Tuesday 1 May 2012

MUGELLO TEST – DAY ONE

Driver:               Mark Webber

Car:                    RB8

Laps:                  24 laps

Best time:        1:23.648

Circuit length:       4.655km

Fastest lap:            F. Alonso (1:22.444)

Formula One returned to in-season testing for the first time since 2008 today, but heavy rain at Mugello disrupted most teams’ planned programmes.

Initial forecasts had suggested there would be a 30% chance of rain at the Tuscan track, but damp conditions in the early morning led the team to run a re-worked plan, which included some running on Pirelli’s intermediate tyres. The Team used those outings to test a number of aerodynamic and mechanical development parts, which had been brought to Italy for the test.

A brief lull in the wet weather later in the morning gave Mark a couple of dry tyre runs and the team maximised the opportunity before the heaviest rain of the day arrived. During that spell, Mark set the day’s second quickest time, recording a lap of 1.23:648

Mark commented: “Obviously, the weather wasn’t great today, so we didn’t get to do much running in the dry. Really, we only got one decent run on the slicks. Then it rained after lunch and with limited sets of wets available, you can’t do that much. We’re hoping for better over the next couple of days.

“It’s an important test. We have a lot of information to gather and, while today didn’t quite work out as expected, I’m optimistic that over the course of the next few days we’ll get the information we need.

“I have to say this is a fantastic track. It’s very challenging for the driver and very quick. I don’t know if we’ll ever race here in the future, you never know, but to see the crowd here today was very special. A lot of people came to watch and that’s great.”