Feb.26 (GMM) No fewer than four runners at Barcelona on Friday morning put Mark Webber’s impressive Thursday pace firmly in the past.
Led by Fernando Alonso, who was eight tenths quicker than the Australian driver’s qualifying simulation of 24 hours ago, Sauber’s Pedro de la Rosa was also significantly faster than the Red Bull had been on Thursday.
The all Spanish one-two delighted the partisan crowd, whose numbers surpassed Thursday’s 15,000 after morning traffic jams set the scene for the day.
Before day two in dry Spain broke for lunch, Tonio Liuzzi (Force India) and Webber’s teammate Sebastian Vettel had also lapped beneath Webber’s Thursday time of 1.21.487.
In the Mercedes W01, Michael Schumacher – trying a new unpainted Schuberth helmet prototype – had not managed to beat Webber’s time by lunch, but his teammate Nico Rosberg said he was not worried.
“We can match the (Webber) time and probably even go faster — that’s why it is nothing to get nervous about,” the German told F1’s official website.
It should be noted that drivers were reporting the track surface in much better condition on Friday morning.
“The track wasn’t great,” Alonso said on Thursday, while Liuzzi said the track had been “really green”.