Date:Sunday February 20 2011
Day three of testing in Barcelona has gone a little bit better for McLaren and Mercedes.
The two teams looked to have been struggling on Friday and Saturday, but Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton both enjoyed better days today.
Rosberg topped the timing charts with a lap of 1 minute 23.168 seconds, the fastest time over the last three days of testing.
Hamilton was also quicker, finishing the day in third behind Vitaly Petrov's Renault and just 0.690 seconds behind Rosberg's Mercedes.
'It's not too bad, a work in progress. We have more time to come so it's OK.' the former World champion told the BBC.
Hamilton did however suffer some technical problems as McLaren continue to play catch up to rivals Red Bull and Ferrari.
'We had a couple of technical issues which we were able to sort out.
'Ninety-odd laps is a good step for us and we managed a couple of long-ish runs in but of course we want to get more mileage on the car - and we'll try and do that on Monday.'
In comparison Red Bull's Mark Webber ran 139 laps during the day, completing long race simulations while still setting times within two seconds of Rosberg's lap.
Felipe Massa had an eventful day, despite running off the track twice the Brazilian completed 100 laps. 'Fortunately, the Ferrari F150th Italia appears to be very tough and after both incidents it was able to run again without losing too much time.' a Ferrari spokesman said after the test.
Trying to look past the timed lap tables, Ferrari and Red Bull look ahead of all the rest, their testing has moved past tyre simulations and race speed and onto reliability and race pace.
The good thing for us fans is that both teams at the moment look evenly matched.
Going back to today's pace setter; Nico Rosberg was pleased with how the day went and the progress that Mercedes are making step by step. 'Generally it's been good, even on the intermediates we learned a lot and then in the afternoon on the long runs we made some good progress in the end,' he said to Autosport Magazine.
'We definitely learned some new things again about some new aero parts and things like that, so it's been a good day and it's all going in the right direction.'
Looking ahead to tomorrow's session and it will be a big day for the Force India team as they prepare for their first test of their Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS).
They have Mercedes' KERS which is widely thought of as the best on the grid, so assuming there are no complications Force India could be set to make a step forward from their current position which put them eighth in testing today 2.552 seconds behind Rosberg.
Date:Sunday February 20 2011
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