GPl Archives 27 February 2013 Issue #59 - Page 76

Over the four days in Montmelo, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa completed a total of 363 laps, a tiny bit more than their main competitors. After getting an initial feel for the F138 and carrying out some aerodynamic testing over the first two days, for his final day in the car, Alonso was able to look at set-up work and do a tyre comparison. He ended his first on-track appearance of the year with the second fastest time of the week, set on the Soft compound. It rained for much of the Massa’s single day (Friday) at the wheel and he completed a very useful wet weather test for the team, setting reasonable times, reporting that the car handled well in the cold and slippery conditions. However, lap times still mean nothing at this stage and again this past week, it was difficult to draw any accurate conclusions as to the pecking order down pit lane: this is down to the big differences in the programmes being run and the fuel loads carried on a track where every 10 kilos of fuel costs three tenths of a second per lap. Next week, the team will bring the first few development parts planned for the F138 to Barcelona and will spend the final days of testing, running various race weekend simulations and only then is there a slight chance that a truer picture of the performance levels of the teams will emerge.