Date:Monday February 21 2011
As pre-season test days go, today was as dramatic as it gets for Formula One.
The final day of testing in Barcelona may have been more dramatic away from the track than on it, but there was a fair few incidents as the season closes in.
Team Lotus and Virgin Racing both brought out the red flag during the final testing session.
But before the session had come to a close the rumour mill was in full flow, first with news that the scheduled Bahrain test had been cancelled, quickly followed by the race itself.
The news was eventually confirmed shortly before the session ended.
Formula One teams will now remain in Barcelona to test during the window that was going to be in Bahrain (starting on March 3rd), the opening race of the season will now be in Australia during the final week of March.
As yet there is no news on whether the Bahrain race will be rescheduled or simply cancelled.
Back on the track and Lotus, who had shown some early progress during the first three days of tests had their day cut short following a crash by Jarno Trulli.
A leak from the radiator caused the spin which unfortunately ended with Trulli meeting the tyre wall, following the incident Team Lotus packed up for the day.
'It was not his fault, we were missing a part we needed to put the car back together.” Team Lotus technical director Mike Gascoyne told the BBC during Monday’s test session.
'Despite this I still think there are a great deal of positives to take from the test in terms of the pace of the car and the fact that we are on top of the reliability issues.'
Not to be out done, although in far less spectacular circumstances, Virgin also brought out the red flag when Jerome D'Ambrosio came to a stop at the end of the pit lane. Overall though, the day looked good for Virgin with D'Ambrosio finishing ahead of Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes by 0.578 seconds although the German was completing a lot of laps, 114 to be precise.
Incidentally the seven-time World champion brought out the final red flag of the day when he stopped out on the track towards the very end of the session.
Ferrari and Red Bull once again topped the table, this time it was Ferrari and Felipe Massa, with Red Bull’s Mark Webber 0.817 seconds behind.
Massa’s time of 1 minute and 22.625 seconds, the fastest time over all four days, came after Massa had previously been concentrating on long runs, the Brazilian completed 121 laps on the final day. Webber in return completed 69 laps.
The battle up front between Ferrari and Red Bull is already fascinating and the delayed start to the season only promises to add to the intrigue.
Date:Monday February 21 2011
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