It’s been a tough few weeks for Lotus, who have struggled to get in the laps at Valencia (power steering problems), Jerez and Barcelona (water leaks, and now a damaged and faulty car). At each test, they have done fewer kilometres than any of the other teams who have been running their 2011 car, and even HRT’s 2010 car has gone further. Reliability-wise, this is a problem, though the car has shown good pace when it has been working. Today’s running was cut short by a fault that caused Trulli to crash, though he was unhurt. Including the filming day in Jerez, they have done over 2400km. That’s okay, but less than half of Ferrari’s distance; the Italians have the most reliable car, though it has not always been the fastest.
Amongst the midrunners, Toro Rosso and Sauber – both struggling for points in 2010 – have shown good speed at all of the tests so far, but particularly Toro Rosso for whom this is their first completely self-made car, since they can’t just get a chassis off the Red Bull team any more.
Due to the cancellation/postponement of the Bahrain Grand Prix by the Crown Prince, the tests will also not be held there. The location and dates of the next test are thus TBC.
Apart from that, Massa went fastest with a 1:22.625 and Buemi’s Toro Rosso was third-fastest just behind Webber’s Red Bull. After Schumacher went off right at the end, D’Ambrosio’s Virgin went faster than him to go ninth fastest. I’ll be back with test coverage whenever the test goes ahead. Meanwhile, revise your countdown clocks: 32 days to Australian GP.