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Sauber hits best speed in Spain

2012-02-25 17:02

BARCELONA, Spain - Kamui Kobayashi set the pace on the fourth and final day of the second week of pre-season testing in Barcelona before the opening 2012 Formula 1 race in March.

The Sauber driver clocked 1min22.312 during 63 laps, ahead of Pastor Maldonado in a Williams (1min22.561) and mcLaren's Jenson Button (1min23.200).

"I'm quite happy," Kobayashi grinned. "We achieved a very good mileage today. The set-up changes we did in the morning meant an improvement in lap times - very positive.

"There is still a lot of work to do in terms of understanding the car and the different tyre compounds at different fuel levels but we are working in the right direction. I think it was a good test."

'WE'LL KEEP PUSHING'

Maldonado, who was fastest on Thursday, said the week's work had given the veteran Williams team plenty of optimism.

"It has been a positive test," he said. "We’ve had no problems with the car, getting in some good mileage across all four days.

"We now have a great deal of data to analyse so we will keep pushing to improve our car for the next test. I am looking forward to coming back next week for the final test and getting back to racing very soon."

A final series of testing will be held, again in Barcelona, through March 1-4 before the teams travel to Australia for the season opener in Melbourne on March 18.

World champions Red Bull and Ferrari have been given permission to put back the start of their final testing by a day, citing logistical reasons.

BARCELONA TIMES
1 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber 1min22.312 (63 laps)
2 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams 11min22.561 (86)
3 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren 11min23.200 (50)
4 Paul Di Resta (GBR) Force India 11min23.304 (45)
5 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 11min23.563 (56)
6 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull 1min23.774 (40)
7 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Toro Rosso 11min23.792 (45)
8 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 11min24.092 (92)
9 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham 11min27.047 (16)

AFP