by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

Barcelona F1 Test 2012 (II): DAY 2+3+4 Report (MBAMGF1)

The last pre-season tests ahead of the 2012 show brought the F1 cars to Barcelona, for the second time in a row. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team concentrated on evaluating crucial components and tyre set-up, accumulating sufficient mileage and trying out various race scenarios, in order to get a better picture of the new F1 W03 single-seater in advance of the Australian Grand Prix, happening at Melbourne in a fortnight (16-18 March 2012). Check out the full action report of the last three days spent at Circuit de Catalunya after the break!


DAY 2

Michael Schumacher was at the wheel of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W03 today for the second day of the test.

- Michael completed 19 laps this morning, with a late start and red flags, including two caused by the team, interrupting running
- The afternoon session proved more productive as Michael and the team worked through a series of set-up evaluations
- Michael’s lap tally by the end of running, which was extended by 30 minutes due to the morning fog, was 79 laps, equal to 368 km

Nico will be back in the F1 W03 tomorrow for the third day of the test, with Michael concluding the programme on Sunday.

Michael Schumacher
“The start of our day was something of a struggle this morning, partly down to me as well, and it seemed as if the afternoon might start that way also. Fortunately the session turned out well, and we achieved all of the test items that we wanted. So in the end, it was a positive day, but we will only see later how we stand compared to the other teams.”

TIMES
DAY 3

Nico Rosberg was back in the F1 W03 today for his second day, and the team’s third day, of testing this week in Barcelona.

- Nico completed a series of medium length runs in the morning session to evaluate different set-up and aerodynamic options
- He continued to achieve good mileage over longer runs this afternoon before a rain shower briefly interrupted proceedings
- This gave Nico the chance to drive the F1 W03 on intermediate tyres for the first time during the final hour of the day
- Nico completed 129 laps today, equivalent to 600 km, taking his pre-season mileage in the F1 W03 to over 2500 km

Michael Schumacher will drive for the fourth and final day of the test tomorrow to conclude our pre-season testing programme.

Nico Rosberg
“I’m happy with my pre-season testing programme, and I believe that we have made a step forward from last year. I have been able to achieve a lot of mileage which shows that the car is very reliable, and as a driver, I feel ready now for the first race in Melbourne. Unbelievably in the last hours of my test today, it was raining! So I have also been able to experience the car in the wet. Now it’s exciting to go to the first race and see where we are compared to the others. Finally all the talking stops and the racing starts when we get to Australia.”

TIMES
DAY 4

Michael Schumacher concluded the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team’s pre-season testing programme today in Barcelona.

- Over 56 laps in the morning session, Michael worked through a series of set-up runs on the hard and soft compound Pirelli tyres
- He continued a similar programme this afternoon with further set-up and aerodynamic evaluations
- Michael completed 100 laps and 466 km today, his final day in the F1 W03 before the 2012 season begins

Since its debut, the F1 W03 has completed 4450 km of pre-season mileage over eight group test days, one private test day and two 100 km filming days. The team will now return to its factories in Brackley and Brixworth to complete the final preparations before departing for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher
“After four intensive days of testing this week, we are soon heading to Australia and it’s really time for the season to start. We are very happy with all the work we have been able to achieve, covering a lot of kilometres and learning a lot about our car which gives us a good basis to work from. The car felt good from the very beginning, and we have managed to improve it over the test days, so I think we can say that we are very well prepared. Again, what this means compared to our competitors is something I want only to go into after some races, as we all know that testing does not show everything. What we can say though is that the field is tighter than it has been, so we are looking forward to an exciting season.”

Ross Brawn
“As we reach the end of an intense two weeks of testing with our new car, the F1 W03, firstly I would like to thank all of our team members at Brackley and Brixworth for their hard work and dedication. It has been a demanding period for everyone involved, and I am very pleased with the work that we have achieved and the progress that we have seen. Over nine days of testing, Michael and Nico have put 4250 km on the F1 W03, and we have accomplished the majority of items on a very demanding test programme. There is a lot of hard work ahead back at base next week to analyse the results, however I am confident that we are in good shape for the start of the season. As usual, it would be unwise to make any judgement on our competitiveness at this stage, and I will certainly refrain from doing so! It is going to be fascinating to see how it all turns out and I’m sure that this is going to be a very exciting season for the teams and fans. We are all looking forward to the action getting underway in Australia in a fortnight.”

TIMES
Official photos and report courtesy of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS

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