‘Class act’ Kimi fastest at Jerez F1 Test

Source: autosport.com

Kimi Raikkonen posted the quickest time in the first morning of testing in 2012 as the returning 2007 world champion set the pace in the new Lotus E20.

The Finn responded to the hype surrounding his return with four fast stints, and occupied the top spot on the timesheets from the minute he first left the garage.

His fastest time so far, a 1m19.670s, set on his third run using medium Pirelli tyres, was faster than any testing laps at the Spanish track throughout 2011.

Lotus confirmed that the team’s programme was simply to put miles on the new car and to give Raikkonen as much time as was possible to get used to this year’s Pirelli compounds. By 13:00 local time, the Finn had completed 50 laps.

Paul di Resta was second fastest in the new Force India, having spent much of the morning doing intensive evaluation of the VJM05 which sported a large pylon mounted on the roll-bar.

Nico Rosberg was third fastest, driving a 2011 Mercedes W02 with some modifications. Having initially worked on calibration and installation, the German quickly upped the ante and by lunchtime had worked down to a 1m20.219s lap on Pirelli’s soft rubber.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest in the Scuderia Toro Rosso having completed a trouble-free 40 laps so far in the STR7, which was revealed to the world at Jerez on Monday evening.

Mark Webber completed just eight laps in the new Red Bull RB8 but finished as fifth quickest.

Kamui Kobayashi was sixth fastest in the Sauber C31. The Japanese driver’s only problem was the loss of a small piece of the rear brake duct on his initial run, but the team quickly resolved the issue.

Jenson Button was seventh for McLaren, which took its time working through systems checks and installation runs. Meanwhile, Felipe Massa was eighth quickest for Ferrari. The Brazilian focussed on data gathering in the F2012 – which was also carrying a tall pillar on its roll-hoop.

Heikki Kovalainen completed 18 laps by lunchtime for Caterham – the Finn having achieved a best of 1m23.1748, ahead of Pastor Maldonado in the new Williams-Renault. The FW34 was also revealed to the world in a roll-out just before the start of the test this morning.

Pedro de la Rosa completed the order in last year’s HRT.

Morning times:

Pos--Driver--------------Team------------------Time--------Laps
 1.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         1m19.670s    50
 2.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1m19.772s    52
 3.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1m20.219s    56
 4.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m20.694s    40
 5.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      1m21.474s     8
 6.  Kamui Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari        1m21.534s    29
 7.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m22.402s    22
 8.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1m23.056s    51
 9.  Heikki Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault      1m23.178s    32
10.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1m23.371s    23
11.  Pedro de la Rosa     HRT-Cosworth          1m24.322s    16
All Timing Unofficial

Interview with James Allison

Q: The team were full of praise for the way Kimi went about the running in Valencia. Have you been equally impressed with him this morning? What has his feedback been on the E20?

JA: You can tell Kimi is a class act. He gets in the car and is on the pace straight away; there’s no building up to it. His commitment is instant and the lap times show that. His fitness level is also good which has allowed him to be consistent, and he hasn’t had any major ‘moments’ out on track; he seems to have everything very much under control.

So far his feedback on the car has been good. Kimi has been complimentary about the balance of the car, the braking and other features. The steering is slightly heavy for his liking at the moment, but other than that he’s been comfortable.

4 thoughts on “‘Class act’ Kimi fastest at Jerez F1 Test

  1. Even though testing times are what they are… this is INCREDIBLE!

    For those who didn’t keep an eye on Autosport’s live commentary, check this out (the talk a lot about Kimi over the course of day):

    http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/435

    Like

  2. Cheers JB. I missed the live commentary as I was out 😦 but I will enjoy it tonight! lol

    Like

  3. You know Evenstar even though I enjoyed it on time, I read it again — it’s just so good to read as there’s so much great vibe going on everywhere, let’s see how it all goes!

    Like

    1. Hehe, day two’s commentary was fun to read too, especially when they mentioned a Ferrari engineer standing close by Lotus’ wall lol

      Like

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