Impressing in Valencia

Valencia Testing: Day 1
F1 Testing in Valencia

Valencia looks lovely this time of year. Clear skies, a small breeze, not too hot. And you can’t complain with eight cars flying around the Ricardo Tomo circuit on the outskirts of Valencia either.

Is it too early to look at the times? Yes it is. I found out that last year by believing Brawn GP were doing glory runs with low fuel and thinking the pace wasn’t genuine. My judgement hasn’t been as badly bruised since.

But, I feel compelled to write about Pedro de la Rosa, returning F1 driver, along with Michael Schumacher, in his white Sauber. I know a lot of doubters who thought he was the wrong choice for the team, that Nick Heidfeld should be there instead. Whilst not totally disagreeing with the doubters, I stood by Pedro de la Rosa and always will when he is in a Sauber car. The same goes for Kamui Kobayashi or whoever else joins the team.

If you are unaware of the testing times, Pedro de la Rosa finished second, with the third most laps completed on the day. His time of 1:12.784 was faster than both Mercedes drivers (Schumacher and Rosberg) as well as others including Barrichello and Kubica, both drivers who have been predicted to finish ahead of him in 2010.

I know I have said it is too early to judge anyone in a F1 car, but at this early stage in testing, it shows that de la Rosa still has it in him to keep up with the younger drivers (and Schumacher). It is impossible to judge where the team are at regarding which driver is better until after Kobayashi has driven.

Of course, de la Rosa is a well known test driver, and this of course is a test session. It will be important to transfer the promising early results to the actual races. Something which I am confident he will do.

So, doubters of de la Rosa. Is he still not good enough for Formula 1? Is he really going to be the new Luca Badoer? Based on one solid looking result, I think not

Timings

 1.  Massa         Ferrari              (B)  1:12.574  102              
 2.  de la Rosa    BMW Sauber-Ferrari   (B)  1:12.784   74                
 3.  M.Schumacher  Mercedes GP          (B)  1:12.947   40                
 4.  Rosberg       Mercedes GP          (B)  1:13.543   39                
 5.  Paffett       McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:13.846   86                
 6.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth    (B)  1:14.449   75                
 7.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:14.762   18                
 8.  Kubica        Renault              (B)  1:15.000   69    
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Posted on February 1, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Yes, he is good enough for F1. I don’t think Pedro will be the new Luca Badoer, but neither I think that he can be a top driver. He’ll do a decent job, provide his excellent development skills to Sauber, and teach a lot to Kamui (who will out-run him by the end of the year).

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