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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Valtteri Bottas qualifies 5th at 2011 British Grand Prix

I don't know how this one slipped by me, I guess I took my eye off the ball, but in searching around for the latest info on Ma Qing Hua, the web brought me to F1Fanatic and a story on the young driver's test that Williams, Marussia, and HRT undertook at Silverstone the weekend after the British GP.

Valtteri Bottas posted a fastest lap-time of 1.31.436 over a test lasting 120 laps.  While that's a lot of laps, that is an impressive lap-time and, in comparable dry conditions at the British GP in 2011, would have put him in 5th place on the grid, ahead of Jenson Button's McLaren.

It also beat the pants off Pastor and Bruno's FP3 British GP times, set in dry conditions (for the most part), which are more accurate and comparable times than the race or Qualifying (Qualifying was very wet this year) as the team is trying to get the cars set up for Qualifying.

Impressive stuff and perhaps my conundrum is now weighing heavily on Sir Frank's mind.  It's interesting that Williams gave him a cake today to celebrate his birthday last week. Perhaps the real present is closer than we think?  Sadly, there's no number on the car to indicate who might give way.

Photo via @WilliamsF1Team

For those of you interested in how Ma Qing Hua did at that test - not too badly for a first ever F1 drive - he was about half a second off the official FP3 pace of the slowest HRT after 82 laps.  Not too shabby.