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Damp weather brings first week of Barcelona testing to a close // Lewis Hamilton leads the way as Williams concentrate on pitstops

Published by Christine Blachford

Hamilton heading straight to the top
Hamilton heading straight to the topCredit: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Pit stop practice down at Williams
Pit stop practice down at WilliamsCredit: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic
Webber consistently chilly
Webber consistently chillyCredit: Mark Thompson
A stroll in the park for Grosjean
A stroll in the park for GrosjeanCredit: Andrew Ferraro/LAT

Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest time of the final day of testing this week, making the most of some dry running in the middle of the day, before the rain hit once again. Most of the teams had been expecting the inclement conditions so it wasn't a surprise, and they had contingency plans in pace. Lotus ran a relaxed session, trying out the intermediate tyres, whilst Williams brought the full race crew in for some pitstop practice.

Both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas were in action at the Circuit de Catalunya today, but neither driver set a full lap time. Instead the pair were diving in and out of the pit lane, making the most of the time with the race team.

The key things to work on as a driver are breaking as late as possible for the pitlane speed limit to minimise the time lost, perfecting your positioning in the box and finally pulling away quickly and cleanly. It’s really interesting as there are a lot of things to think about, but the better I get, the more trust you build with the pit crew which means they are able to react even quicker.

- Valtteri Bottas,Williams

Elsewhere, Jenson Button wound up behind his former teammate, second fastest of the day for McLaren. Giedo van der Garde pulled Caterham off the bottom of the timesheets, whilst Red Bull and Ferrari both seemed to have more on their minds than flat out pace.

2013 Testing - Day 4, Barcelona
PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:23.28252
2Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:23.63370
3Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso1:24.07180
4Jules BianchiForce India1:25.73296
5Esteban GutiérrezSauber1:26.23961
6Giedo van der GardeCaterham1:27.42950
7Felipe MassaFerrari1:27.56380
8Mark WebberRed Bull1:27.61664
9Max ChiltonMarussia1:29.90251
10Romain GrosjeanLotus1:34.80041
11Valtteri BottasWilliamsNo time23
12Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsNo time13

Force India ran their second seat contender day, in the shape of Jules Bianchi who continued his strong performance in testing for the team. Jean-Éric Vergne also made the most of the tricky conditions to get a fast time out of the STR8.

Meanwhile, Pirelli released some more fact and figures from their week of testing, and more than anything it has an air of frustration about it. For the second test week in a row, the tyre suppliers have not been able to gather the data they wanted - in Jerez, the tyre surface wasn't what they'd hoped, and now, in Barcelona, the temperatures have been lower than anticipated. In answer to a tweet about hailing earlier, Paul Hembery said: "I guess that is why we call it winter testing."

New experience for me today in the wet.. Was not easy but useful!. Good 2 day's, next week again.. I keep pushing

GvanderGarde GvanderGarde

Pitstop morning report: crew happy, consistent times& Valtteri's positioning in the box this morning was good - much improved from last year

WilliamsF1Team WilliamsF1Team

Whatsup! Been a miserable day of weather but we got most of our program done. Still got plenty of work to do but we on it!!

LewisHamilton LewisHamilton

It's been raining heavily during the lunch break so it's a very damp track we will rejoin but good for testing the wet tyres & also KERS

Marussia_F1Team Marussia_F1Team

There's just one more week of testing left to go, a further four days at the Circuit de Catalunya that begin late next week. It may or may not be a little bit warmer then, and it will be the last chance for teams to test out bits and pieces on their car before deciding what to ship to Australia. Exciting times!

All content in the series 2013 F1 pre-season testing




  • testing's over for another week? it's going so quickly!

  • Are the clickable-gallery-type pictures new, or did I miss them? I'm having great fun clicking through them on every post now :-)

  • Are the clickable-gallery-type pictures new, or did I miss them? I'm having great fun clicking through them on every post now :-)

    Not new but only used occasionally. They create heaps of swiping fun too :)

  • So the themes of this week are:

    Vettel and Alonso talk up the W04

    Hamilton talks down the W04

    Button talks down the MP4-28

    Williams Aperture/ flow conditioner

    DRD's on the rear wing

    5 element front wings

    And that's about it!

  • I wonder why Williams felt the need for so much pit stop practise. Bottas is not exactly a first timer in an F1 car and has had enough testing not to need a special pit stop session. Scarbs has suggested that teams will be looking for innovative wheel 'nuts' to reduce pit stop times. I wonder if Williams have a clever device that they wanted to try. Maybe they wanted to see how such a device coped with multiple tightening and loosening operations as a reliability check.

    I had no idea that there was no need for teams to use nuts on their wheels. It doesn't matter how many years you spend learning about this sport there is always something that you assume you know that turns out to be completely wrong.

    scarbsf1.com/blog…rules-and-trends/

    It's about two-thirds the way down the page and is headed "Wheel retention"

  • I wonder why Williams felt the need for so much pit stop practise.

    i thought the use of orange googles was interesting. think they're new this year and appear to be used only by specific crew members.

    any chance there are marking that only show up under certain light?

  • i thought the use of orange googles was interesting. think they're new this year and appear to be used only by specific crew members.

    Googles? - You are obsessed by the internet.

    The different coloured goggles may just be personal preference. Brown (and presumably orange to a lesser degree) filters out UV so it could just be that some people are more sensitive to UV where others just want a percentage of all light blocked.

    It is possible but I would have thought unlikely that they are using markings that show up under certain light but the logical thing to use for that would be UV which I would expect the orange to partially block at least. It is certainly something worth keeping an eye on in the first few races. If the same people keep wearing them regardless of ambient light conditions there may be something in your theory..

  • Googles? - You are obsessed by the internet.

    it looked right to me!

    *orange goggles*

  • *orange goggles*

    Yellow / oranges / semi translucent lens are better for working (skiing/snowboarding) in low light / flat light ie. overcast conditions.

    Darker shades and ones with reflective coatings are for higher amounts of sun, as they let less light through. I expect these at the first race = Aussie summer.

    If you want an explanation of this the Oakley Goggles website has a v good page on tints etc.

  • Yellow / oranges / semi translucent lens are better for working (skiing/snowboarding) in low light / flat light ie. overcast conditions.

    but why would some people be wearing one kind and the people standing right next to them another?

  • but why would some people be wearing one kind and the people standing right next to them another?

    Maybe the light conditions were borderline.

  • I have just watched a Williams program on TV and it looks like people wear different goggles all the time so it looks like it is just personal preference

  • Maybe the light conditions were borderline.

    As the conditions were borderline, perhaps they were testing to see what they need to wear when cool and grey / overcast / tipping it down (that'll be British GP weather then). It wouldn't surprise me if some teams had cameras & sensors mounted behind the lenses so they could review the footage as well quantitatively make up their minds.

  • I have just watched a Williams program on TV and it looks like people wear different goggles all the time so it looks like it is just personal preference

    ahh boo. nice timing though :)

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