mechanical setup changes. The team decided to carry out larger mechanical changes in the setup of the car over the lunch break, due to which Button returned on to the track an hour after the afternoon session commenced and he mainly concentrated on long runs with a number of simulated pitstops.


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