Testing: Jerez 10th-13th February

Pre-season testing continued this weekend, this time in Jerez with every team in attendance (apart from HRT). McLaren, Force India and Marussia Virgin Racing had their 2011 cars on the track for the first time. The main talking point this week in Formula One was Robert Kubica‘s rally accident which left him with multiple fractures to his hand, arm and leg. After successful surgery it was thought he would face at least a year out of the cockpit, however, Kubica himself vows to be back racing in 2011. With a replacement driver looking to be a more long-term thing, Lotus Renault GP called on experienced driver Nick Heidfeld to test in Jerez. They also gave one of their five reserve drivers, Bruno Senna, a run in the car. There has been no official confirmation as of yet, but it is likely that Heidfeld will secure the seat and drive alongside Vitaly Petrov.

The four days of testing were repeatedly interrupted by red flags with many drivers stopping on track, or taking excursions into the gravel. On the final day the session was interrupted by a light rain shower allowing teams to test the intermediate tyres. However, because this rain appeared in the last half an hour of the test there was not enough time to gather any meaningful wet weather and intermediate tyre data.

The times from all four days of the test are as follows:

1. Barrichello 1:19.832
2. Schumacher 1:20.352
3. Heidfeld 1:20.361
4. Massa 1:20.413
5. Alonso 1:20.493
6. Kobayashi 1:20.601
7. Button 1:21.009
8. Hamilton 1:21.099
9. Buemi 1:21.213
10. Alguersuari 1:21.214
11. Senna 1:21.400
12. Perez 1:21.483
13. Webber 1:21.522
14. Vettel 1:21.574
15. Kovalainen 1:21.632
16. Ricciardo 1:21.755
17. Sutil 1:21.780
18. Rosberg 1:22.103
19. Glock 1:22.208
20. Vitaly Petrov 1:22.493
21. Pastor Maldonado 1:22.591
22. di Resta 1:22.945
23. D’Ambrosio 1:22.985
24. Trulli 1:23.216

As always, times cannot be read into too much as we do not know what programmes teams were running. Drivers carrying out longer heavy fuel stints on the Pirelli tyres noticed a huge drop off in performance and lap times. Williams continued to have problems with their KERS system, while Nico Rosberg suffered more reliability issues with his Mercedes GP car.

The penultimate pre-season test commences on the 18th February in Barcelona at the Circuit de Catalunya, the home of the Spanish GP.

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