11 Formula One teams have gathered in Barcelona for the second of three pre-season tests. Only HRT were missing at the start of the Barcelona test – with their new chassis having failed FIA crash tests, they are not permitted to have it on track yet.
The first story of the day was the launch of the Mercedes W03. Mercedes had opted to delay the arrival of their new car until this test, rather than running it in Jerez a fortnight ago. After a shakedown “filming” day at Silverstone last week, and a private test day in Barcelona on Sunday, the car was finally officially unveiled in the Barcelona pit lane before testing started on the first morning.
The second piece of significant news was the withdrawal of Lotus from this week’s testing, due to a problem with their chassis that requires a return to the factory. The loss of four days of running is a big blow to the team that looked so strong in Jerez two weeks ago.
Other teams who experienced issues were Sauber, who also discovered an issue with their chassis, Caterham, who suffered a failed rear track rod in Kovalainen’s car in the morning, and Mercedes, who had a hydraulic problem that limited their running in the afternoon.
Testing resumes in about 30 minutes for day 2.