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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mark Webber & Red Bull fastest on Test 3, Day 1, Barcelona

At the end of a day which saw rain from the start and gave all the teams the opportunity to test out all of the tyres Mark Webber put in a late lap on the Pirelli Soft tyres to go quickest with a 1m22.693s lap, over 1.5 seconds faster than Lewis Hamilton in second place on a 1m24.348sec. Lewis's time was set on a medium set.

Lewis and Felipe Massa did the most laps on the day, Mercedes doing 113 laps versus Ferrari's 112.  Felipe's day was cut short in the drying afternoon with what was either a planned fuel run out or a problem.  Certainly the Ferrari driver did not look happy upon his return to the pits and the left front tyre seems to have flat spotted.

Of other interest was the fact that Luiz Razia once again failed to take up his seat at the test.  Today was intended to be Razia's day in the car but Max Chilton once again went out and pounded the circuit, aiming to become the most experienced driver of a 2013 F1 car by seemingly doing all of the Marussia testing on his own.

In terms of times however, the day did not bode well for the Marussia team until very late on in the session when Max "powered" in a lap that put the team just under half a second ahead of the Caterham of Charles Pic.

Slowest of the day was Romain Grosjean in the Lotus with a 1m34.928sec lap, set in wet conditions.  One of their tweeted photographs showed a sneaky attempt on the teams part to pretend they were running their DRD, using sellotape to cover the air intakes rather than the usual red covers

Tweeted by @Lotus_F1Team

Either they planned to run it but rain interfered with the plan and they had forgotten the covers or they were trying to pull the wool over their opponents in the pitlane.

If it were McLaren, Ron Dennis would have insisted on a heat seal option (with a McLaren symbol cunningly watermarked into it) so that, should the trick be discovered, the car would still look thoroughly professional and not ad hoc in any way.

Hard luck guys,  caught you out.

The teams will have loads of data on the full wets and intermediate tyres after the days action, but with the temperatures less useful data will have been garnered on the slicks.