Fernando Alonso was one of only a handful of brave race drivers to attempt an afternoon wet weather test as only 17 total laps from six testers were completed because of snowy conditions Wednesday (Feb 28) on the third day of the first formula one pre-test session at the Circuit Barcelona- Catalunya in Spain.
The entire morning found all the day’s testers waking up to slushy snow that blanketed the track, coming from the southeast into Barcelona. Even the helicopter that belonged to the track, was unable to get off the ground, and this made all the drivers sit around for hours until the lunch break at noon.
Even an hour and a half of additional silence happened, until Alonso finally was the first driver of the day that ascended to the track, completing ten total laps and a time of 2:18:545, which was only good because of an exhaust problem they had yesterday, was now cured by the Spaniard’s run. Daniel Ricciardo was next out onto the track, but on his second lap, the Australian ran wide into the gravel, and encountered his side pods full of the substance. Ricciardo and Red Bull had enough and retired for the day.
All the teams’ have seen their chances to get used to the car derailed by the harsh weather conditions. But American Haas F1 Team Manager Guenther Steiner told ESPN F1 that he felt that this whole week had been ruined by the harsh weather that is making it impossible to predict if this first week’s tests are going to accomplish anything.
“I think so. It looks like it,” he said when asked if the next two days could be a write off. “I think it’s cold again and raining all day — when I checked in the morning it’s snowing again until 9am to 10am. It’s not really snow but it will be cold. I think it will be another day like this. Apparently tomorrow is wet all day and if it is wet and only four or five degrees there is no point going out there. You don’t learn anything, we would never run in these circumstances and the only thing you do is risk the cars and being the first test of the season we are lean on spares and we cannot risk it. At the moment it doesn’t look much better on Thursday. It’s getting warmer, but still wet.”
The weather looks like rain tomorrow, on the last test day, but attempts to make up these lost days on Friday were curtailed, due to the Williams Martini Racing team filming at the circuit. So, it seems that the best chance to test under good conditions will be next Monday thru Thursday, when the weather is predicted to be sunny.
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