Day two of final pre-season testing as it happened

Text commentary of day two of the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, where Romain Grosjean finishes fastest.

1 March 2013 Last updated at 16:38

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As it happened

  1. 1635: 

    It's time for me to take my leave after another marathon day in the live text cockpit. I'm off to put my fingers in a bowl of ice cold water but I'll be back tomorrow at the same time - 0750 GMT - to take you through the penultimate day of pre-season testing. Hopefully the weather forecasters have got it right and we're in for a day of dry running. Until then, it's good afternoon from me. See ya.

  2. 1633: 

    If you've missed any of the action, you've had a shocker but fear not. You have two options - 1) Scroll down to the bottom of this live text commentary and then read upwards 2) Check out Andrew Benson's day two practice report.


    Pirelli: "They tell us tomorrow it will be warmer and apparently there will be a yellow thing called SUN! We'll believe it when we see it!"

  4. 1629: 

    The session may have finished, but the work is not over for the boys at McLaren. There's pit stop practice to be done. They've got a record 2.3 seconds to beat after all.

  5. 1624: 

    Giedo van der Garde, who finished ninth fastest: "We knew day two of this test would be another stop-start day with the weather forecast being bad for at least half the day and the forecast wasn't wrong.

    "The weather cleared up a bit in the afternoon but we had a technical issue that cut into our runplan so we switched from the full race simulation we were going to run to more setup work and tyre evaluation."


    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso: "Good day of testing! More than 100 laps on all weather conditions. Ready for challenging races."

  7. 1618: 

    Here's a final few of your favourite wet-weather races...

    John: "Lewis Hamilton's Silverstone victory 2008, winning by over a minute in the rain. Massa spun 5 times and finished last."

    Justin Sham: "Michael Schumacher Spanish GP 1996 - his first Ferrari win. Bad car, awful conditions, super driver, lapped everyone up to third place."

    Robert Owlett: "The best individual performance in an F1 car was by Jenson Button in the wet in Canada 2011."

    Thanks, as ever, for your contributions today. Lots of love for Jenson Button's 2011 Canada win, Michael Schumacher's Barcelona triumph in 1996 and of course Ayrton Senna's brilliant performance at Donington Park in 1993.

  8. 1612: 

    Pirelli say that Romain Grosjean set his fastest time in the Lotus on the soft tyre while McLaren's Jenson Button's best was on the medium.

  9. 1609: 
    Romain Grosjean

    Romain Grosjean has become the first driver to top the times more than once in pre-season testing. The Frenchman finishes 0.465 seconds faster than Jenson Button in second.

  10. 1603: 

    1) Grosjean - 1:22.716 - 88 laps

    2) Button - 1:23.181 - 72

    3) Maldonado - 1:23.628 - 75

    4) Vettel - 1:23.743 - 65

    5) Hulkenberg - 1:23.744 - 79

    6) Sutil - 1:24.215 - 62

    7) Ricciardo - 1:25.483 - 61

    8) Chilton - 1:25.598 - 75

    9) Van der Garde - 1:26.316 - 48

    10) Rosberg - 1:27.6655 - 120

    11) Alonso - 1:27.878 - 102

  11. 1559: 

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean finishes fastest on the second day of the final pre-season test in Barcelona.

  12. 1558: 

    And it is indeed the end of the session as the chequered flag is waving.

  13. 1557: 

    The red flags are flapping around for the fourth time today as Pastor Maldonado parks his Williams up at the first corner. I think that'll be the end of the day's running.

  14. 1555: 

    Plenty of interest in getting a final bit of running with Lotus's Romain Grosjean, McLaren's Jenson Button, Pastor Maldonado in the Williams, Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso all heading out on track.

  15. 1552: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The Caterham has been cleared which means testing is back up and running with just under 10 minutes remaining.


    Kimi Raikkonen's race engineer Mark Slade on Lotus's winter testing programme: "There's nothing standing out saying we've got a big problem. A number of issues we had last year are better and we've got some good developments coming. So we feel pretty confident about being competitive but don't know where everyone else stands."

  17. 1548: 

    Marshals are now busy hooking the stricken Caterham up to the crane before hoisting it onto the back of a low-loader and out of harms way. Caterham have sent a couple of mechanics down there to cover the 2013 machine in a green sheet to protect any design secrets.

  18. 1546: 

    We've got our third red flag of the day. It's Giedo van der Garde in the Caterham who has pulled over to the side of the track.

  19. 1544: 

    Luiz Razia, whose future as a Marussia driver is uncertain has tweeted that he is doing "everything possible" to resolve the situation.

  20. 1540: 

    Fernando Alonso is continuing on with his race simulation run despite the slippery conditions. The Ferrari, with intermediate boots on, is snaking around the sweeping turns of the Circuit de Catalunya.

  21. 1537: 

    1) Grosjean - 1:22.716 - 85 laps

    2) Button - 1:23.181 - 70

    3) Maldonado - 1:23.628 - 68

    4) Vettel - 1:23.743 - 60

    5) Hulkenberg - 1:23.744 - 77

    6) Sutil - 1:24.215 - 62

    7) Ricciardo - 1:25.483 - 56

    8) Chilton - 1:25.598 - 73

    9) Van der Garde - 1:26.316 - 46

    10) Rosberg - 1:27.6655 - 112

    11) Alonso - 1:27.878 - 95

  22. 1533: 

    It was all going so well, but the clouds could hold off no longer. Sprinkles of the wet stuff have started falling on the Circuit de Catalunya.

  23. 1530: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    Have you ever wondered how the airflow works around an Adrian Newey Red Bull front wing? Step forward BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson.

  24. 1524: 

    Nico Rosberg is really clocking up the mileage today. The Mercedes driver has completed 109 laps, the only driver to reach his century. The next closest is Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari on 89.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "While Fernando Alonso pounds around on a race-simulation run, it's a good opportunity to update you on the upgrades they have at this test. The car is currently running with a new exhaust configuration and new diffuser. Alonso has tried a new front wing endplate, which they have taken off again. On Saturday they are supposed to be running a new rear wing."

  26. 1518: 

    This final pre-season test is traditionally the time when teams bolt on all the big bits which they hope to run on the car in Australia. Gary Anderson has more on the latest Ferrari updates...

  27. 1513: 

    Pastor Maldonado is back out in his Williams after some set-up changes and the Venezuelan is joined by Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.

  28. 1509: 

    Romain Grosjean has headed into the pits in his Lotus, as has Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, although the latter simply stops for a change of tyres before continuing on his way.

  29. 1503: 

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso have the track to themselves at the moment.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Fernando Alonso has started a race-simulation run in the Ferrari. Unfortunately, the times will not be comparable with those done by Lotus's Romain Grosjean and Red Bull's Mark Webber at last week's second test as the track is significantly slower, by about 0.6secs, which might also make the tyre graining problems even worse than they were then. That is borne out by his early lap times, which do look slightly off those set last week."


    Bruce Wayne: "I think Rosberg will have a better start to the season than Lewis but expect Lewis to come back strongly in second half."

  32. 1456: 

    Fernando Alonso, who who dropped to 10th in the standings, is out on track for his first run of the afternoon. The Spaniard has completed 69 laps today and looks like he's running high fuel judging by the lap times.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:
    Sebastian Vettel

    "Red Bull have now removed their passive DRS and this picture is just to show that the once fun-loving team are now the most secretive team in the pit lane. You can't blame them hiding everything they can as the season hasn't even started yet so it might delay other teams from trying to copy their secrets but give us a break - we and the spectators like to see nice cars."

  34. 1450: 

    Nico Hulkenberg, who has completed 62 laps so far in his Sauber, goes third fastest with a 1:23.744.

  35. 1442: 

    I'm pleased to say it's still dry in Barcelona, with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, McLaren's Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes, Marussia's Max Chilton and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso making the most of the conditions.

  36. 1436: 

    Romain Grosjean is the first man under the 1m23s today, clocking 1:22.716 to reclaim top spot in the Lotus. That was his 72nd lap of the day - only Nico Rosberg (81) has done more.

  37. 1431: 

    Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel is out and about on track and improves to second fastest overall, behind Jenson Button in the McLaren.


    Caterham: "Just over 1.5 hours left of day two and we have a technical issue with the car that's being fixed now - 36 laps so far today..."


    Alex MacVean: "Keep reading Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber and picturing Nick Heidfeld #sauberglorydays."

  40. 1425: 

    Romain Grosjean in the Lotus leapfrogs Force India's Adrian Sutil into second on the timesheets, closing to within 0.2 seconds of McLaren's Jenson Button. The Frenchman then heads straight for the pits, leaving Nico Rosberg alone on the circuit in his Mercedes.

  41. 1420: 

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been talking to BBC Radio 5 live and says his new team were so far behind by the end of last year that it is not "realistic" to expect them to be able to win races immediately in 2013.

    "Anything positive that happens is just going to be a bonus," the Briton said. "The guys have given it their best shot. To build them up and disappoint them, I don't want that to happen."

  42. 1416: 

    Here's a few more of your favourite wet-weather drives:

    Jamie from Eastbourne: "Has to be Jackie Stewart winning by four minutes in the wet at the incredibly dangerous Nurburgring - with a broken hand no less!"

    David B: "Japan 2007, a downpour at Mt Fuji, a dominant drive from Lewis Hamilton."

    John Bartley: "The brilliance of Senna in the wet was on display in the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, when he was driving a Toleman. Prost called it off before he caught him for the win."

    Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only).

  43. 1410: 

    It's getting busier out on track with Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, Williams' Pastor Maldonado, Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, Force India's Adrian Sutil and McLaren's Jenson Button are out and about, pumping in the laps.

  44. 1403: 

    Jenson Button is back out on track in his McLaren and hooks up a lap which is good enough for top spot. The 2009 world champion now leads the way by 0.291 seconds from Adrian Sutil in the Force India.

  45. 1356: 

    Romain Grosjean is cranking up the pace in his Lotus. The Frenchman clocks his fastest time of the day, which keeps him second but reduces the deficit to Adrian Sutil to 0.328 seconds.


    Sarah Wyatt: "Testing is getting me excited for the season ahead. Roll on Melbourne."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "Red Bull have been running their version of a 'passive DRS', a system that gives extra downforce reduction by triggering automatically at a given pre-set speed. They have an inlet duct just in front of the rear lower beam wing so I think they are using the low pressure under the centre section of the beam wing to get the initial airflow. They then have a vertical tube to the lower surface of the upper wing. It appears to connect to the wing as opposed to having a gap like the Lotus and Mercedes versions. Using the pressure differential across the lower beam wing should be more consistent than the other versions we have seen which just use the low pressure at the rear of the car. The system is notoriously difficult to make work properly but if anyone can it is Red Bull."

  48. 1349: 

    At the moment it's just Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg out on track, with Sebastian Vettel pulling out of the Red Bull garage now to join them...

  49. 1346: 

    After a five-lap run, Sebastian Vettel heads back to the pits. Meanwhile, out on track Force India's Adrian Sutil has extended his advantage at the front to 0.910 seconds after clocking 1:24.215.

  50. 1338: 

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel goes third with his first flying lap of the afternoon, closing to within one second of Adrian Sutil's leading time. Next time around, the reigning world champion slices a tenth off to move up to second.

  51. 1334: 

    Adrian Sutil and Jenson Button have pitted their Force India and McLaren respectively, just as Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg join the fray.

  52. 1329: 

    McLaren's Jenson Button improves on his previous best, but that's soon beaten by Adrian Sutil who is sporting a set of medium tyres on his Force India and promptly who clocks 1:254.286.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "The afternoon session has started dry and the teams are wasting no time getting down to work. Given the weather forecast, that's not surprising, as it seems this may be a brief dry window before more rain arrives. The forecast is for a temperature of 10-11C, rain is expected by 1500 local (1400 GMT UK) and then in until 1700. Humidity currently 69%, expected to increase to 82% by 1500. Williams are believed to have abandoned a planned aerodynamic test this morning because of the weather."

  54. 1321: 
    Jenson Button

    If you were wondering what the weather was like during this morning's sessions, here's a good shot of McLaren's Jenson Button flying round under some pretty heavy clouds.

  55. 1315: 

    Here are a few more of your favourite wet-weather drivers...

    Steven Gaitt: "Senna, Portugal '85 for his first win. Or Brazil '91. His last six laps in increasing rain, on slicks and car stuck in 6th gear."

    Jon Vaughan in Newcastle: "What about Senna 13 to 2nd in his first season at the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, could have won if it wasn't stopped!"

    Neil in Darlo: "An outside shout for a great wet weather drive is Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the Jordan at Magny Cours in 1999."

    Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only).

  56. 1310: 

    I've got good news about the current weather situation in Barcelona at the moment. It may be dull and it may be overcast but it's not raining!

  57. 1307: 

    Still looking for your favourite wet-weather drives. Don't think any one has mentioned Fernando Alonso's brilliant drive to victory in Malaysia last year or Jenson Button's impressive performance in the 2010 Australian Grand Prix. You can get in touch on Twitter using the #bbcf1 or by texting 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those texts.

  58. 1302: 

    Nico Rosberg is clearly super keen to clock up the mileage as he's first out of garage, guiding his shiny silver Mercedes down the pit lane and out onto the sweeping turns of Formula 1's favourite test track.

  59. 1300: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The greens flags are fluttering and we're up and running at the Circuit de Catalunya.

  60. 1258: 

    For those of you who missed this morning's session, it was a damp and greasy affair, with the track drying out towards the end. Jenson Button nailed the fastest time in his McLaren, closely followed by the Force India of Adrian Sutil.

  61. 1255: 

    Hello, I'm back. Hope you've refreshed your cuppa and replenished your food stocks as we've got another three hours of testing to get through.

  62. 1235: 

    I'm off to grab a quick bite to eat and stretch the legs but I'll be back at 1255 GMT to take you through the afternoon session. In the meantime, here's Andrew Benson's morning report.

  63. 1230: 

    If you're interested in the adventures of Roscoe, Lewis Hamilton's new dog, it's worth following the Mercedes driver on Twitter. While he's not in the car today, with Nico Rosberg in the hot seat, the 2008 world champion is still at the track. Throughout the morning, Hamilton has been tweeting pictures of Roscoe wearing headphones and sat a computer "checking emails".


    Marussia: "A reasonably positive morning with the track drying quicker than expected. P9 with a 1:29.772. On to our dry programme this afternoon."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "The Red Bull looks well balanced with lots of grip. The McLaren and Sauber have understeer (a lack of front grip) and the Lotus is well balanced but not as planted as the Red Bull. The Ferrari lacks rear grip. It really has no traction in the wet."

  66. 1220: 

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson has spent much of the morning at the side of the track observing the cars in action. Here's what he's noticed...

  67. 1215: 

    Let's hope the rain stays away and it remains dry at the Circuit de Catalunya this afternoon so the teams can complete some longer runs.

  68. 1210: 

    Valtteri Bottas, who is spending the day out of the car while Pastor Maldonado takes on the driving duties, is tucking into a hearty plate of rice, carrots, broccoli and grilled chicken breast.

  69. 1205: 

    1) Button - 1:25.936 - 33 laps

    2) Sutil - 1:26.152 - 42

    3) Hulkenberg - 1:27.246 - 36

    4) Rosberg - 1:27.672 - 50

    5) Grosjean - 1:27.757 - 52

    6) Alonso - 1:27.878 - 52

    7) Maldonado - 1:29.132 - 35

    8) Ricciardo - 1:29.682 - 40

    9) Chilton - 1:29.772 - 39

    10) Vettel - 1:31.159 - 26

    11) Van der Garde - 1:39.036 - 29

  70. 1200: 

    So Jenson Button finishes the morning fastest, 0.2 seconds clear of Adrian Sutil with Nico Hulkenberg a further second back.

  71. 1155: 

    Looks like that's the morning session over and done with as the marshals work to clear Romain Grosjean's stricken Lotus. That can only mean it's time for a spot of lunch.

  72. 1152: 

    Lotus see the funny side of the Frenchman's stop: "A non-specific stop at turn 9 for @RGrosjean. Non-specific turn 9 stop simulation completed."

  73. 1150: 

    We have our second red flag of the day and it's because Romain Grosjean has stopped out on track.

    Sebastian Vettel

    On the topic of best wet-weather drives, Ajay, via text, suggests Sebastian Vettel's maiden victory at Monza in 2008 - and he's not the only one. The German, driving a Toro Rosso, became the youngest polesitter before mastering the conditions on race day to take the top step.

  75. 1146: 

    Just Romain Grosjean and Fernando Alonso out on track at the moment as we count down to the lunch break.

  76. 1142: 

    Adrian Sutil is back out and gone second quickest with a 1:26.152, 0.216 seconds off the pace set by Jenson Button.

  77. 1136: 

    Your suggestions for best wet weather drives continue to flood in...

    Sam Russell: "Rubens Barrichello's 1st win, Hockenheim '00 from 18th on grid - an amazing race and a great drive in tricky conditions."

    Ash from Newcastle: "Unusual shout for best wet weather drive, but Johnny Herbert in 1999 European Grand Prix. Took the right tyres at the right time, and whilst everybody else was on the wrong tyres or crashing or having punctures, he kept going and won Stewart GP's one and only grand prix victory. Stunning drive!"

    Jamie Walsgrove: "What about Damon Hill in Spa 1998, surely got to be a contender?!"

    Have you got any more? Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those texts. Also, if you've got any thoughts on who you think will be top dog in Australia, fire them over, too.

  78. 1133: 

    Nico Hulkenberg improves to lift his Sauber into second, but he's still 1.3 seconds adrift of Jenson Button's leading time.

  79. 1130: 

    With 30 minutes to go until the lunch break, pacesetter Jenson Button heads back to the pits after an nine-lap run.

  80. 1122: 

    Jenson Button goes quicker again, clocking a 1:25.936 to go 1.736 seconds clear of the field having completed 31 laps. Nico Rosberg moves into second ahead of Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg. Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel is eighth, 5.2 seconds off the pace.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "Interesting, watching on pit straight, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes DRS open every lap Red Bull closed other than when they are within one second of another car. Red Bull concentrating on race performance?"

  82. 1115: 

    The times are tumbling as teams try on a set of slick tyres with Fernando Alonso grabbing top spot by a second only to be deposed by Jenson Button who sneaks ahead by 0.052 seconds in his McLaren.

  83. 1110: 

    Now Nico Hulkenberg leaps to the top of the charts, slicing nearly 1.5 seconds off the previous best. The German is out on the medium tyres. That contrasts to Pastor Maldonado who is on the super-softs and set his best time on the third lap of his run.

  84. 1107: 

    Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado goes one second quicker next time around, but he's run very close by Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber who pops into second while on slick tyres.

  85. 1105: 

    Just as Adrian Sutil pulls in, Pastor Maldonado smashing through the German's leading time on a set of dry, super-soft tyres. He's the first man to try on a set of slicks for size and promptly goes 3.375 seconds quicker than anyone else.

  86. 1103: 

    Having topped the times, Adrian Sutil has decided to pop back to the garage and treat himself with a spot of early lunch.


    Colin Gidman: "I cannot wait for the new season to start! I hope Button can push for the championship this year."

  88. 1059: 

    Nico Rosberg's time at the top is short-lived as Adrian Sutil leaps ahead with a 1:35.715 to go 0.27 seconds clear as the track conditions continue to improve.

  89. 1055: 

    Nico Rosberg is back on top, clocking 1:35.984 seconds to go three tenths quicker than Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari.

  90. 1047: 

    BBC Radio 5 live pit lane report Jennie Gow spoke to Mercedes new boy Lewis Hamilton as part of last night's 5live F1 show.

    The 2008 world champion spoke about driving an F1 car: "It's a bit like a rollercoaster ride - like the Twister where you're stuck to the seat and you're spinning around - that's what it's like when you go through these corners."

    You can listen to the full interview on the BBC Radio 5 live pages.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "Vettel back out after his earlier trip across the gravel and through Turn Nine onto the back straight the car looks well balanced with lots of grip. The Sauber has a fair degree of understeer and the Lotus is well balanced but not as planted/stable as the Red Bull."

  92. 1041: 

    It's all change at the top of the timesheets with Romain Grosjean leading the way in the Lotus 0.045 seconds clear of Fernando Alonso. Sebastian Vettel has moved up to third, but he is 0.7 seconds a drift.

  93. 1038: 

    In the greatest wet weather drive debate, Philip Meachin has suggested: "Markus Winkelhock, Europe 2007. Led his one and only GP in a Spyker starting from last." He led the race for six laps - building a lead of 19 seconds at one point before the race was stopped because of the conditions. You can't fault his record of leading a race for at least one lap in 100% of the races he entered. But he only entered one race....

  94. 1031: 

    Adrian Sutil keeps on improving. He slices four tenths off his previous best, and then another three tenths the next time round to go second fastest, 0.167 seconds behind pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo.

  95. 1028: 

    I've got good news on the weather front. It's still cloudy but there's no rain and there are even a few patches of blue sky fighting through. The track is till wet, though, so inters are still the tyres of choice.

  96. 1025: 

    Adrian Sutil has popped up into fourth in his Force India, 0.807 seconds off the pace after 25 laps. The German is joined out on track by Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.


    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson has more from Felipe Massa: "Does Massa think Ferrari will be in the mix at the front in Melbourne? 'For sure I'm confident,' he said. 'You are always very confident in the beginning of the season. The feeling of the car is positive. But until you all drive in qualifying you can't say but I trust in the team and I hope we can be there on the top level.' Fernando Alonso takes over the Ferrari on Friday."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Felipe Massa sounded happy with his Ferrari after his first day's running at this test on Thursday. 'I did a race simulation in the afternoon,' he said. 'I was happy I could finish the race without problem. It was important. It was the first race simulation we did in all these sessions including Jerez. We put more kilometres on the car. The car was good on the wet and in the race simulation it was also good. When I was driving even compared with other cars doing race simulation at the same time (the performance) was positive. Big degradation on tyres but compared to other cars not different. It was competitive. It was a positive day. The time is not important, what is important is when I was on the track the car was working well.'"

  99. 1015: 

    Daniel Ricciardo is out new leader in the Toro Rosso. The Australian slices three tenths off a second of previous leading time with a 1:39.914. Jenson Button then slots into second in his McLaren, 0.299 seconds off the pace.

  100. 1010: 

    Nico Rosberg is the first man to dip under the 1m40s, clocking 1:39.977 to extend his lead at the top of the timesheets.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "Alonso back out again and I know I keep on about this but I have just watched him through the last sequence of corners and the Ferrari really has no traction, he is sideways on every exit. Maybe he is just having fun but if it was me I would be working on the car set-up to improve its performance. One of the team just has to come out here and have a look to see other cars don't have the same snap oversteer."

  102. 1002: 

    Your suggestions for the best wet weather drive of all-time are still coming in thick and fast...

    Steve Harries: "Olivier Panis at Monaco 1996 was an unbelievable drive from 14th on the grid in the Ligier."

    Adam Raffell: Hungary 2006 and JB's first win from p14 on the grid after an engine change.

    Michael from Leicester: "Damon Hill in Japan 1994 to take the championship to a decider in Oz was a hugely underrated drive."

    Keep them coming in using the #bbcf1 hashtag or by texting 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those messages.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "The time itself was nothing special - significantly slower than the fastest laps from the second test. But that's to be expected as the conditions were poor. What might be significant is that it was so far ahead of anyone else running at the same time. Which makes you wonder. Did Webber accidentally let the cat out of the (sand) bag?"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "While we're pondering the significance (or otherwise) of Thursday's brief period of dry running, a thought occurs in the wake of Mark Webber's eye-catching performance in the Red Bull. The world champions are known to play their cards very close to their chests in testing, hiding their true performance - or 'sandbagging' as it is known in F1. And so far there have been no super-fast headline times. But Webber's time on Thursday was a massive 1.655 seconds clear of the field. And his outright fastest lap was preceded by another occasion a few minutes earlier when he was a similar margin clear of the cars running at the same time as him."

  105. 0955: 

    So Nico Rosberg leads Pastor Maldonado, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean.

    Daniel Ricciardo, Jenson Button, Max Chilton, Giedo van der Garde, Nico Hulkenberg and Adrian Sutil complete the list of 11 drivers running today.

  106. 0950: 

    Pastor Maldonado, who has spent much of this morning in the garage, pops his Williams up to second in the timesheets, 0.958 seconds off the pace set by Nico Rosberg.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "Moved around to Turn Seven, the left hander before going up hill, the Toro Rosso looks very good on corner entry, the driver can really commit to the corner, but a little traction-limited on exit. Interestingly, they also use the Ferrari engine, so as Ferrari are suffering the same problem I would suggest it might be a bit too brutal a power delivery upsetting the rear end."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Lewis Hamilton looked very good in the wet on Thursday, setting times as much as two seconds faster than the drivers who were out on the track at the same time as him. He's still being cagey about where he feels the Mercedes is in terms of competitiveness but the first flush of love between himself and his new team shows no sign of abating yet.

    "'It's a new environment and I'm loving it," Hamilton said. 'The people are so enthusiastic, where to improve. They are making a huge effort to communicate with me. They have made some good steps forward and they are on the right track. It's moving in the right direction. I couldn't be happier at the moment.'"

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "Major tankslapper from Alonso on exit of Turn Two and entry of Turn Three. Again like yesterday in these conditions it is the rear of the Ferrari that gives up."

  110. 0939: 

    Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean, Max Chilton and Pastor Maldonado are all out on track despite the wet conditions.


    Williams: "Pastor says it's very slippery out there - especially in the slow corners."

  112. 0933: 

    Williams driver Pastor Maldonado has suited back up and is now in the car ready for his first run of the day. He'll join Daniel Ricciardo and Giedo van der Garde out on track.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "Rosberg out on inters, pushing fairly hard with lots of steering wheel action but car looks very driveable. Now joined by Alonso and Grosjean both on inters so will get a good car comparison soon."

  114. 0930: 

    Nico Rosberg is our new leader, clocking a 1:40.940 to go 1.205 seconds clear of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Webber continued: 'Whether it's enough to go and win at different venues I don't know. We could have a red car or a silver car that has phenomenal performance and we can't match that early doors. We need to be ready for any scenarios. The good thing about this team is there is no resting on laurels. Last year we had more challenges to understand the car. This year's car we know very well because it's really a massage from the RB8. So there are no massive surprises from that. What we don't know is if the results will be good enough.'"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Red Bull's form has been hard to read this winter so far, but Mark Webber's pace in setting the fastest time by more than 1.6secs on Thursday and the longer runs I mentioned earlier suggest the car is quick. As Felipe Massa says, 'this is no surprise'... Certainly Webber feels they are going into the season with more confidence than last season, when, as he put it, he and Sebastian Vettel were struggling to score podiums for the first few races. 'I think we're a bit better than last year,' Webber said."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "I spent quite a lot of time watching the cars out on the track on Thursday. The McLaren still has the understeer (lack of front grip) that I saw in it at the first test in Jerez, and possibly even more. The Ferrari looks quite good but if anything gives up it is still the rear and the Red Bull just looks like it has a lot of grip. It looked pretty good everywhere, I didn't know the times so it was just visual."

  118. 0924: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    While Jenson Button's 2011 drive in Canada was the early leader, support for Lewis Hamilton's performance in the 2008 British Grand Prix is gathering pace. The Briton mastered tricky conditions to win by over a minute.

  119. 0919: 

    More of your favourite wet weather drives...

    Darren in Peterborough: "Surely Jackie Stewart's win by a clear four minutes at the '68 Nurburgring is worth a mention."

    Dan Jerram: "Schumacher winning at Monaco in 1997 was one of the greatest drives I've ever seen. Won by nearly a minute!"

    Bill Taylor: "1963 Belgian Grand Prix, with Jim Clark winning by five mins, and lapping all but one driver by lap 17. Sensational."

    Have your say using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those messages.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "All I can do out here is compare cars as I don't know the lap times, the Caterham looks like a bit of a wild ride with a lack of grip, Marussia sliding a lot but has a better more consistent balance. Everyone else has stopped for a cup of tea."

  121. 0914: 

    After a flurry of activity, it's all quiet again on track. Sebastian Vettel has clocked the most laps - 14 - while at the other end of the spectrum, Pastor Maldonado has managed just a single installation lap.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "Having a look at Turn 5, where Vettel just had a trip across the gravel, everyone is using a wider line as there is more grip out there in these greasy conditions. No problem he just came in a little too fast and ran out of track. Everyone on full wets."

  123. 0910: 

    Max Chilton is the only man out on track at the moment, clocking his first time of the day - a 1:52.193, which is 9.8 seconds off the pace set by Sebastian Vettel.

  124. 0905: 

    Caterham announce that American Alexander Rossi and Ma Qing Hua will be the team's reserve drivers for the coming season. Team principal Cyril Abiteboul says both drivers will "attend every race and will driving in a number of FP1 sessions".

  125. 0900: 

    Max Chilton has made his first appearance of the day, nipping out on track to do an installation lap before diving back into the pits. Fernando Alonso and Adrian Sutil, meanwhile, have set their first timed laps of the day.

  126. 0858: 

    The track conditions are starting to improve, with Sebastian Vettel and co all out on the inters. Talking of Vettel, the reigning world champion has gone quickest with a 1:42.408, 0.890 seconds quicker than Nico Rosberg.


    McLaren driver Jenson Button: "Morning from a very cold wet windy Circuit de Catalunya! Hopefully it'll blow over soon! Bored if the wet now, need some dry running."

  128. 0852: 

    Nico Rosberg is the current leader, clocking a 1:43.298 to lie 1.828 seconds clear of Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.

  129. 0850: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    Super work from the marshals and we're back under way in Barcelona. Romain Grosjean heads out on track in his Lotus.


    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton: "Good morning! Had a good day yesterday even though weather wasn't great. Today, it's meetings and Australia prep."

  131. 0845: 

    It's our first red flag of the day, folks. Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso has pulled up on the side of the track.

  132. 0843: 
    Jenson Button

    Yep, Jenson Button's stunning victory in the rain-hit 2011 Canadian Grand Prix is getting your support. Button, who clashed with then McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton during the race, stopped five times and came from the back of the field to win, passing Sebastian Vettel on the final lap.

  133. 0840: 

    Here are some of your early thoughts on the best ever wet weather drive...

    Steve: "Spa 95 between Hill and Schumacher, Half wet, half dry circuit, Racing at it's best!"

    Luke in Doncaster: "Fisichella in Brazil 2003 is one of my favourites, kept his calm and handled the conditions brilliantly."

    Rob Anthony: "Schumacher driving for Ferrari at the 1996 Spanish GP. Won by a country mile."

    Keep them coming. Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only). There's a runaway leader at the moment...

  134. 0836: 

    Sebastian Vettel is out on the inters and clocks the third fastest time, 1:46.030, but it's still half-a-second adrift of our new pacesetter Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes.

  135. 0834: 

    We have some times on the board, folks. Daniel Ricciardo clocks a 1:45.581, which is 1.252 seconds quicker than Jenson Button's effort.

  136. 0832: 

    Williams and Pastor Maldonado have decided to sit tight and wait for the conditions to improve but thankfully for the fans who are braving the conditions, Daniel Ricciardo, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel have headed out to splash around.

  137. 0830: 

    I'll get the ball rolling with a classic - the 1993 European Grand Prix where Ayrton Senna went from fifth to first in one lap at Donington Park. It was the stuff of legends. Over to you.

  138. 0825: 

    While the teams check the data from the installation lap - and the rain continues to fall, I want you, yes you, to send in suggestions for your favourite wet-weather drive of all time.

    Following the high level chat of yesterday, I'm expecting big thing. Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those texts or they'll never see the light of day.

  139. 0823: 

    After an initial period of activity, with Grosjean, Button, Maldonado, Ricciardo, Rosberg, Sutil, Van der Garde and Vettel all completing installation laps, it's all gone quiet out on track with everyone parked up in their garages keeping warm and dry.

  140. 0820: 

    Wondering where Max Chilton is today? Well Marussia are running slightly behind schedule today as they're busy bolting on a few new parts to the car which arrived in Barcelona late last night.

  141. 0814: 

    So there's every chance Red Bull won't have it all their own way this season, with Mercedes looking like they've made a step forward from last year. The season-opening Australian Grand Prix could be an absolute humdinger.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson in Barcelona:

    "Further to Andrew's point, Hamilton's 1:26.835 is a real lap as every sector time is faster so the performance is in the Mercedes somewhere. Which makes one wonder why the average time is three seconds slower than that? All I can suggest is that they are turning down the wick a bit just to hide the possible performance. It's a bit of a waste of time - the other teams will notice - but they might think it is worth it."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Mark Webber and Felipe Massa both had exactly the same time to the thousandth - 1:28.905. Sergio Perez was slightly behind on 1:29.169 and Lewis Hamilton was just over half a second further back on 1:29.701 - although Hamilton did a 1:26.835 lap early in his run which was more than two seconds quicker than any of his other laps and which no-one else got near. Of course, it could just be a coincidence that the comparisons between the teams are so close and apparently believable, or it might just be that they were all on a very similar programme and that that is a pretty reasonable representation of current competitiveness."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "The one thing everyone in F1 knows about testing is that it's hard to read the lap times because it's impossible to know the fuel loads cars are running. But, interestingly, in the brief period of dry running on Thursday afternoon, Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes all did similar-length runs (about 10 laps or so) with very similar-looking times. Averaging out their lap times for the run gives an intriguing result."

  145. 0809: 

    Now it's Jenson Button's turn, closely followed by world champion Sebastian Vettel and Pastor Maldonado in the Williams. Full wet tyres are the order of the day at the moment.

  146. 0805: 

    Adrian Sutil, who was yesterday confirmed as the second Force India driver, has popped out for his installation lap to check all the systems on the car are working.

  147. 0803: 

    Romain Grosjean and Nico Rosberg are among the first drivers to head out onto what is a very wet track.

  148. 0800: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The lights have gone green and we're away on day two of the final pre-season test in Barcelona!


    Caterham's Giedo van der Garde: "A very good and cold morning from Barcelona, it's still wet..."


    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso: "Good morning! Penultimate day of testing, a lot of rain and wind, we hope to still able to test something."

  151. 0757: 

    Rain and strong winds played havoc at the Circuit de Catalunya yesterday and early impressions suggest there'll be more of the same today. I'm reliably informed that the weather is set to improve for Saturday and Sunday, though, so it's not all bad news.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Lotus driver Romain Grosjean summed up everyone's frustration: 'We spent quite a lot of time doing things that were good for the team and the car but usually the last test is about working with your engineers and getting a good baseline set-up for Melbourne,' the Frenchman said. 'With the weather, that was not possible. Hopefully it will be dry on Friday and we can work on a few things that we wanted to test; things we cannot do on a race weekend.' Unfortunately for Grosjean and everyone else, though, it is forecast to rain for much of Friday as well."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "It's almost as if the fates are conspiring to stop people getting a sense of which teams are in good shape ahead of the new season and which are not. This is the test which in theory should provide the clearest picture, but there was rain for much of the first day on Thursday and only a brief period of dry running at the end of the day. So disrupted was the day that Ferrari had to take the unusual step of doing a race simulation, to check the car's reliability, in wet conditions."

  154. 0755: 

    Plus we've still got three days of pre-season testing left to play with before the season begins in Melbourne on 15 March, starting with today at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. So get yourself a fresh brew, sit back and relax. It's time to go testing.

  155. 0753: 

    It's too hard to say. Let's not forget that Mark Webber was ninth different driver to finish fastest in nine pre-season test days this season which underlines the fact we can't read too much into the headline times.

  156. 0750: 

    Rain battered the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday before finally easing off in the afternoon to allow the teams to get some vital dry running. Mark Webber then stepped up and sent shivers down the spines of his rivals by setting a blistering pace. Are Red Bull set to pick up where they left off last year and continue their reign of dominance?

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