Pirelli F1 pre-season testing campaign ends at a rain-lashed Barcelona circuit in Spain
Now that official testing is over, Ferrari leads the pre-season distance rankings with 5244 kilometers covered over the course of the 15 days, followed by Mercedes (4483), Red Bull (4407), Sauber (4099), Williams (3894), McLaren (3844), Force India (3745), Toro Rosso (3737), Lotus Renault (3700), Virgin (3361) Lotus (2403) and HRT (1949).
As for the drivers, Fernando Alonso has driven the most distance on Pirelli tires with a total of 2826 kilometers, ahead of Michael Schumacher (2474), Felipe Massa (2417), Mark Webber (2373), Rubens Barrichello (2198) and Sergio Perez (2129).
The drivers who have completed the least distance are Vitantonio Liuzzi with 326 kilometers, Jarno Trulli (1028), Nick Heidfeld (1140) and Heikki Kovalainen (1182).
The final test in Barcelona, arranged at short notice after the Bahrain Grand Prix did not take place as the season-opener, covered five days, with each of the teams running for four days each. Weather conditions were dry over the opening four days in northern Spain, with ambient temperatures peaking at 81 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, but on Saturday the four teams that were still testing - Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams - experienced heavy rain for the first time, with 10 millimeters of water soaking the track in the morning.
In fact, conditions were too wet for any constructive running to take place on the final day, with the four teams completing only a total of 101 laps. With deep standing water on the straights, conditions were extremely difficult for the five drivers who took to the track.
During the five days of the Barcelona test, the teams completed a total of 3555 laps, equaling approximately 16,548 kilometers. The team covering the most distance was Sauber, which racked up 390 laps or 1815 kilometers in four days. The fastest time of the test was posted by Michael Schumacher (Mercedes), who set a time of 1m21.268s on Friday, comfortably eclipsing the benchmark of 1m22.625s established by Felipe Massa (Ferrari) at the previous Barcelona test last month. The team with the most wet-weather experience is also Mercedes, which completed 40 laps today in soaking conditions.
“It’s certainly been a very interesting five days, where we've experienced a huge variety of weather conditions,” said Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery. “We had a brief window of optimal conditions in the afternoon during the week, where temperatures were finally high enough for our hard and soft compound rubber to come into its ideal operating range. This enabled a number of the teams to carry out race simulations, which revealed some interesting data. Then on Saturday, we had a deluge - but the conditions were really too wet then for the four teams present to learn anything significant. What we have seen over the course of the test, particularly during the race simulations, is a wide variety of strategies, which promises an exciting season ahead."
The Australian Grand Prix, which marks Pirelli’s return to Formula One for the first time in 20 years, takes place on March 27 at Albert Park in Melbourne.