As Clive was so keen to point out earlier, Kazuki Nakajima has topped the timing sheets on the third and final day of testing at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. Nakajima, a driver of only one race so far, set a time of 1m22.153s and beat not only his more experienced team mate Nico Rosberg, but also the Ferraris and McLarens. Both previous days of testing had been a wash out, but the Williams duo had looked quite strong this week with Rosberg topping out on the first day. However, on a finally dry track and with more teams running, Nakajima popped in a time when it mattered. Which according to Clive, shows his real pace and why many fans might be a little surprised by his form this upcoming season.
It wasn’t all ecstatic screams of joy though, and despite the Grove-squad looking pretty handy at the moment the cluster of lap times are very close; only 0.748s separate Nakajima in first to Timo Glock in tenth, and Heikki Kovalainen looked menacing in second only 0.03s shy of the Japanese driver’s time. Pedro De La Rosa backed up the Finn in third and edged out fourth-placed Felipe Massa.
Nico Rosberg wound up in fifth, but only 0.1s down on his team mate highlighting just how tightly packed the leading drivers were today. Sixth and seventh went to Mark Webber and David Coulthard respectively, both drivers enjoying the drier weather and a more productive afternoon. Luca Badoer in the second Ferrari and Fernando Alonso ended their days in eighth and ninth with the Toyota of Glock rounding out the top ten.
The final three positions were settled to Nelson Piquet Jr in the sister Renault, Kamui Kobayashi in the sister Toyota and young Nico Hulkenberg in the Williams FW30 who ran in the morning before handing over to Nakajima after lunch.
With the weather being much better today in Spain, the teams used the time available to try out some race simulations with a lot of drivers going out for long runs, adapting the cars as they went and learning how they might handle over a race distance.
Barcelona Day Three Times
|1.||Kazuki Nakajima||Williams||1m22.153s||32 Laps|
|2.||Heikki Kovalainen||McLaren||1m22.185s||64 Laps|
|3.||Pedro De La Rosa||McLaren||1m22.208s||92 Laps|
|4.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||1m22.213s||95 Laps|
|5.||Nico Rosberg||Williams||1m22.248s||108 Laps|
|6.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing||1m.22.477s||81 Laps|
|7.||David Coulthard||Red Bull Racing||1m22.499s||102 Laps|
|8.||Luca Badoer||Ferrari||1m22.535s||102 Laps|
|9.||Fernando Alonso||Renault||1m22.657s||61 Laps|
|10.||Timo Glock||Toyota||1m22.901s||109 Laps|
|11.||Nelson Piquet Jr||Renault||1m23.286s||104 Laps|
|12.||Kamui Kobayashi||Toyota||1m23.132s||56 Laps|
|13.||Nico Hulkenberg||Williams||1m24.222s||59 Laps|