At the first pre-season test of 2012, we got quite a surprise. Well actually, two surprises. The first surprise was Lotus. The Lotus E20 was the fastest car on track in the Jerez, but the driver in the car was the biggest surprise. It wasn't Romain Grosjean or Jerome d'Ambrosio; it was Kimi Räikkönen. Yes, the iceman was on fire. Right now, it was as if he never left the sport.
Force India had "Force" in Jerez as Paul di Resta drove the VJM05 to second in the morning test, just a tenth of a second off Kimi's time. Räikkönen and di Resta were the only men to make it into the 1:19s during the morning. However, the man who put the most laps around the Jerez circuit was Nico Rosberg, who drove last year's W02 as Mercedes hasn't launched their 2012 car yet. Rosberg was comfortable with a later start, and that he would make the best of the 2011 car.
IMAGE : Heikki Kovalainen drives the new Caterham at the opening winter test.
Caterham finally emerged its full car at the test, but Heikki Kovalainen didn't put too many laps on the CT01. Despite being four seconds off Räikkönen's pace, he finished a solid seventh in the session. He would need to pick up the pace if Caterham were to have any chance of scoring their first points this season.
Red Bull was tenth fastest of eleven cars which is a scary sight to see. Webber was only half a second faster than last year's HRT, which is something that Christian Horner and Adrian Newey would have never imagined. McLaren was this way last year in testing, so we shouldn't get worried. When we need to stress is when or if they qualify horribly in Australia. There are still several days to redeem themselves in these tests.
Here is a look at the current results as of 13:00(local time):
|2.||Paul di Resta||Force India VJM05||1:19.772||52|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes W02||1:20.219||56|
|4.||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso STR7||1:20.694||40|
|5.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber C31||1:22.112||29|
|6.||Jenson Button||McLaren MP4-27||1:22.366||19|
|7.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F2012||1:22.815||45|
|8.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham CT01||1:23.178||23|
|9.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams FW34||1:23.457||16|
|10.||Mark Webber||Red Bull RB8||1:23.556||4|
|11.||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT F111||1:24.209||32|
So quite a first day in Jerez! Let's keep the excitement up and carry it through the season!